Schaefer gave two examples of new ways in which brands are working together.
1. Skoda is leading development for the new generations of the VW Passat and Superb midsized cars. The new Passat and Superb will be built at VW Group's factory in Bratislava, Slovakia, starting next year.
2. Seat and Cupra are responsible for development of VW Group's new family of small battery-electric cars for the VW, Skoda and Seat brands. They will be built in Spain.
Further projects of this kind are planned. "We have already seen that something like this works,” Schaefer said. “It works with the right people and the right structures."
He said there is still enormous potential for synergies. "The brands are all still very independent today, which is not bad in principle," he said, "but we want more cooperation and are in the process of jointly establishing the guidelines for this."
Among other things, this includes common targets for the brands in the volume group.
"In the future, we will define targets for the entire brand group and no longer targets for the individual brands," Schaefer said.
Since the first quarter, therefore, greater emphasis has already been placed on the key financial indicators of the brand groups.
Besides being responsible for VW Group's volume brands on the automaker's management board, Schaefer will also become head of the VW passenger cars brand on July 1, moving to VW Group's biggest division by vehicle sales from Skoda. At the VW brand, he succeeds Ralf Brandstaetter, who becomes the new head of VW's China operations on Aug. 1.