Audi CEO makes significant personnel changes
As the German magazine Automobilwoche reports, Audi will focus more on software in future vehicle development. Döllner wants to set up a “Software Defined Vehicle” hub in February that will focus on new vehicle concepts across of the Group’s brands. Volkswagen will also participate in the hub, as is the VW software subsidiary Cariad. That means other Group brands are also (at least indirectly) involved. On the Cariad side, software expert Sanjay Lal, who was poached from Tesla, will head the hub.
The Software Defined Vehicle” hub will be headed by Lorenz Führlinger. Führlinger was previously responsible for the MQB model series and the flat-bottom electric models in the compact segment on the SSP future platform at Audi.
Another significant change in personnel concerns Audi’s partnership with Chinese carmaker SAIC. Fermin Soneira will now head the joint vehicle development. The previous model series manager for all-electric models from the A to the C segment for example the Q4 e-tron. He will be replaced by Robert Meyer in Ingolstadt on 1 March.
Döllner allegedly announced the changes internally to employees at the end of January.
Döllner – Head of Group Strategy in Wolfsburg before his move to Ingolstadt – is also paying close attention to synergies and efficiencies in planning and development. On the one hand, there is apparently a restructuring of the product and portfolio strategy, which is being brought together with the management of the model series under Christiane Zorn, Head of Product Strategy. The previously separate areas of operational and strategic corporate management will also be merged organisationally by Döllner – Daniel Kauer, currently Head of Strategic Planning at VW, will be responsible for this from 1 April.
Audi essentially confirmed the upcoming changes to Automobilwoche. “Among other things, the focus will be on the streamlined model portfolio and strengthening the brand in the global environment. That requires clear responsibilities, fast decision-making channels and lean processes,” the company said.
The German magazine reported a few days ago that Audi is looking to become “a process- and software-oriented organisation.” That also includes efficient utilisation of its factories, which is why Döllner could apparently stop production of the q8 e-tron in Belgium after the change in generation.
With the current Q8-e-tron generation, the plant in Brussels is not utilised to capacity. According to the article, which does not provide a precise source, there are internal discussions about building the next generation of the Q8 e-tron in Mexico.