Volkswagen Confirms Ralf Brandstaetter in China From August 2022 On

The announcements about management changes at the Volkswagen Group this December 9 confirmed some of the rumors and corrected others we have read in the last few days. Just like Handelsblatt had anticipated, Ralf Brandstätter will really move to Beijing in 2022, but only by August 2022.
Ralf Brandstaetter 12 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
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Before that, the executive will become a board member and take over the Volkswagen Passenger Car division on January 1, 2022. That’s the exact date on which Herbert Diess will become the man in charge of the CARIAD software unit of the group.

Another important management change was announced. When Brandtätter starts working in China, Thomas Schäffer will become the Volkswagen brand CEO in his place. Schäffer currently takes care of Skoda, one of the brands that are part of the Volume Brand Group. Unlike what rumors previously stated, Herbert Diess will remain at the helm of that group.

After these changes were presented, journalists asked what role Diess would have with the new organization. The chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch, asked to answer that and said that Diess was the “motor of change” in the electric mobility shift Volkswagen is going through. In his words, Diess will be able to concentrate on the strategy involved to achieve that.

Daniela Cavallo, the board member representing Volkswagen workers, made a speech that made it clear she would not tolerate changes that imply job losses. That was a direct answer (and a sort of threat) to Diess. The executive caused the fury of unions and labor representatives when he warned that Volkswagen could lose 30,000 job positions if it were not fast enough.

By putting Diess in charge of CARIAD, the Volkswagen Group strengthened his position as CEO. The executive has said more than once that software will play a significant role in helping Volkswagen with the electric mobility shift. In China, one of the reasons for Volkswagen electric cars to sell less than its competitors is the outdated software solutions the company would offer in the world’s largest market.
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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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