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  3. 2020
  4. 07
  5. Car.Software organization at the Volkswagen Group

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Markus Duesmann takes charge of Car.Software organization at the Volkswagen Group

  • Audi CEO Markus Duesmann is taking charge of software in the VW Board of Management within the context of his responsibility for research and development
  • Bundling of software development in independent Car.Software organization
  • Up to 5,000 IT experts are to start work in the new Car.Software organization this year
  • New CEO of the Car.Software-Organisation is to be Dirk Hilgenberg, most recently Senior Vice President Manufacturing Engineering at the BMW Group Vehicle operating system
  • VW.OS, automotive data cloud and new electronic architecture for vehicle control units are to be available for the next electric cars and as of 2025 for all new models from the Group
Markus Duesmann, Audi-CEO

The central development of a software platform for the Volkswagen Group is picking up speed. As part of his Group-wide responsibility for research and development, the CEO of Audi, Markus Duesmann, has also taken charge of software. With its own operating system for all Volkswagen Group models, an automotive data cloud and a new electronics architecture, the cross-brand Car.Software organization set itself a tight schedule for the coming years in early July. Its new CEO is to be Dirk Hilgenberg, most recently Senior Vice President Manufacturing Engineering at the BMW Group. The organizational focus of the Car.Software organization is to be at the IN Campus high-tech hub in Ingolstadt.

“We are now starting the biggest revolution in the automotive industry. In a few years, a car’s operating system and its connectivity with a highly secure data cloud will make all the difference. This is why the strong positioning of the Car.Software organization as a cross-brand unit for software development at the Volkswagen Group is a key step into the future,” said Markus Duesmann. “Christian Senger has made a decisive contribution to establishing the Volkswagen Group’s strategic mission as a software-driven mobility company. Under his leadership, a powerful software unit has been created that can now enter the operating phase following its successful development. At the same time, the Group’s technological expertise has been significantly strengthened through technology partnerships, acquisitions and the recruitment of software specialists. I would like to thank Christian Senger for his pioneering work. With the upcoming handover to Dirk Hilgenberg, we will gain a CEO for the Car.Software organization who has extensive international experience in the integration of software products and technologies. In close cooperation with him, I will push this topic forward vigorously and at high speed.”

Full range of functions of the VW.OS in a lighthouse model from Audi

The full range of functions of the VW.OS operating system, for which the Car.Software organization is responsible, will be used for the first time in a lighthouse model from Audi that is to be developed in record time at “Artemis” – a new agile unit which, in close cooperation with the Car.Software organization, will facilitate the enormous acceleration of development processes.

Markus Duesmann: “The close cooperation with all brands and teams will be decisive for the success of the Car.Software organization. With my team at Audi, we are assuming a special responsibility as a premium brand. Because for many of our customers, premium is already defined today primarily through digital technologies that are perfectly tailored to their users. Our aim is for all brands in the Volkswagen Group to benefit from this pioneering role.”

Rapid progress with personnel expansion at the Car.Software organization

With the transition to the agile working mode on July 1, many specialists from the Group brands and companies were recruited to join the Car.Software organization. During the current transfer phase, more than 75 percent of the experts approached have so far decided to work at the new software unit. This personnel expansion will continue. By the end of the year, approximately 5,000 specialists could already be working together under the umbrella of the Car.Software organization.

As part of the personnel expansion in the Car.Software organization, the Digital Car & Services department of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is likely to be reintegrated into the core brand, as all the persons currently employed there will transfer to the Car.Software organization or, at their own request, strengthen other departments in the company.

Car.Software organization with a software map for all digital products

The focus of the Car.Software organization is on developing common software for all brands and markets at the Group. This is primarily about the VW.OS automotive operating system and the connectivity with the Volkswagen automotive cloud. In addition, the Car.Software organization will consolidate the technological platform solutions for data-driven business models and innovations at the Group. Investments of more than seven billion euros are planned for these tasks by 2025. The Car.Software organization will bring together international expertise. It has its organizational base in Ingolstadt and, with its subsidiaries, has other sites in Germany including in Berlin, Stuttgart, Wolfsburg and, in the future, Munich. In addition, the Car.Software organization has locations in Europe, as well as in China, the United States, Israel and India.

For Christian Senger, until now Volkswagen Brand Board of Management Member for Digital Car & Services and CEO of the Car.Software organization, new highly responsible tasks within the Volkswagen Group are being examined. Senger has successfully shaped the organizational development of the Car.Software organization and has made significant progress with important partnerships and acquisitions.


Short biographies of Dirk Hilgenberg and Christian Senger:

Dirk Hilgenberg

Dirk Hilgenberg graduated in physics. In 1999, he began his career as General Manager Plant IT Operation at BMW UK Manufacturing Ltd. In 2002, he moved to the BMW Group in Munich as Vice President Process for IT Operations and Engineering. In 2012, Hilgenberg was appointed Vice President Technology Assembly Engineering. In 2015, he moved to BMW US Manufacturing LLC in Spartanburg (USA) as Vice President Assembly. In 2017, Hilgenberg was appointed Senior Vice President Manufacturing Engineering at the BMW Group in Munich.  

Christian Senger

Christian Senger ist Diplom-Ingenieur und arbeitet seit vier Jahren im Volkswagen Konzern. 1996 begann er als Managing Director bei der Unternehmensgruppe Senger in München. 1997 wechselte er zu BMW in den Bereich Total Vehicle Package & Geometrical Integration. Ab 1999 arbeitete er dort an New Vehicle Concepts und ab 2003 an Geometrial Designs. Ab 2008 leitete er dort das Energy und ab 2010 das Total Vehicle Concepts Engineering. 2012 wechselte er als Senior Vice President für Systems & Technology Automotive zu Continental in Regensburg. 2016 trat er in den Volkswagen Konzern ein und zeichnete für die Baureihe e-Mobility verantwortlich. 2019 wurde Christian Senger in den Vorstand für Digital Car & Services der Marke Volkswagen Pkw berufen. Parallel trieb er den Aufbau der markenübergreifenden Car.Software-Organisation im Volkswagen Konzern voran, zuletzt als CEO.

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