GER - VW to separate components business

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Similar to Volkswagen's Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles brands, Components is to become an independent corporate entity under the umbrella of VW AG from January 2019.

"The realignment process which is currently in progress is focusing on aspects such as changes in the structure of the business areas, slimmer management and board systems and a group-wide added value strategy," the automaker said in a statement.

Group and VW components chief Thomas Schmall said: "The realignment will make us even more efficient and competitive. We are preparing ourselves for the approaching new era of mobility. Investments for the new electric components must be borne by our present core business. We are therefore working at full speed on a group-wide added value strategy based on investment and cost optimisation. This will ensure the future viability of components and safeguard jobs in the long term."

Group Components, with 56 plants and about 80,000 employees worldwide, has included the development and production of vehicle parts from engines, transmissions and electric motors through to steering systems and lightweight parts.

VW has now decided to group global components activities together in an independent corporate entity Group Components to improve efficiency and optimise investments "with a view to ensuring a coordinated entry to e-mobility".

Since 2016, the units has improved production and administration processes, developed shop floor management for uniform communications between management, foremen and employees and implemented all the objectives of VW's Pact for the Future.

Five-member management team

The management team for the future independent corporate entity is now complete. It will be chaired by Thomas Schmall with Gerd Muller-Enghausen responsible for financial management, Wolfgang Fueter for human resources, Mark Moller for development and Stephan Beyse for purchasing. A supervisory board with representatives of the group's management boards and works councils will provide support for the realignment.

Appointment of business area managers

The management structure of the business areas is to be realigned and reinforced on the basis of the principles of the series groups. The business area managers, who will have a cross-brand function and will be independent from the individual plants, will be responsible for the coordination of global plants and their strategic orientation.

In each of the five business areas, the different departments such as development, procurement and production planning will cooperate closely at an early stage to consistently strengthen innovative power and competitiveness.

The engine and foundry business area is to be managed by Herbert Steiner, previously head of components at the Audi plant in Gyor, Hungary.

The current plant manager at Kassel and head of the transmissions area, Thorsten Jablonski, is to be responsible in future for the transmissions and electric drive systems business area.

The chassis business is to be managed by Otto Joos, who was previously plant manager at Brunswick.

Heads of e-mobility and seats will be appointed soon.

The managers of the 56 components plants will be responsible for the competitiveness of their production facilities. As part of the realignment, plastics technology will be assigned to VW brand production.

New plant managers at Kassel and Brunswick

New plant managers have also been appointed for the components plants at Kassel and Brunswick: Olaf Korzinovski, currently general manager technical responsible for the component plants for dual-clutch gearboxes at Tianjin and Dalian, is to be the new manager at Kassel.

Werner Gose is to manage the Brunswick plant. He is currently responsible for production line 1 at Wolfsburg