Volkswagen plans job cuts, further launch delays at software unit – manager magazin

One of the top automakers in the world, Volkswagen, has revealed a big change within its Cariad software division. Two thousand jobs will be eliminated by the corporation as part of a larger reorganization strategy. The car industry as a whole as well as Volkswagen’s software initiatives will be greatly impacted by this choice.

VW logo at 2022 New York International Auto Show Credits: Reuters

The Restructuring Plan:

Volkswagen’s board of directors has greenlit a restructuring plan for its software unit, Cariad. This move is in response to the unit’s persistent challenges, including budget overruns and missed targets for model and software launches. The restructuring plan involves cutting 2,000 jobs over a span of two years, from 2024 until the end of 2025. This substantial workforce reduction is expected to help streamline the operations and improve the efficiency of Cariad.

Software Architecture Delays:

Volkswagen’s highly anticipated software architectures are being delayed, which is one of the main effects of the reorganization strategy. There will be a 16–18 week delay in the introduction of the new software architecture, dubbed as 1.2, in the Audi Q6 e-tron and Porsche Macan. Furthermore, a comprehensive redesign is underway for the next generation architecture, 2.0, which was initially scheduled for release in 2025. The introduction of new cars and the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies into current models are probably going to be impacted by this software architecture delay.

Redevelopment of Scalable Systems Platform:

Another significant aspect of the restructuring plan is the redevelopment of the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP). Volkswagen had intended to base all future models on this platform, starting with the new electric Trinity. However, this platform is now being redeveloped to align with the company’s revised strategy. This shift reflects Volkswagen’s commitment to making its software and technology offerings more robust and adaptable to changing industry dynamics.

Works Council Approval Required:

While the board of directors has approved the restructuring plan, it still requires the endorsement of the works council. The works council has previously negotiated job guarantees for workers until mid-2025 and is concerned about the lack of concrete information regarding which positions will be cut in terms of structure and tasks. The works council is hesitant to accept a blanket approach to job cuts and seeks more clarity on the implementation of the plan.

Cariad’s Transformation Plan:

Since the summer, Cariad’s CEO, Peter Bosch, has been working on a “comprehensive transformation plan” to reposition the business. Despite the difficulties Cariad has encountered, Bosch’s direction is to restore the unit’s trajectory. The last stages of the transformation planning are underway, and once a resolution is approved, it is anticipated that appropriate bodies will be notified. This demonstrates Volkswagen’s dedication to reviving its software division and guaranteeing its long-term prosperity.

Companies Involved:

Volkswagen: As one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, Volkswagen plays a pivotal role in the automotive industry. The restructuring of its software unit, Cariad, reflects the company’s dedication to software and technology advancements in its vehicles.

Cariad: Cariad, Volkswagen’s software unit, is at the center of this restructuring plan. The unit was established under former VW group CEO Herbert Diess but has faced budget overruns and missed targets. The restructuring aims to resolve these issues and position Cariad for future success.

Audi and Porsche: The delay in the implementation of software architecture 1.2 will impact Audi and Porsche, two of Volkswagen’s prominent subsidiary brands. Both brands have been looking forward to integrating advanced software systems into their vehicles.

Possible Impact:

Improved Efficiency: The job cuts and restructuring at Cariad are expected to result in a more efficient and streamlined operation. This could lead to better software development processes and more timely product launches in the future.

Delayed Technological Advancements: The delays in software architectures and the redevelopment of the Scalable Systems Platform may hinder Volkswagen’s ability to stay on the cutting edge of automotive technology. Competing automakers may gain an advantage if they can deliver new features and capabilities more swiftly.

Labor Relations: The need for approval from the works council underscores the significance of labor relations in Volkswagen’s restructuring efforts. The company will need to collaborate effectively with the council to navigate the job cuts and ensure minimal disruption.

Originally posted 2023-10-28 13:21:03.