Volkswagen Group will shift leadership for software development over to Audi, according to CEO Herbert Diess. “The centre of gravity for software development will move from Wolfsburg to Ingolstadt,” Diess said at a virtual conference, Automotive News Europe reported.
The Wolfsburg-based automaker was reported by Handelsblatt earlier this week to be replacing its head of digital car and services Christian Senger following clashes with the company, and concerns for the software problems faced with the fully-electric ID.3 as well as the eighth-generation Golf.
Previously having worked in BMW for development of the i3, Senger was enlisted by Diess as part of a network of external managers who were brought in to reform the company, according to Automotive News Europe. Senger’s role was pivotal to the development of the MEB electric vehicle platform that underpins the ID.3 as well as other EVs in the group, it said.
The software development position is one of the most important in the development of new generation electric vehicles, the site noted, as the latest EVs are far more reliant of computing power than conventional internal combustion engines.
Senger was also leaving his position as boardmember of the Volkswagen brand, the report quoted the German newspaper saying, though it added that Diess had hoped Senger would remain with the company.
Separately, the Volkswagen brand has been reported to have frozen the hiring of new staff until the end of 2020, according to Automotive News Europe. Despite recovery in demand, car sales remain below levels before the coronavirus pandemic, said Volkswagen brand CEO Ralf Brandstätter in an interview published in an internal VW newsletter, which was seen by Reuters.
“We remain under substantial cost pressure. Deliveries and therefore revenue have dropped sharply. At the same time a large amount of costs remain. This is why we have decided not to add new people,” Brandstätter said.