New realism is moving in at VW under Oliver Blume

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Instead of bold dreams, Volkswagen needs a healthy dose of realism.

(Photo: dpa)

Herbert Diess had his very own vision: the former Volkswagen boss wanted to align the car manufacturer with Tesla. The VW production should reach the same level of productivity as that of the US competitor, and when it comes to software, the Wolfsburg-based company should be playing in the top league in a few years.

But Oliver Blume has other plans. Under the new CEO, it is becoming increasingly clear that Diess has overwhelmed the company. Volkswagen is not Tesla, but a traditional car manufacturer that carries a lot of baggage from the past with it.

Instead of bold dreams, Volkswagen needs a healthy dose of realism – exactly what Blume decreed for the automaker in its first 100 days in office. Diess only pushed many projects and paid too little attention to their actual implementation. That’s what Oliver Blume has to do now.

VW has to stretch software development

Blume’s first decisions give hope that Volkswagen is now showing the necessary portion of realism. For its future vehicle generations, the group needs software that is actually operational. Blume saw that the Cariad group unit was overwhelmed with its previous software program. So the pace of development is slowed down and the software projects are stretched out in time.

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More realism is also good for autonomous driving. Many car manufacturers have now realized that fully self-driving cars will remain a dream of the future for at least the next ten years. Blume draws the consequences from this and slims down. The premium brands Porsche and Audi have to be content with what is technically possible and affordable – good assistance systems that temporarily make driving easier and more comfortable.

>> Read here: Volkswagen postpones Trinity electric model – new plant before the end

Blume does not shy away from making uncomfortable decisions. A final decision has not yet been made. But in the meantime nobody in Wolfsburg really believes that the new car plant for the Trinity project will be built at all. The new CEO considers the previously planned factory to be dispensable – and also accepts possible trouble with the city of Wolfsburg and the major shareholder Lower Saxony.

Giving up the Trinity factory altogether won’t be the last unpopular decision Oliver Blume will have to make for years to come. Why not also take Lamborghini public to get more money into the coffers of the group? Blume could just as well dissolve the Cariad software unit and bring back development sovereignty over the brands.

Volkswagen needs this new realism. Daydreams don’t secure a future.

More: VW boss Blume cashes in on the software strategy and reorganizes the group

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