VW creates mobility unit to focus on EVs, AVs

BERLIN — Volkswagen’s passenger-car business is reorganizing to combine the emerging fields of electromobility and digitalization into a “New Mobility” division under the leadership of Thomas Ulbrich, the brand’s current development chief.

In the new role, Ulbrich will be responsible for VW’s current ID battery-electric cars and future models that will be based on VW Group’s new, highly scalable SSP platform, including the VW brand’s upcoming full-electric, self-driving car being developed under the Trinity project.

Ulbrich will also join the supervisory board of Cariad, VW’s software unit, tasked with ensuring close cooperation between Cariad and VW brand’s development division.

VW brand CEO Thomas Schaefer said the restructuring is aimed at creating a strong foundation for “systematically driving forward the company’s transformation toward a software-oriented mobility provider.”

With the new division, “we are bundling the strategic action areas of electric mobility and software, thereby increasing our pace of innovation,” Schaefer said in a statement on Tuesday

Software troubleshooter

Ulbrich made his reputation as a troubleshooter at VW after rescuing the ID3 compact electric hatchback, the first of the automaker’s new generation of EVs, after its launch was hit by software glitches.

An engineer, Ulbrich, 56, joined VW in 1992. He takes up the new role on Oct. 1. Ulbrich was an Automotive News Europe Eurostar in 2019.

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