Volkswagen CEO steps down, Porsche boss to take over

Blume joined the Volkswagen Group in 1994 and, since then, has held management positions for the brands AUDI, SEAT, Volkswagen and Porsche…reports Asian Lite News

Volkswagen Group chairman and CEO Herbert Diess is stepping down from his position at the company and will be replaced by Porsche CEO Oliver Blume.

Blume will take over as Chairman of the Group Board of Management and remains at the same time Chairman of the Board of Management of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. He will take over this position with effect as of September 1.

“Oliver Blume has proven his operational and strategic skills in various positions within the Group and in several brands and has managed Porsche AG from a financial, technological and cultural standpoint with great success for seven years running,” Hans Dieter Potsch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said in a statement.

“From the Supervisory Board’s point of view, he is now the right person to lead the Group and to further enhance its customer focus and the positioning of its brands and products,” Potsch added.

Blume joined the Volkswagen Group in 1994 and, since then, has held management positions for the brands AUDI, SEAT, Volkswagen and Porsche.

He has been the Chairman of the Board of Management at Porsche since 2015 and a member of the Group Board of Management since 2018.

The Supervisory Board also resolved that Group CFO Arno Antlitz will additionally assume the position of COO and thus assist Blume with day-to-day operations.

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Volkswagen to invest $20.38 bn to build EV batteries

The automaker will create a new company called Power Co under CEO Frank Blome and the production at the plant will start in 2025…reports Asian Lite News

German automaker Volkswagen will invest $20.38 billion to build electric vehicle (EV) batteries, creating 20,000 jobs and generating more than $20 billion in annual sales.

Volkswagen broke the ground for its first cell factory in Salzgitter, Germany in the presence of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz late on Thursday.

The automaker will create a new company called Power Co under CEO Frank Blome and the production at the plant will start in 2025.

“Volkswagen is showing how the future of sustainable, climate-compatible mobility could look. Together, we are laying the foundation for shaping this future to a significant extent in Salzgitter,” said German Chancellor Scholz.

Up to 2030, PowerCo will invest more than 20 billion euros, together with partners in the development of the business area, to employ up to 20,000 people in Europe alone.

“The battery cell business is one of the cornerstones of our new auto strategy which will make Volkswagen a leading provider of the sustainable, software-driven mobility of tomorrow. Establishing our own cell factory is a megaproject in technical and economic terms,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG.

The company will manage international factory operations, the further development of cell technology, the vertical integration of the value chain and the supply of machinery and equipment to the factories.

Looking ahead, further products such as major storage systems for the energy grid are planned.

The company said that following Salzgitter, the next cell factory is to be established at Valencia.

“Sites are currently being identified for three further cell factories in Europe. In addition to Europe, PowerCo is also already exploring the possibility of further gigafactories in North America,” Volkswagen announced.

Volkswagen also unveiled the prismatic unified cell announced at the Power Day in 2021.

In future, the plant is to reach an annual capacity of 40 GWh — enough for about 500,000 electric vehicles.

By 2030, the Volkswagen Group intends to operate six cell factories with a total volume of 240 GWh throughout Europe together with partners.

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Volkswagen addresses safety measures while driving

Volkswagen addresses child safety, benefits of timely travel and anxiety on the road based on recent research…reports Asian Lite News

Recent research commissioned by Volkswagen Middle East reveals that 40% of parents do not fasten their kids safely in the car because their kids do not like being strapped in; 84% of UAE motorists experience anxiety or stress when driving, while 82% recognise that they would drive more safely if they had left 10 minutes earlier. Volkswagen launches a Safety Campaign in partnership with RoadSafetyUAE, an advocate for responsible and safe driving in the UAE, to address three key findings based on this research – child safety, managing stress and anxiety on the road and journey preparation.

VW Road Safety Concerns Faced by UAE Drivers Infograph_EN

Child safety

34% of correspondents said they do not have a child seat, while 40% said they do not fasten their kid’s seat belt safely because their kids do not like being strapped in. 29% feel that they are a safe driver and therefore do not need to strap their child into a car seat.

As a family-focused brand, child safety is incredibly important to Volkswagen.  To help make child seats more fun for children and therefore encouraging its usage, Volkswagen has created a unique cuddly toy that attaches to the child’s seat belt.

Motorists facing stress and anxiety on the road

Over two thirds of respondents think that the high levels of anxiety and stress impact their driving; and this was more prominent with the female drivers and in the age group 35-44 years old. Only 16% of drivers stating they are never affected by anxiety or stress on the road.


Half the respondents articulated that listening to calming music, radio or podcasts helps overcoming anxiety. Additional measures mentioned included thinking about something uplifting, focusing on breathing techniques and engaging in conversations either on the phone or with passengers.

Based on this research, Volkswagen Middle East has partnered with Anghami, the leading music streaming platform in the GCC, to create a calming playlist to promote safer driving. Volkswagen will also host an exclusive webinar with Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Saliha Afridi at The LightHouse Arabia, focused on how drivers can manage their stress and anxiety for safer driving on the roads.

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Dr. Saliha Afridi, PsyD. (US), Clinical Psychologist and Managing Director of The LightHouse Arabia commented: “Good emotional regulation skills and healthy mental health practices are fundamental for safe driving. Whether it’s lingering feelings from a negative interaction or anger associated with something that happens on the road, having the ability to regulate your emotions, calm yourself down quickly, and not being emotionally reactive is essential for a safe drive.”

Leaving 10 minutes earlier

From the research, 23% of respondents said that they are more likely to speed when running late, while 18% admitting that they would tailgate. Overall, 57% recognised that that they would be calmer and drive less stressed if they were to leave a few minutes earlier for their destination.

Volkswagen aims to put this to the test with schools going back. Partnering with renowned influencers, Hattem Mattar and Ines Sebiane will challenge themselves to leave 10 minutes early for their school run and report back on how this impacted their journey and the valuable safety benefits to their followers and Volkswagen’s audiences.

VICTOR DALMAU, MANAGING DIRECTOR, VOLKSWAGEN, MIDDLE EAST: “For Volkswagen, safety is, and will always be, our top priority. Therefore we feel that, beyond producing cars with the latest technology on active and passive safety features, our responsibility is also to make drivers really aware of the importance of safe driving and helping them to achieve it. We have held already safety campaigns over the past years and we are now taking this further through our partnership with RoadSafetyUAE.”

Thomas Edelmann, Founder and Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE said: “When tackling any type of problem, you first need to be fully aware of it and then look at the measures needed to tackle it. Road safety is no different, and that’s why with this cooperation with Volkswagen we want to raise awareness of its importance and show drivers options to improve it.”

Volkswagen’s Safety Campaign will launch with the school’s opening on September 5th and is perfectly timed ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10th. 

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EU fines 5 car manufacturers $1bn over emission collusion

An official release said that the European Commission has found that Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen group breached EU antitrust rules by colluding on technical development in the area of nitrogen oxide cleaning…reports Asian Lite News.

The European Union (EU) has fined five-car manufactures, including BMW and Volkswagen, USD 1 billion for breaking antitrust rules on emissions.

“Today, the commission took a decision against five car manufacturers: Daimler, BMW, as well as Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, which are part of the Volkswagen group. The commission imposed a total fine of 875 million euros. These car manufacturers illegally colluded to restrict competition in the area of emission-cleaning technologies for diesel cars,” Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president of the European Commission told a press briefing on Thursday.

An official release said that the European Commission has found that Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen group breached EU antitrust rules by colluding on technical development in the area of nitrogen oxide cleaning.

All parties acknowledged their involvement in the cartel and agreed to settle the case, the release added.

Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said the five car manufacturers possessed the technology to reduce harmful emissions beyond what was legally required under EU emission standards. “But they avoided to compete on using this technology’s full potential to clean better than what is required by law.”

“So today’s decision is about how legitimate technical cooperation went wrong. And we do not tolerate it when companies collude. It is illegal under EU Antitrust rules. Competition and innovation on managing car pollution are essential for Europe to meet our ambitious Green Deal objectives,” she added. (ANI)

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