Volkswagen Group has named Thomas Mueller, a former Volvo and BMW executive, to head its research and development operations in China.
One of Mueller's key responsibilities will be to lead the introduction of VW Group's "ONE China" initiative, which brings together the r&d units of Audi, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Group into a new localized unit offering independence from European operations, VW said in a statement.
"We will no longer rely on carryover solutions from Europe. We are further strengthening our national r&d capacity to develop in China for China to better meet Chinese consumers' needs. In fact, in some areas, we will develop technologies for the rest of the world," said Stephan Woellenstein, VW Group's China CEO.
VW employs more than 4,500 employees on future technologies in China and the automaker hopes the establishment of its own r&d unit will help create synergies and speed up research into developments in areas such as electrification and autonomous driving.
Mueller, an Automotive News Europe Rising Star, joined VW Group in 2016 as head of Electrics / Electronics & Car IT at Audi, based in Germany. Prior to that, the German national headed electrics/electronics & e-propulsion at Volvo.