VW Rports “Abnormalities” in New Exhaust Software
The car manufacturer VW have been noted in internal controls of the new exhaust gas software for diesel vehicles “abnormalities”. As a result, the company “immediately active” informed the Federal Motor Transport Authority, said Volkswagen on Sunday.
According to VW, these are diesel vehicles with 1.2-liter EA 189 engines. “In the short term and as a precautionary measure, a joint decision was made to suspend the ongoing implementation of technical solutions for diesel vehicles with 1.2-liter EA189 engines.” the company continues. “Appointments have already been agreed for the beginning of January in order to jointly drive forward the further examination and analysis.”
The Federal Ministry of Transport said the problem was known. “The process is under review at the Federal Motor Transport Authority.” The car manufacturer had admitted in August 2015 to US authorities to have manipulated the emission control of millions of diesel engines worldwide.
The government and the automotive industry rely on software updates as a key tool to reduce emissions relatively quickly. In many cities limits for air pollution are exceeded. Courts have therefore ordered driving bans for several cities, which are to be implemented in the new year.
Volkswagen introduces new remuneration model for top management
According to press release,The Volkswagen Group has also revised its top management remuneration system. The new model is based on the system used for the Board of Management, strengthens the Group idea and fosters cooperation between brands, regions and countries. In addition, the return targets of the Group are taken into account and a stronger link to share prices has been established. The main new features include greater emphasis on team performance and greater rewards for compliant, upright behavior; the system allows the possibility of taking individual wrongdoing into account in reducing remuneration. The new remuneration system applies from fiscal 2019.
Board Member for Human Resources Gunnar Kilian says: “The new remuneration system takes into account the change in our corporate culture. We are clearly placing the emphasis on joint performance. We are markedly strengthening team spirit and the Group idea by transferring the leitmotiv of our TOGETHER strategy 2025 to our management remuneration system and focusing on stable profitability and robust development of the Group. The Group, the brands and the regions will all be pulling in the same direction.”
For example, the personal performance bonus no longer forms part of the system. The objective of this change is to strengthen the team spirit and to reduce the emphasis on individual interests. At the same time, the Group idea is to be strengthened: Group targets will account for at least half of the variable target remuneration in the future. To date, only a third of the variable target remuneration has reflected the performance of the Group as a whole.
The new remuneration model is based on the structure of the remuneration system for the Group Board of Management. As regards the long-term bonus, members of the top management will be assigned virtual Volkswagen shares each year via a performance share plan (PSP). Only after three years will they receive a payment which will be determined on the basis of the increase in the share price and on earnings per share (EPS). This link between variable remuneration and the share price gives a positive signal to investors. In addition, the annual bonus will focus on return figures with operating return on sales (ROS) and return on investment (ROI) each being given equal weighting. The ambitious targets will be derived from strategic planning, regularly reviewed and, when necessary, revised by resolution of the Group Board of Management and the Supervisory Board.
In future the remuneration system will depend to a large extent on the success of the Group. This will provide prospects of attractive bonuses in years of business success and will entail an immediate reduction in bonuses in times of crisis.
The new system also provides for the possibility of reducing or even cancelling the variable remuneration element in the event of individual wrongdoing – with a view to fostering compliant, upright behavior. If serious wrongdoing is identified at a later date, it will also be possible for the employer to require the repayment of bonuses which have already been receive.
Volkswagen to take over telematics specialist WirelessCar from Volvo
The Volkswagen Group is acquiring a majority stake in the Swedish telematics specialist “WirelessCar” from Volvo with a view to making further advances in fleet connectivity. The Volkswagen Group is acquiring a 75.1 percent stake in WirelessCar. Completion is expected in the first half of 2019 and is subject to approval from antitrust authorities.
WirelessCar registered in Gothenburg was founded in 1999 and has been a wholly-owned subsidiary by Volvo since 2007. The Swedish company has a workforce of some 370 IT experts worldwide and is acknowledged as a leading specialist in vehicle connectivity. WirelessCar has its own technology platform and also develops digital services, including concierge and billing services (e.g. tolls) as well as safety and emergency services (e.g. remote diagnostics, breakdown services). Worldwide, some 3.5 million vehicles from various car manufacturers are connected via this platform.
The Volkswagen Group is using WirelessCar’s connectivity technology to drive the development of the digital ecosystem, where the Volkswagen brand is spearheading development for the Group in cooperation with technology partners. The goal is to provide full connectivity in future vehicle generations and develop value-added services for customers that they can access via the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. WirelessCar joins Microsoft and diconium as the third major technology partner involved.
Volkswagen is developing the cloud-based platform together with Microsoft, and designing a customizable marketing platform (service platform) for all digital services with diconium. More specifically, WirelessCar technology will enable safe and stable data exchange between the vehicle’s operating system and the cloud-based platform, and forming an essential basis for the future software architecture in the vehicle (Device Platform).
“Our aim is to develop the Volkswagen into a mobility provider with a fully-connected fleet”, Christoph Hartung, Head of Digital & New Business / Mobility Services at the Volkswagen brand, said. “Our customers will be able to use digital value-added services in their cars or on their mobile devices at all times. We are switching up a gear with this development and have gained WirelessCar as the third major partner. We are now really stepping on the gas and focusing on integrating the technologies.”
Martin Rosell, CEO of WirelessCar, said: “Volkswagen is our ideal partner for the next stage in our development. Volkswagen has the most ambitious future strategy for connectivity in the automotive industry. This aspiration is the perfect match for our vision to lead the automotive industry into the digital society. We are highly motivated and willing to play our part to make a difference.”