Tuesday, June 16, 2015

VW Group to split brands under 4 different companies

The Volkswagen Group is planning a tremendous shift in its internal structure that will decentralize operations by splitting its 12 brands into four different holding companies. Here's the breakdown.

Things will be split logically, considering the inter-sharing of parts, platforms, and engines. TheVolkswagen brand, Seat, and Skoda make up a passenger vehicle division led by former BMW manHerbert DiessAudi, which is tightly intertwined with Lamborghini and motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, will be managed by current Audi exec Rupert StadlerPorsche and Bentleywhich are already quite close, will be joined by Bugatti and run by Matthias Mueller. Finally, a commercial vehicles division will include Volkswagen CommercialScania, and Man. Former Daimler exec Andreas Renschler will take care of the big vehicles.

The massive move, according to Automotive News Europe, is part of an internal VAG effort to move away from the structure established by ousted Chairman Ferdinand Piech, who favored a compact, but highly centralized, management structure to oversee the independent actions of the company's brands. Criticism of Piech's arrangement stemmed from the company's slow responses to changes in the market, ANE reports. The new structure should make for a more efficient, streamlined company that's better able to make crucial decisions.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Volkswagen incorporating gesture control into updated Golf

June 8, 2015

For many, the Volkswagen Golf is the epitome of the accessible mode of transportation. It is the "People's Car," after all. Yet in its next iteration, it's slated to get some trick high-end tech on board.

Speaking with Auto ExpressVW powertrain chief Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser revealed that the upcoming facelifted Golf will include gesture control technology. "The interior features a preview of future VW interior technologies, with smartphone applications redefined for automotive use," Neusser told AE. "The gesture control will become reality in the Golf at the end of next year."

The feature is being rolled out by other automakers on decidedly more upscale offerings (like the next-gen BMW 7 Series), but look poised to democratize the technology on the far more accessible Golf as soon as next year when the updated model arrives. VW demonstrated the tech at CES with the Golf R Touch concept, which is making an encore appearance at CES Asia in Shanghai this week, where Neusser confirmed the features are slated for production.

The VW Golf R Touch concept incorporated a trio of oversized infotainment displays measuring 12.8, 12.3 and 8 inches, as well as gesture-control technology and all the latest smartphone connectivity standards – including Microsoft MirrorLink,Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto.