Andreas Hinrichs
Volkswagen de México
View from the Top

Volume Models Debut Innovations

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 11:37

Q: How has the Tiguan Long Wheel Base (LWB) production changed Volkswagen’s priorities to ensure healthy operations going forward?

A: To ensure efficiency and competitive costs, we work with Volkswagen Group of America to define the best routes and vehicle delivery points. Recently, we integrated new railroad equipment called Automax, which is a wider and more secure container for the vehicles. We are also supporting outbound planning for Audi Mexico and intend to use the port of Lazaro Cardenas to export vehicles to the American West Coast instead of by train.

The Tiguan LWB will be the second model to be produced in the Puebla plant on the Modular Transverse Matrix platform. We gained enough expertise with the Golf VII to face the challenge of producing a second SUV based on this platform. After reaching 11 million vehicles in May 2016, the plant is producing 1,900 vehicles a day and preparing for a successful start to production of the Tiguan LWB next year. The construction of the body shop concluded at the end of 2015 and equipment and machinery installation is nearing completion. The first test body was built on June 10, 2016 to check the calibration of body shop equipment and processes. Our priority for next year is to ensure a successful start to production for this new model.

Q: How has Volkswagen’s Think Blue. strategy developed and impacted new projects?

A: With Think Blue. Factory., Volkswagen launched the first holistic environmental program in automobile production. Since its introduction, resources have been used more efficiently and emissions reduced in all Volkswagen factories around the world. From 2010 to 2015, our environmental impact has been reduced worldwide by 25.3 percent per vehicle or component produced. Volkswagen de México has contributed to this goal by lowering its main environmental indicators. Those limited were energy consumption, CO2 emissions, waste production, water consumption and solvent emissions. We generated 6.29 kilograms of waste per unit manufactured in 2010. In 2015, the waste generated was almost zero.

Q: How is Volkswagen collaborating with suppliers to achieve its connectivity goals?

A: Volkswagen was recognized by the Center of Automotive Management as the “most innovative high-volume brand” and as brand leader in conventional drive systems and car connectivity. The focus was on the Tiguan, Touran and Sharan. The jury of AutomotiveINNOVATIONS justified the award in the most innovative high-volume brand category by the fact that during the period of analysis, Volkswagen came up with 89 new elements as well as the most highquality innovations, including 15 debuts. The innovations rated highly were Park Assist, the City Emergency Braking function and the Traffic Jam Assist. The Volkswagen Group is continuing the digitalization of its brands. Our focus is always on our customers for whom comfort, safety and energy efficiency are crucial. Volkswagen has also nominated 55 strategic suppliers for 61 fields of competence under its Future Automotive Supply Tracks (FAST) initiative. The goal is to implement technological innovations even faster than before.

Q: What design changes shape the brand’s recent models?

A: To quote Klaus Bischoff Head of Volkswagen Design: “We have formulated characteristics in our design criteria that follow a clearly defined set of values representative of the brand. This includes the translation of brand values into design values, which we then put into practice. The issue of formal sustainability is also synonymous with the Volkswagen Design. It means the aspiration to provide timelessness and iconic quality, which we document in every one of our vehicles. We also set extremely high design precision, both on the exterior and inside, which the customer experiences as quality in every dimension. This aspiration extends through to the interface design and its operating philosophy or the digital user interfaces in the vehicle, which have an extremely high level of aesthetic quality at Volkswagen.”

The Volkswagen Group is planning a broad-based initiative in electric and hybrid models. It intends to launch more than 30 battery-powered electric vehicles over the next 10 years. The company estimates such vehicles could then account for around a quarter of the global car market