The Volkswagen Group has taken the broom to the boardroom of Cariad, its troubled software development division that has caused many car projects to be delayed.
Peter Bosch, most recently the head of manufacturing for Bentley and presently a board member for VW’s North American electric pickup and SUV brand Scout, has been appointed as Cariad’s CEO. He will start in his new role on June 1 this year.
In addition to running Cariad, he will also be in charge of the division’s finance, purchasing, and IT functions.
As reported recently, the only current Cariad board member to retain their role will be Rainer Zugehör, who will continue as Cariad’s chief people officer.
The new Cariad board will consist of only four people, including “two acknowledged software experts”, but it’s unknown who these people are. Volkswagen said their names will be announced “in the near future”.
While the management team is being changed, Cariad’s focus has not. It is still tasked with developing a new end-to-end electronic architecture for all Volkswagen Group’s brands, as well as laying the groundwork for the “development of software-defined vehicles”.
Delays to former project have caused the launch dates for the upcoming Audi Q6 e-tron and Porsche Macan EV to slip. The Macan EV was originally due to be unveiled in 2022, but has since been pushed back to 2023 and, now, 2024.
Problems for the latter are delaying the roll out of Level 4 autonomous driving software to 2028 at the earliest, and has similarly pushed back the launch of the new SSP vehicle architecture that’s meant to replace the existing MEB and upcoming PPE platforms.
These issues reportedly had Volkswagen’s brands pushing for greater software autonomy, but this has apparently not been granted.
Instead, Oliver Blume says Cariad will continue with the 10-point plan he outlined in September 2022 when he took over as the CEO of the Volkswagen Group, including “sharpening Cariad’s core competences”, updating brand interfaces, releasing “realistic [release] sequences for software architectures”, and intensifying “technology partnerships with strong tech players”.
Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Blume confirmed the company is looking for new roles for the current Cariad CEO Dirk Hilgenberg and the rest of the existing Cariad management board.
Cariad was founded by Herbert Diess, during his tenure as the automaker’s CEO, to bring together and centralise all of the Volkswagen Group’s software development activities.