Volkswagen gearing up for next-gen Golf with supplier selection; investing $2.2B in family; 75 weeks and counting
The Volkswagen brand is gearing up for the production of the next generation of the Golf family—the Golf 8. Volkswagen plans to invest €1.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) in the model family.
In 75 weeks, the eighth generation of this bestseller in the compact segment will roll off the production lines at Volkswagen’s main plant in Wolfsburg, Europe’s largest car factory. The Golf is sold in 108 countries and has has sold more than 35 million units since 1974. The Wolfsburg plant currently produces more than 2,000 Golf family vehicles per day and is to remain the core production site in the future.
At the “Golf 8 Supplier Summit” just held at the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, the Board Member for Procurement Ralf Brandstätter and Karlheinz Hell, Head of the Compact series group, underscored the importance of the new generation for the brand and for the Wolfsburg plant. At the same time, they also indicated to the “Golf Community” the opportunities and responsibilities resulting from sustained partnership.
Brandstätter told the 180 top managers of the brand’s 120 key suppliers attending the summit that together with the I.D family, the introduction of the upcoming Golf generation will be the most strategically important product launch for the brand.
Following supplier selection, the next phase of joint work with suppliers will now start with a view to ensuring a trouble-free start of production for the new Golf. “We have reached the decisive second stage of the project,” Brandstätter said.
Volkswagen integrates its partners in the component supply industry intensively in the product creation process at an early stage within the framework of value sourcing. Suppliers contribute their ideas and technical solutions to vehicle projects in concept competitions.
Brandstätter explained the positive effects of the fact that 80 percent of all Golf 8 suppliers were already under contract for the current Golf: “This is a sign of considerable mutual loyalty, creates a broad basis of trust and provides greater security for planning.”
The key role in the development of the next Golf is played by Karlheinz Hell, Head of the Compact series group—Volkswagen’s largest series group—which reached a total global volume of 3.4 million vehicles in 2017. In the development of the next Golf, Hell will be responsible for ensuring that all departments cooperate in the optimum way and that the Golf makes its contribution to financial performance.
The next Golf will take Volkswagen into the era of fully connected vehicles with extended autonomous driving functions. It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will be the benchmark in terms of connectivity and safety.—Karlheinz Hell