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Volkswagen Appoints Group Chief Officer for Electric Traction

The Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft has appointed Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann as the Group Chief Officer for Electric Traction with effect from 1 December 2009 and made him a General Representative. In the newly-created function of Group Chief Officer, he reports direct to the Chairman of the Board of Management, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn.

Electric traction is a crucial technology for the Volkswagen Group and offers enormous potential. Dr. Neumann is a top-class expert on our industry and in this field. He will be instrumental in supporting our company to systematically further develop this particular area of innovation.

—Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn

Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann studied electrical engineering at the universities of Dortmund and Duisburg and was awarded his doctorate in this discipline. His research work at Fraunhofer Institut in Duisburg from 1989 to 1993 specialized in vehicle electronics. He subsequently moved to Motorola Semiconductor as an engineer and head of strategy for the automotive industry.

Neumann joined the Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg in 1999 where he headed electronics research and electronics strategy, later also assuming responsibility for electrics/electronics at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, before becoming a member of the Executive Board, Automotive Systems Division, at Continental AG. Neumann was Chairman of the Executive Board of Continental AG from August 2008 to September 2009.



So where is the Volkswagon EREV?? HEV?? PHEV?? They're very far behind.

Henry Gibson

Hydraulic hybrids are good too, so put him in charge of hydraulic traction as well until he becomes air-head too if they decide to use the Scuderi hybrid engine. ..HG..


"So where is the Volkswagon EREV?? HEV?? PHEV?? They're very far behind."

They actually manufactured the Audi Duo plug-in hybrid diesel back in 1998. Small numbers certainly made it onto public roads in public hands, but it didn't sell well at the time so it was discontinued. In a way that puts them at least 13 years ahead of GM, BYD, Toyota etc in the PHEV race.


Volkswagen knows they have dropped the ball as leaders. Now, their CEO is justifying his company's failure to be a major participant in electrification. Lots of reasons for this - mostly based on VW investment in ICE technology and diesel in particular.

"Dr. Martin Winterkorn, the Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen AG, said that VW would introduce its first electric car in 2013 and that it will be based on the same as the Up! New Small Family concept that was unveiled in 2007 He didn't talk too much about the technical specifications of that VW electric car, but rather warned people against the evils of "electroc-hype", estimating that electric vehicles would have a "global market share of 1 to 1.5% in 2020."

"Global" means nothing without acknowledging leading markets. If Volkswagen cared about climate, electrification, transformation to sustainable energy - they would be leading. They are not. Japan and the USA are.

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