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Brose Sitech has been operating on the global market as an independent supplier of seat systems since January 1, 2022. The cooperation partners Brose and Volkswagen each hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture. The headquarters is Polkowice in Poland. Around 5,000 employees work at a total of eight sites in Poland, Germany, China and the Czech Republic. Brose Sitech expects to double business volume to 2.8 billion euros by 2030. The number of employees is expected to rise to around 7,000.

 

Thomas Schmall, Group Board Member for Engineering Volkswagen and member of the Supervisory Board of Brose Sitech, sees great potential in the joint venture: "We had an intensive period of planning and preparation. I am delighted that Brose Sitech is now launching on the market as an independent full-range supplier of seat systems. The merger continues to be supported by Volkswagen and at the same time opens up many new perspectives. Brose Sitech is becoming a strong, sustainable company."

The joint venture between the cooperation partners Brose and Volkswagen is perfectly positioned to meet the challenges of the changing automotive industry. The megatrends E-mobility and autonomous driving are changing the requirements for vehicle interiors. The vehicle is becoming a mobile living space, and the importance of interior and seats as a differentiating feature is increasing.

"Brose Sitech has the expertise and know-how to meet current and future demands for interior comfort, safety and flexibility. With innovative solutions for changing market requirements, the joint venture has everything it needs to convince customers and succeed in a highly competitive market,"explains Ulrich Schrickel, CEO of the Brose Group and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Brose Sitech. Brose will take over industrial leadership in the joint venture and completely consolidate its operations.

Thomas Spangler, previously Executive Vice President Operations of the Brose Group, chairs the Brose Sitech executive board. The top management team also includes Tomasz Lewandowski, Chief Financial Officer, and Stefanie Wangemann, Chief Human Resources Officer. "The joint venture marks the beginning of a promising new chapter in the seat market," says Spangler. "The competencies of Brose and Sitech complement each other perfectly. We have the best opportunities to leverage our synergies in product development and manufacturing, jointly open up new markets worldwide and win additional customers."

Brose Sitech intends to further expand its business with the Volkswagen Group and also supply other automakers with seat systems. In addition to existing development and production sites in Eastern Europe, Germany and China, plans are underway to expand activities in Europe, America and Asia. In the long term, the joint venture's portfolio is to be expanded to include innovative solutions for the entire vehicle interior. "Thanks to the strong partnership between Volkswagen and Brose, we can make important investments for the future and pave the way for growth in the coming years," explains Lewandowski.

Wangemann acknowledges the great commitment of the employees in Poland, Germany and China, who made it possible to launch the joint venture on schedule at the beginning of the year despite the current difficult market environment. "I would like to thank our employees for their efforts. With the dedication and will to succeed demonstrated by the team in recent months, Brose Sitech will be able to hold its own in the face of global competition. This also means that we will be able to offer attractive and future-proof jobs in the long term."

As a leading supplier of seat systems, Brose contributes many years of expertise in manual and power seat structures and their adjuster components to the joint venture. In addition, the automotive supplier combines its mechatronic products into intelligent systems using software and sensor technology. Sitech has extensive expertise in the development, assembly and logistics of complete seat systems as well as metal structures.

 

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Volkswagen Group will award 70 young refugees scholarships for a university degree. While according to UNHCR approximately 30 percent of young people around the world have access to higher education, only 5 percent of refugees do. The Volkswagen Group’s new commitment also heralds the start of a longer-term partnership with UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe, the German partner of UNHCR. The Volkswagen Group has been providing assistance to refugees for quite some time, particularly with integration. Its work focuses on preparing them step by step for occupational training and the German labor market.

 

“Education is one of the most important linchpins of social engagement, democracy and prosperity. We in the Volkswagen Group are therefore particularly keen to give young refugees equitable access to education. Our close collaboration with UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe over six years and our Volkswagen Group Refugee Aid initiative are testament to this. When we started our work, its focus was on providing emergency aid for refugees arriving in Germany. By now, we are concentrating on the longer-term issues of education and integration into the labor market. We are pleased that we can now also support the education of refugees on a global scale by means of our cooperation with UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe: 70 scholarships to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention are a fine example of our sustainable and integrative support for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ work,” said Gunnar Kilian, Member of the Board of Management Human Resources and Truck & Bus at Volkswagen AG.

Daniela Cavallo, Chairperson of the General and Group Works Council of Volkswagen AG: “Education is the most important key to integration. The scholarships being awarded to refugees on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Refugee Agency underpin the fundamental work of the UNHCR. We in the Works Council are particularly impressed by the focus on training, because internships and training courses for young professionals are important tools for successful integration into a profession and consequently into society.”

“For many young refugees, DAFI is synonymous with future prospects,” said Katharina Lumpp, UNHCR Representative in Germany. “Doing a degree not only provides a big opportunity that is frequently not available to these young men and women, but it also makes an important contribution to the communities in which they live and the countries that take them in. We are delighted that the Volkswagen Group has decided to invest in the education of refugees in particular – and to do this within the framework of the well-established DAFI program set up in Germany. DAFI will go a long way to increasing the very low share of refugees in third-level education – currently 5 percent compared to the global average of over 30 percent.”

Peter Ruhenstroth-Bauer, Managing Director of UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe: “Education is the key to a better future. We are very thankful that Volkswagen is joining forces with us to create educational prospects for young refugees.”

The Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative Fund (Deutsche Akademische Flüchtlingsinitiative Albert Einstein, DAFI) has been in existence for nearly 30 years. It was founded by the German federal government in 1992 to give highly talented refugees the opportunity to go to university. Since then, the UNHCR has been in charge of implementing this program, to which the Volkswagen Group is now donating 70 scholarships.

The UNHCR has set an ambitious goal of increasing the share of refugees receiving access to higher education from 5 to 15 percent globally by 2030 through the DAFI refugee scholarship program: too many refugees are denied the opportunity to explore their potential through higher education, including technical and vocational training, and thus to drive innovation and research. One of the reasons for this is that young refugees are often among the most financially disadvantaged segments of the population and have little or no opportunity to enter higher education.

You can find out more about the DAFI program here (German only).

About UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe
UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe is the German partner of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). It mobilizes civil society to support the UNHCR’s worldwide life-saving missions, funds projects for refugees in Germany and helps to create awareness by informing people about migration, why people flee their country and what awaits refugees.

About Volkswagen Group Refugee Support
Volkswagen Group Refugee Support has been initiating and coordinating integration programs in Germany to prepare young refugees for occupational training and the labor market since 2015. Over 6,000 individuals have already been helped to date. Expanding refugee support on an international scale is an important element of the Volkswagen Group’s engagement in these activities.

 

Article sourcde: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

Volkswagen establishes a European company (Société Européenne) to consolidate activities along the value chain for batteries – from processing raw materials to developing a unified Volkswagen battery to managing the European gigafactories. The company’s scope will include new business models based around reusing discarded car batteries and recycling the valuable raw materials they contain. The Group is thus creating efficient and future-proof structures for the rapidly growing battery business. As part of its NEW AUTO strategy, the Volkswagen Group is aiming to become the world’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicles. To this end, it is expanding its battery-related activities and making these into one of its core competencies.

 

Thomas Schmall, member of the Board of Management for technology at Volkswagen AG and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, and thus responsible for batteries, charging and energy as well as for the in-house production of components, says the following: “We want to offer our customers powerful, inexpensive and sustainable vehicle batteries, which means we need to be active at all stages of the battery value chain that are critical for success. We are now bundling our power in Salzgitter, with the aim of encouraging innovation and securing the support of the best partners for our new company going forward. We already have a strong battery team in Salzgitter made up of 500 employees from 24 countries – and we are continuing to strengthen this team at leadership level.”

Under the management of battery boss Frank Blome, Soonho Ahn will take on a leading role in the development of battery cells.Following appointments at LG and Samsung, Ahn’s most recent post was as Global Head of Battery Development at Apple. Kai Alexander Müller of Barclays Investment Bank,London, will likewise make the switch to Salzgitter, where he will contribute his financial experience in the capital market and in equity research.

Volkswagen is planning to establish six gigafactories in Europe to cover the growing demand for battery cells within the Group. Battery cell production in Salzgitter is set to start in 2025. The gigafactory in Lower Saxony will produce unified battery cells for the Volkswagen Group’s volume segment. In its initial phase, the factory is set to have an annual capacity of 20 gigawatt hours; this is planned to double to 40 gigawatt hours at a later stage. On the basis of the current planning round, the Volkswagen Group is investing heavily in developing battery cell production in Salzgitter. All in all, €2 billion has been earmarked for the construction and operation of the Salzgitter gigafactory up to the start of production.

Battery cell manufacture in Salzgitter is expected to provide jobs for more than 2,500 people in the future. These employees will principally be staff from the Salzgitter engine plant, who will be retrained in order to take on these new roles. Some of these staff bring expertise – in planning or logistics for example – that will be useful in the construction of the factory. Where necessary, this know-how transfer will be supplemented by new competencies, for example by recruiting staff externally.

The site in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, will bring together development, planning and production control under one roof, and will thus become the Volkswagen Group’s battery centre. There are plans to build additional gigafactories at sites in Spain and Eastern Europe. The exact locations for gigafactories 3 and 4 are due to be decided in the first half of 2022. Volkswagen intends to open two more battery cell factories in Europe by 2030.

Parallel to the development of these five gigafactories by the newly formed European company, the Swedish start-up Northvolt AB – in which Volkswagen has a stake of around 20 percent – will be building a further factory in Skellefteå in northern Sweden. This will produce battery cells for the premium automotive segment starting in 2023. Northvolt already has an established partnership with the Volkswagen Group in the area of premium battery cells.

Volkswagen is forging ahead with the industrialisation of battery technology at all levels of the value chain. This week, the company agreed two strategic partnerships with Umicore and 24M as well as a long-term supply agreement with Vulcan Energy Resources.

The goal of the partnerships is to aid the manufacture and procurement of primary materials as well as to optimise battery cell manufacture at the planned gigafactories. The partnerships are designed tobuild know-how in battery technology and optimize cost management.

The Volkswagen Group is pursuing what probably ranks as the most comprehensive electric strategy in the global automotive industry. Over the next five years, the Group will be investing around €52 billion in the development and production of new electric vehicles. The NEW AUTO strategy also covers the development of the new business fields batteries, charging and energy. In addition, the Group is creating dedicated technology platforms that enable cross-brand synergies, including the modular electric drive matrix MEB and an SSP platform, due to launch in 2026.

 

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

Faster, more powerful, more stable: Volkswagen optimises infotainment in the current Golf. The new software and hardware now going into series production enhance a wide range of functions. In particular, voice control now responds up to four times faster, taking performance up to the premium level. Numerous customer requests have been incorporated.

 

“This major infotainment upgrade underscores the Golf’s standing in the compact segment,” says Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Board of Management for Volkswagen Passenger Cars with responsibility for Development. “The advances in terms of usability and performance give our customers the very highest level of convenience.”

More agile infotainment. Due to go into series production in the next few weeks, this major upgrade gives a dynamic boost to infotainment in the Golf. Customers will instantly feel the benefits even when starting the system: voice control and navigation are available much more quickly than before. This also applies to use of the navigation map and scrolling through lists.

The new voice control – fast recognition and precise response. The most advanced feature is the voice control: “Hello Volkswagen” is the phrase used to start what is known as natural voice control. This system is also able to understand freely worded phrases from day-to-day life such as “I’m cold” or “Where can I find a Japanese restaurant in Berlin?” – transforming the Golf into an intelligent conversation partner. Thanks to digital microphones, it also recognises whether the driver or the passenger is speaking: this means it can activate the vehicle air conditioning specifically for the person making the request, for example. The optimised system is also capable of asking questions and allowing interruptions.

The improved voice control essentially enables the customer to operate the entertainment, navigation, telephone and climate control. Comprehension rate has improved substantially, now reaching a level of around 95 per cent. The new software also makes do with fewer system interfaces than before, making it easier to additionally integrate intelligent online functions such as news or weather reports in the future.

Always at the ready – whether online or offline. Voice control responses and suggestions come from two sources – the cloud and the information stored offline in the vehicle. Online matching increases the recognition rate and the quality of results, while the offline information is available even where there is no mobile network, such as in an underground car park. Whether online or offline, responses and reactions are now as much as four times faster than before. It takes less than five tenths of a second to process an online request on the server, and the feedback arrives in the car in less than a second. If customers wish, they can also finish the request or command by touching the display, where the relevant menus will have already appeared.

Facilitated operation. Another area in which in-car infotainment has been improved is the touchscreen. When the user’s finger comes within a few centimetres of the screen, the buttons around the hazard warning light switch are blocked. As soon as contact is made between finger and screen, this block is then extended to include the sliders for volume and temperature. This means that unintentional activation of the control panels below is virtually impossible. The control of the capacitive display itself remains unchanged: a light touch is enough to activate the given function. What is more, additional infrared proximity sensor technology enables gesture control from several centimetres away.

Wide-ranging improvements in MIB3. The infotainment upgrade in the Golf is based on the modular infotainment matrix (MIB3), which has received numerous improvements. The software optimisations are now focused even more on typical customer applications, the original system having been greatly compressed for this purpose. The result is a reduction of the base load and therefore enhanced performance for programmes and functions.

On the hardware side, the MIB3 now features a more powerful System on Chip (SoC). Its central processing unit (CPU) comprises four cores plus the graphics card and the digital signal processor for audio. The new chip unit offers about 25 per cent more computing capacity, while the graphics card triples performance. For the customer, this essentially means a faster response: for a typical navigation destination entry, the list of results is usually ready in less than five seconds – much more quickly than before.

Vehicles that have already been delivered will also be able to benefit from the optimized software next year. Volkswagen will actively approach customers from the beginning of next year to inform them about the process of the software update. This is a voluntary service measure.

Customer feedback has a key role to play. Integrating customer feedback in the further development of products and services is becoming a crucial strength when it comes to competing for the most satisfied customers. With its ACCELERATE strategy, Volkswagen has aligned numerous processes even more closely to the needs of customers – from the early development phase through to the offer of digital services and visits to dealerships.

 

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

With the launch of the Taigo, a totally new model arrives in Volkswagen showrooms – with a sloping roof like a coupé and a slightly elevated seating position. However, its modern character is not only reflected in the elegant shape of its body, but also in the many intelligent comfort, operating and assist systems. On request, the small car can be upgraded with a black roof, large tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof, and technological features like IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist for partly automated driving. The entry price for the all-new Taigo (with 1.0 TSI engine, 70 kW/95 PS, 5-speed) is € 19,350.

 

It joins the ranks of Volkswagen’s small car segment alongside the Polo and T-Cross. And what a car it is! The innovative body shape, with perfect proportions and up to 18-inch wheels, give it an elegant and dynamic look. Another highlight of the exterior is the continuous light strip and LED lights at the rear. The IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights, including a light strip in the radiator grille, can also be ordered (as standard from equipment line Style and above) for greater convenience, an even sharper signature at the front, and increased safety.

The central element in the interior is the standard Digital Cockpit, as well as the new generation of infotainment system (MIB). Arranged horizontally on a raised sightline, this digital unit boasts a 20-cm, high-resolution colour display that gives you an overview of all essential information. The optional Digital Cockpit Pro also offers many individual configuration options.

Three engines and four equipment lines

The Taigo, which is only available as front-wheel drive, is offered in three performance levels (as 1.0 TSI with a choice of 70 kW/95 PS or 81 kW/110 PS, and as 1.5 TSI with 110 kW/150 PS) and the four equipment lines Taigo, Life, Style and R-Line. The entry level Taigo (with 1.0 TSI engine, 70 kW/95 PS and a manual 5-speed transmission) boasts a large range of standard features. For example, the SUV coupé comes with a multifunctional steering wheel, air conditioning, the Autonomous Emergency Braking Front Assist, Lane Assist, and LED headlights as standard.

The Life equipment line also comes with the standard Park Distance Control and App Connect. The latter makes it possible to comfortably operate selected apps and content directly via the display in the car. On the engine side, the more powerful 1.0-litre TSI with an output of 81 kW (110 PS) is available as an option.

The Style equipment line is expressive and has even more possibilities: for example, the extensive range of standard equipment includes App Connect, including App Connect Wireless for Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. IQ.LIGHT – LED matrix headlights with LED daytime driving light also come as standard. The Taigo Style is also available with the 1.5-litre TSI engine generating 110 kW (150 PS), and a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) as an option.

The R-Line equipment line is the right choice for anyone who prefers a sporty overall impression. It is defined by a lower front bumper in the R-Line design, a rear diffusor, sporty contrasting elements in high-gloss black, and larger wheels (up to 18-inch). In the interior, a black roof liner (typical “R”) is a standard feature. The R-Line equipment line – like the Taigo Style – also comes with the IQ.LIGHT – LED matrix headlights (including light strip at the front), the Ready 2 Discover infotainment system, and heated front seats.

The Taigo also boasts many opportunities to customise the car: the eight colours, including two uni tones and five metallic paints, as well as the pearl-effect Deep Black, can be combined with a contrasting Deep Black roof upon request. Tinted side windows, a dark rear window and black exterior mirror caps are included in the Roof Pack.

From the Life equipment line, it is possible to order a panoramic tilting and sliding sunroof, which extends across almost the entire interior. Depending on the equipment line, additional design packages are available at an extra charge, as is a towing bracket, ensuring the car is fit for everyday use.

Low insurance rating – low maintenance costs

One big factor when deciding which car to purchase are the low maintenance costs of the new Taigo: its insurance ratings are favourable (liability class: 12, fully comprehensive: 18, partially comprehensive: 17), and the car tax of € 46 per year is very low.

 

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com