GA Trade Sep-Oct Interactive - page 10

C O V E R S T O R Y
seewewill bring a vehiclewith true
VolkswagenDNA - but 100 percent
engineered and designed for theU.S.
and built in theU.S.
GAT:
The new SUV is not the only
expansion of theChattanooga
facility. TheNorth American
research center for Volkswagen
will be located in Tennessee as
well.What were the reasons for
creating aU.S.-based research
and engineering center?
MH:
The newNational Research&
Development and Planning Center
will be responsible for project
coordination in the NorthAmerican
market. The objective is to identify
customers’ feedback in themarket
and to integrate themmore expedi-
tiously into existing and planned
vehiclemodels. This will lead to the
creation of approximately 200
qualified engineers working in
Chattanooga. This decision is another
element in the investment program
that the VolkswagenGroup has
launched in the region.
GAT:
Volkswagen recently
purchased the BlackBerry
(Eigenname) Center in Bochum.
Why did you do this?
MH:
Correct, theVolkswagenGroup
is taking over BlackBerry's European
research and development center in
Bochum (Germany).With the newly
foundedVolkswagen Infotainment
GmbH, theWolfsburg-based automo-
tive group is further expanding its
expertise and capabilities in the field
of vehicle connectivity. As you know,
it is very important to offer top-notch
technology - particular in theU.S.
With its objective of interlinking
vehicles and the surroundingworld,
thefield of 'connectivity' forms a focal
point of research and development
within theVolkswagenGroup that has
seen rapid growth in recent years.
Connectivitywill be a key feature for
cars in the future.Many customers are
expecting connected vehicles of a new
dimension in terms of convenience
and road safety. Around the globe, our
customers' aspirationswill change
rapidly, leading to shortened cycles of
innovation for systems and functions.
In order to be able tomeet these
challenges, it is necessary for us to
broaden and expand our options
through additional know-how.
GAT:
As a global company,
Volkswagen has to cater to different
markets. How do the requirements
and consumer demands for U.S.
cars differ from the suite of products
sold inGermany?
VolkswagenChattanoogaPlant
10
GermanAmerican Trade Sep/Oct 2014
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