Thomas Schafer to head Volkswagen from April 1

    Current Skoda head to take over as chief operating officer of VW. VW CEO Ralf Brandstätter to take over as head of VW Group's China operations from next August.

    Published On Dec 10, 2021 01:20:00 PM


    Thomas Schafer to head Volkswagen from April 1

    Current Skoda boss Thomas Schäfer is set to head Volkswagen from next year as part of a major reshuffle of the Volkswagen Group management team. Schäfer took over as Skoda chairman in August 2020, having previously served as the head of the VW Group’s South African operation. He will now take up his new role as Volkswagen’s chief operating officer from next April.

    • Skoda yet to announce successor to Schäfer
    • Herbert Diess to take direct control of VW Group's software division
    • Audi sales boss Hildegard Wortmann to join VW Group board

    Current Volkswagen cars CEO Ralf Brandstätter will join the main VW Group board and take over as the head of the group’s crucial China operation from next August. Skoda, however,is yet to name a successor for Schäfer.

    The move is one of several significant management changes confirmed by the Volkswagen Group’s supervisory board. Group chairman Herbert Diess will take direct control of Cariad, the firm’s software division, from the start of next year, succeeding Audi boss Markus Duesmann. Diess said the move will allow him to help “set important milestones in the development of our own operating system”.

    Hauke Stars, who most recently served on the board of German investment firm Deutsche Börse, has joined as the head of the group’s IT, with a brief to further push the firm’s development of digital technologies.

    Meanwhile, Audi sales boss Hildegard Wortmann will join the VW Group board, with a particular focus on developing new digital sales formats.

    While the moves announced by the supervisory board are significant, they are not as extensive as had been rumoured, including reports that Diess could be shifted from his post as chairman of the board.

    VW Group plans for India

    Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd is expected to bring in a number of models spread across multiple brands in the coming months. Starting with Audi, the luxury carmaker is set to launch of the Q7 facelift in India early next year, with more models expected to be in the pipeline. Skoda will launch its recently revealed Slavia midsize sedan next year, with VW set to follow suit with its own derivative of the same. Skoda is also set to launch the facelifted Kodiaq SUV early next year.

    Also see:

    Thomas Schäfer talks about localisation, the Kushaq SUV and more

    Volkswagen outlines plans to electrify its European factories

    Volkswagen Cars

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