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VW Adds Apple, Former Mercedes Exec to Head Up ‘Digitization’

Jungwirth reports directly to VW chief.

by on Nov.10, 2015

Johann Jungwirth leaves Apple to join Volkswagen to head up its "digitization" efforts. Jungwirth is a former Mercedes-Benz executive.

The battle for the best and brightest in the automotive arena continues to heat up as Volkswagen hired former Apple and Mercedes-Benz exec Johann Jungwirth to head up its new “digitization strategy department.”

While it’s not entirely clear what his duties will entail, he does report directly to new VW Group CEO Matthias Mueller. Jungwirth was at the tech behemoth for only a year. His move to the company was low key and he was given the title of director of Mac systems engineering. VW described his duties there as overseeing the “special projects group.”

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In layman’s terms: he played an integral role in Apple’s hinted-at-push to produce an autonomous electric vehicle. Recently, Apple has added other high-level auto executives, including former Fiat Chrysler quality guru Doug Betts. (more…)

VW Adding Another 800 Jobs in Chattanooga

Maker struggling to meet booming demand.

by on Mar.22, 2012

Workers assemble a 2012 VW Passat at the maker's assembly plant in Chattanooga.

Volkswagen will create another 800 jobs at its new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee as it pushes to meet soaring demand. That comes on top of previous plans that will now bring a total of 1,000 new workers to the factory that opened only last year.

The Chattanooga plant is the first the German maker has operated in the U.S. in a quarter century and is a critical part of the maker’s commitment to boost sales to record levels by 2018.  But equally significant has been VW’s decision to develop cars specifically for the U.S. market for the first time, including the new Passat sedan being produced in Tennessee.

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Sales of the new Passat got off to a fast start for the 2012 model-year, helping Volkswagen score its best monthly volumes in four decades in February.

“This is a clear sign that the plant ramp-up has been successful and is a validation that the Passat is of the highest quality,” said Frank Fischer, CEO of the Chattanooga operation.