Interview with VW boss Herbert Diess

Interview with VW boss Herbert Diess
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How do you want Realign VW?

D iess: We are facing major changes to. The car will not only be electric, it will also be increasingly networked, intelligent and will be able to do many things itself. It will probably be the smartest internet device out there. And it will happen quickly within the next ten to 15 years. For Volkswagen, it means preparing the car for it within this time. We have to make Volkswagen successful at a time when it's not just about selling a car. The car will have a complete experience of services and part of its intelligence in the cloud.

Are you afraid of new competitors?

Diess: We have to build up new skills quickly because it has probably never been so easy for newcomers to participate in this world of automotive value creation. We have to reallocate capacities and at the same time build new ones. Newbies with some resource can focus on the new topics and then it's a great entry window. The car market is incredibly attractive for many, people still spend a lot of money on mobility. The car is one of the most expensive economic goods a family can afford - and this is what makes it attractive for every economic operator.

Expect big players or niche manufacturers like Tesla ?

Diess: Tesla now makes more cars in this segment than many of the established ones. In the new era, Tesla is a more relevant competitor than the conventional ones. Tesla has its own cloud, online access to all of its cars, updates the cars overnight and anticipates many things that we still have to introduce.

Who has the leading role in the group in autonomous driving?

Diess: Audi is furthest and will continue to play a pioneering role. But then it comes down to the democratization of functions, and we have come a long way. Take a Golf: We are equipped with a virtual radar and camera - according to insurance investigations, the Golf is 45 percent less involved in accidents than the other vehicles in this class.

Jörg Künstle
VW has decided against a successor for the Phaeton.
Why not a Phaeton successor?

Diess: We decided against it because it was in this classic Segment makes more sense to look a little further into the future. The change will not be easy for premium manufacturers either. I cannot imagine that a Tesla customer would ever consider a conventional premium vehicle again unless it is electric.

Is a model above the Touareg conceivable?

Diess: It doesn't necessarily have to be an SUV, our brand lighthouse must above all be fully electric and fully networked. We are thinking about playing in the top league again, and we have to go there because we can only maintain the brand position between volume and premium manufacturers if we repeatedly prove that we play authentically with Premium - as we are with them today Golf, which is still winning every comparison test against premium models in its fourth year of sales.

More topics from auto motor und sport - Issue 10 - in stores from April 28, 2016:

  • VW's future plan
  • First test Jaguar F-Pace
  • Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, VW Passat: Large mid-range sales advice
  • All topics from the current issue here


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