Volkswagen hands software woes to ICE-supporting Audi CEO

The Volkswagen ID.3. (Credit: Volkswagen)

Volkswagen has announced that it has handed its Car.Software organization over to Audi CEO Markus Duesmann. Duesmann will take charge of Volkswagen’s software in the VW Board of Management, a company press release stated.

One of the main focuses of Volkswagen’s plan to begin the production of a fleet of electric vehicles was software. However, the German automaker has encountered several problems that have delayed the production of its ID.3, which is the first vehicle in VW’s all-electric ID family of cars.

Duesmann will be responsible for the research and development of Volkswagen’s software and will attempt to salvage the company’s operating system before the ID.3 and subsequent electric models from the German automaker roll off of production lines and into owner’s garages.

However, Duesmann’s stance on electric vehicles is not exactly favorable. The Audi frontman commented last week that his company would continue to favor the production of gas and diesel-powered combustion engines. “The combustion engine is far from dead,” Duesmann said.

Although Duesmann does believe that Audi can begin creating more sustainable cars that use gas and diesel for fuel, the overall stance on the issue seems to indicate that the CEO is not necessarily interested in obtaining an electric fleet that is Earth-friendly. Duesmann is an automotive vet, but his goals do not necessarily line up with Volkswagen’s, and the combination of the two entities working together to solve software issues is questionable.

“We are now starting the biggest revolution in the automotive industry. In a few years, a car’s operating system and its connectivity with a highly secure data cloud will make all the difference,” Duesmann said. “The close cooperation with all brands and teams will be decisive for the success of the Car.Software organization. With my team at Audi, we are assuming a special responsibility as a premium brand.”

Duesmann announced that the new CEO of the Car.Software Organization would be former Senior Vice President of Manufacturing Engineering at BMW, Dirk Hilgenberg.

“With the upcoming handover to Dirk Hilgenberg, we will gain a CEO for the Car.Software organization who has extensive international experience in the integration of software products and technologies. In close cooperation with him, I will push this topic forward vigorously and at high speed,” Duesmann added.

The plan to solve Volkswagen’s extensive list of software issues begins with a rapid personnel expansion. The company plans to hire around 5,000 specialists by the end of 2020, who will all work together to integrate the Software system into Volkswagen’s electrified fleet.

Volkswagen has also spent the last few months expanding several of its German plants to prepare for an expansive push of electric vehicles in the coming years. The company also gave 150 random employees an ID.3 car to test in real-world settings.

Fixing the software issues that Volkswagen has accrued throughout the production of the ID.3 has worried the company’s executives. However, the new operating infrastructure is sure to bring bumps along the way, and Volkswagen’s rich tradition of automotive manufacturing should prove to be able to solve the issues. However, Duesmann’s appointment to the head of the team is unusual considering the stance the Audi CEO holds on electric vehicles.

Volkswagen’s full press release is available here.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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