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CEO: Volkswagen must become an accelerated tech company in order not to end up as Nokia

Volkswagen’s CEO Herbert Diess thinks that his company must change more quickly into a tech company where he draws parallels with how Nokia has fared. The new Car.Software division would determine the future of the Volkswagen Group.

There are good developments at Volkswagen, but the time of the classic car manufacturers is over, was Diess’s message to his managers on Thursday. Handelsblatt publishes a transcript of the speech of the chief executive. “Volkswagen’s future lies in the digital technology group, and only there. And we will need an extra catch-up to mobilize all the potential in the group for this.”

According to him, 2020 should show how agile and responsive Volkswagen has become. “Are we fast enough? The honest answer is: maybe, but it is becoming increasingly critical. If we continue at our current pace, it will be very tight.” The CEO referred to Tesla, which now has a higher market value than Volkswagen, according to Diess because the car will become the most important mobile device in the future thanks to network connectivity. He also drew a parallel with Nokia, which he thought was practically dead during the heyday, because it did not see in time that the function of the phone was going to change fundamentally.

Last year the Car. Software division started with five hundred employees and this year it should increase to around two thousand employees. Volkswagen develops around ten percent of the software it uses in cars itself, by 2025 that must be sixty percent.

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