Volkswagen: From car to software company – but how?

Status: 2022-12-15 06:59

Volkswagen wants to change its position. A key role is software strategy, an area in which former CEO Diess has already cut his teeth. Is successor Blume doing better?

Annette Deutskens, GDR

When VW’s top inspectors meet in Berlin today, it’s really about preparing for the general meeting the next day. Also on the agenda is an issue that has come up again and again in recent months and years: the topic of software. It is considered to be the most value-added component in the cars of the future, which shows how important it is, especially for a group like Volkswagen.

It failed due to software strategy

Oliver Blume’s predecessor, Herbert Diess, had to leave his post in the summer, largely because he couldn’t get software problems under control. Of all the building blocks that Blume has found within the VW Group, the topic of software is perhaps the biggest. So the members of the Board of Supervisors now expect him to present a coherent concept of how he intends to make progress on this large construction site.

In the ten-point plan, Blume has already roughly outlined what is important to him, what is at the top of his agenda. It should now present its software plans in even more detail than before. From Blume’s point of view, it seems clear where the journey needs to go — he’s also sticking to the vision Diess already had: to turn Volkswagen into a software-based mobility provider.

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The software defines the vehicle

The software defines the vehicle. First it is, then the models are derived from it. Car expert Stefan Bratzel from the Automotive Management Center in Bergisch Gladbach calls this concept “convincing”. He believes that, unlike Diess, Blume is more concerned with how to actually achieve the software’s goals.

It’s also part of Blume’s reality check: the new E3 2.0 software from the group’s own technology company, Cariad, will miss the schedule. The result: “Trinity” – an electric model, which from 2026 with this software should roll off the assembly line at the new Wolfsburg factory – coming later. At some point at the end of the decade when the software is ready. Whether a new factory will be built at all or Trinity will be built at the old Wolfsburg factory is currently open.

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