HAMBURG – Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume will outline a new software and vehicle platform strategy to the automaker's supervisory board on Dec. 15 as he tries to turn his predecessor's vision into deliverable goals, three company sources told Reuters.
Blume, who took the helm in September, has been developing the plans with the group's brands.
Predecessor Herbert Diess was lauded as a visionary for committing the automaker to an electric future after its image was damaged by an emissions cheating scandal. But Diess was also criticized for sometimes erratic leadership, and in particular for delays and cost overruns at software arm Cariad.
"First up is the software and the reality check in that area. Then you have to transfer the software to the products. Both have to fit together. Things that were not decided over multiple years before are now being settled very quickly," said one source close to company decision-making.
Sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters a new software platform, 2.0, which would enable so-called Level 4 autonomous driving and was due to be implemented across the fleet from 2026, will be pushed back to the end of the decade.
One of the sources predicted a 2028 start was likely.
The extra time will allow for the 2.0 platform to be perfected.
The 1.2 platform for premium electric models like the e-Macan and Audi Q6 e-tron will be implemented from next year, with the 1.1 platform currently in use in a wider range of the group's vehicles receiving updates in the interim.
The costs of the delay were not yet clear, the sources said.
VW Group's Audi brand is expected to lose the Artemis autonomous vehicle project under the new software strategy, Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche reported. Artemis, which aimed to develop a Level 4 fully self-driving electric car by 2024, has shown little progress amid delays in creating advanced new software at Cariad.
Handelsblatt, which first reported the Dec. 15 board meeting, has said keeping software competitive to the end of the decade under Blume's new plans would cost 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).
VW declined to comment.
Blume, who has been CEO of the Porsche brand since 2015 and retains that role as group CEO, is also reviewing Diess' plan for a new 2-billion-euro plant to build the VW's brand's Trinity electric model, a source told Reuters last month.