VW to reorganize software subsidiary Cariad’s board

The Volkswagen Group will soon dismiss almost the entire board of its software subsidiary Cariad, which is struggling with problems. The new head of Cariad is to be Peter Bosch, currently head of production at the Group’s subsidiary Bentley.

He will replace Dirk Hilgenberg, who will have to vacate his position, as will Cariad’s head of technology Lynn Longo and chief financial officer Thomas Sedran. This is reported by Reuters and the German publications Manager Magazin, Spiegel and the Handelsblatt, among others.

Bosch is to be appointed to head Cariad by VW group CEO Oliver Blume as a reorganiser. Blume, in addition to his posts as chairman of the board of VW and Porsche, is also the highest controller of Cariad as chairman of the supervisory board. It is not yet known whether Hilgenberg, Longo and Sedran will leave the VW group completely. According to the Handelsblatt, all three are “currently discussing a move to other areas of the VW world”.

However, Bosch will probably not have to develop its own strategy for Cariad, because the strategic realignment of the software subsidiary, which has been problematic for a long time, has already been worked out under Blume: In autonomous driving, the Group is to cooperate with Mobileye in the future. Exactly which parts Cariad will take over from Mobileye and what will still be developed in-house is not yet known. According to company insiders, however, Bosch was already involved in the reorganisation, and as the new CEO he is to complete these change processes. However, Blume and Bosch do not want to change Herbert Diess’ fundamental decision to bundle software development and set it up independently.

In addition to the new executive board personnel – only Cariad’s personnel director Rainer Zugehör is to remain, according to reports – a reorganisation of work processes is also planned. In addition to faster software development, Cariad also has to save money: This year, costs are to be reduced by a “medium three-digit million amount”.

Delays in software development had led to delays in the electric vehicle models Porsche Macan and the Audi Q6 e-tron and ultimately to the dismissal of Herbert Diess. Under his successor Oliver Blume, some software start-ups have already been equalised, which is why future model planning had to be further adjusted. However, as with the Macan and Q6 e-tron, it should be ruled out at an early stage that cars developed on the hardware side cannot be brought to market without the appropriate software, or that problems such as those with the ID.3 start-up will recur.

Last weekend, a VW spokesperson stated that they were analysing “the situation of Cariad and the projects very closely”. In the course of this, decisions had already been made. For example, software architectures had been ordered in terms of time. This probably means, among other things, the standard software 2.0, which according to earlier plans was to debut in 2026 in the VW flagship Trinity and enable autonomous driving according to Level 4. However, since the 1.2 software for the (electric) models due in the near future must first be brought to series production readiness, the 2.0 software has been postponed by two years.

This Wednesday, the annual general meeting of the Volkswagen Group will take place in Berlin. The reorganisation of the software subsidiary is likely to be a topic there as well as in the meeting of the VW supervisory board on Tuesday. It is possible that the personnel will be confirmed on Wednesday on the fringes of the general meeting.

manager-magazin.de (paywall), handelsblatt.comspiegel.de (all in German), reuters.com


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