VW Group CEO Diess to leave positions at Skoda, Seat; to focus on software development ops – report

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess will be stepping down from his positions as head of supervisory boards at the Skoda and Seat brands, Reuters reported.

Quoting German newspaper Handelsblatt, Diess was reported to be vacating his positions to focus on building a stronger in-house software development team. Diess will be succeeded at Skoda by technology head Thomas Schmall, while his position at Seat will be filled by Volkswagen Group head of procurement Murat Eksel, according to Handelsblatt.

Bosses at the Skoda and Seat brands are reportedly concerned that Diess’ departure from his positions would mean that the respective brands would become less of a priority at the wider Group level, an Autocar report suggested. The news of Diess shifting positions comes as more details emerge regarding Project Trinity, a future flagship model to be based on the new Scalable Systems Platform (SSP).

This will effectively combine the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) and Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platforms, and is meant to form the basis of a wider range of vehicles than the MEB and PPE platforms. The SSP is also being developed as a ‘flat’ platform to result in lower, sportier vehicles.

Volkswagen Project Trinity

Project Trinity is one of three ‘speedboat’ programmes aimed at accelerating technological development, and Volkswagen’s in-house development of software is instrumental to becoming technologically superior on this front, the automaker previously said; the other two projects are under Audi.

The ‘Trinity’ name comes from the three crucial components in the project – a new electronics platform and software, a simplified supply structure and a fully-networked intelligent production process.

In this direction, Volkswagen is effectively making its cars software-based products; the hardware specification between variants will largely be identical, and instead be differentiated by software functions that can be added on demand.

The eventual vehicle will be able to offer Level 4 autonomous driving through vehicle to everything (V2X) communication technology, though it will begin with Level 2 capability at launch, albeit with Level 4-supporting sensors and hardware in place.

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