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Personnel change! Official announcement of Volkswagen Group

2024-04-22 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


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On January 29th, Volkswagen China official announced that from April 1, 2024, Thomas Ulbrich, a member of the management board of Volkswagen brand responsible for the "new mobile travel" business, will succeed Marcus Hafkemeyer in charge of the group's research and development in China, promote the technology localization of the group's product portfolio in China, and serve as the chief executive officer of Volkswagen Group (China) Technology Co., Ltd. (VCTC). Han Hongming will take up a new position within the group.

Data show that Wu Bolui graduated from the University of Applied Technology in Hamburg, Germany, majoring in automotive engineering, joined Wolfsburg in 1992 to work in factory logistics, thus starting his career. Previously, he held an important position in Volkswagen Group (China) and is now a member of the Volkswagen brand management board, responsible for the new mobile travel business.

According to the official press release, Wu became head of FAW-Volkswagen logistics department in 1996; returned to the second section of the Wolfsburg plant assembly line in 1998 as head of logistics at Emden the following year; served as technical general manager and board spokesman at the Auto 5000 GmbH plant in Wolfsburg from 2001 to 2008; joined Volkswagen Commercial vehicles in Hanover in 2008 and was appointed Chief Manufacturing Officer.

Wu returned to China in 2010 and joined SAIC-Volkswagen as executive vice president of technology, responsible for R & D, production and logistics in five joint venture locations; joined the Volkswagen brand management board in charge of production and logistics from April 2014 to January 2018; and became a member of the management board responsible for electrification business from February 2018 to January 2021. He has been a member of the Volkswagen brand management board responsible for technology development since February 2021, and has been in charge of the newly established mobile travel department since October 1, 2022.

It is understood that Han Hongming became the chief technical officer of Volkswagen Group (China) on August 1, 2023. In April 2023, Volkswagen Group invested about 1 billion euros to set up a new company called "100%TechCo", which will cover vehicle development, parts development and procurement functions. At that time, Volkswagen Group announced that Han Hongming, chief technology officer of Volkswagen Group (China), would take up the post of CEO of the new company, with more than 2000 employees in procurement and research and development and a gradual reduction of the product development cycle by about 30 per cent.

Since 2023, Volkswagen Group has accelerated the process of electrification of layout, especially in the Chinese market. In addition to the new company mentioned above, in early December 2023, CARIAD, a software company owned by Volkswagen Group, announced a joint venture with Horizon, CARIZON, a Beijing-based joint venture that plans to recruit more than 300 employees by the end of 2023. The new joint venture will integrate Horizon's soft-hardware technical capabilities and CARIAD's expertise in intelligent body and software system integration to develop full-stack advanced driving assistance systems and self-driving solutions. At the end of December of the same year, it was previously reported that Volkswagen (Anhui) Co., Ltd. had officially put into production the pure electric model Cupra Tavascan for export to the European market, and another Volkswagen brand model for the Chinese market would be released this year.

Data show that Volkswagen Group delivered a total of 3.236 million vehicles in China in 2023, an increase of 1.6% over the same period last year. The Chinese market is still its largest single market in the world. Among them, the annual delivery volume of pure electric models was 192000, an increase of 23.2% over the same period last year. In terms of sales volume, fuel vehicles are still the unshakable sales base of Volkswagen Group in China.

In the Chinese market, Volkswagen is the most determined in the development of electric vehicles, and it is also a well-developed international car company in the field of joint venture electric vehicles. The first ID since the end of 2020. ID that Volkswagen is selling in China since the introduction of electric cars into China. Family models include the ID.3, ID.4CROZZ, ID.4X, ID.6CROZZ and ID.6X, but Volkswagen is still unable to compete with mainstream Chinese electric carmakers. Volkswagen's best-selling electric model in 2023 was the ID.3, with 75700 vehicles, followed by the ID.4CROZZ and ID.4X, with 37600 and 24200, respectively, according to retail data.

With regard to Wu Bolui's appointment as the head of technology research and development in Volkswagen China, the director of Volkswagen Group in charge of China business and the CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said: "Wu Borui is the group's first-class expert in R & D and software. He has rich expertise in key future technologies and has accumulated an extensive and good working network within the company and in the Chinese market. One of the priorities is to further strengthen cooperation with joint ventures FAW-Volkswagen, SAIC-Volkswagen and Volkswagen Anhui, and continue to promote our localized R & D in China.

According to the plan, Volkswagen Anhui will launch its first model for the Chinese market this year; Audi FAW New Energy will officially put into production its first model, Audi Q6 Lee Meltron, at the end of the year; and the medium-sized car jointly developed by Volkswagen and Xiaopeng, which belongs to the Chinese market, will be unveiled in 2026. By 2027, Volkswagen will launch 30 locally produced fuel and plug-in hybrid models, and at least 30 all-electric models in the Chinese market by 2030. In the field of fuel vehicles, all major fuel models will be transformed to new energy vehicles.

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