Volkswagen redesigns process to cut development times by 25%
German automaker Volkswagen is realigning its Technical Development (TD) division in Wolfsburg, Germany. This involves turning the group’s largest engineering unit with 11,500 employees into a pace setter for the Volkswagen brand’s transformation into a technology company.
The main emphasis is on a complete redesign of the development process, making it interdisciplinary, focused on software, customer requirements and SSP, Volkswagen’s electric platform of the future, and centered on functions, rather than individual components.
The move is expected to reduce development time by about a quarter, increase the speed of new software releases and also significantly accelerate manufacturing processes in production. The Technical Development Division will thus become an important pillar for the transformation of development for the Volkswagen Group.
“If the car is increasingly becoming an electrically driven software product, then its development must also evolve in all dimensions. We are making TD more connected and more efficient by focusing our processes and organization on systems and functions rather than on components. Software first rather than hardware first. This will enable us to cut development times by 25% – in the future, vehicle projects will be complete in 40 months from the point at which the basic software architecture is in place, instead of 54 months as before,” said Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Board of Management responsible for Technical Development.
The transformation will also become visible outside the Volkswagen Group, with the Campus Sandkamp development center being planned for Wolfsburg, Ulbrich said.
“We will spend EUR800 million (USD869.5 million) on making Campus Sandkamp the most cutting-edge vehicle development center in the world. In this way, we are highlighting that TD is ratcheting up the pace of transforming Volkswagen into a tech company,” he said.