Osterloh: Volkswagen focuses on the new IT department


The newly created board department for software is intended to accelerate the integration of the systems in cars and all platforms in the Group equally at Volkswagen. “In terms of content, industrial and vehicle IT must first be represented together,” said works council chief Bernd Osterloh on December 29, 2020 of the German press agency. “IT platforms have to be set up across the entire group – beyond the planning for more own applications in the cars.”

There are already proposals for filling the leading position; Osterloh is “firmly counting on a board member.” In the largest car group in the world, responsibility for this part of the overarching technology development lies with Audi boss Markus Duesmann. In the middle of the year, he took over the task from manager Christian Senger, who is now in charge of research on autonomous driving in the group.

“Even away from the vehicles, at least larger three-digit million amounts are to be raised annually,” says Osterloh, assessing the efficiency reserves that were in the IT systems previously used. More coordination is required in procurement software, finance, production and sales.

Volkswagen has been developing an internal software division since mid-2020. CEO Herbert Diess is aiming for a “Car Software Company” – the added value from self-programmed applications should increase. In doing so, however, one shouldn’t forget the optimization of the classic administration systems, for example, warned Osterloh: “The IT in the company does not yet have the status it should actually have.”

A manager “at the highest level” is necessary to lead improvements. “What does IT have to look like in such a large company in five years? What potential for optimization still exists between the brands in the group? For this we need someone with their own responsibility, the topic is simply very important.”


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