Research and development risk

The automotive industry is undergoing a radical transformation process. Multinational corporations like Volkswagen are facing major challenges in the areas of customer/market, technological advances and legislation. Key aspects are the implementation of increasingly stringent emission and consumption regulations, taking new test procedures and test cycles (e.g. WLTP) into account, as well as compliance with approval processes (homologation), which are becoming increasingly more complex and time-consuming and may vary by country. On a national and international level there are numerous legal requirements regarding the use, handling and storage of substances and mixtures (including restrictions concerning chemicals, heavy metals, biocides, persistent organic pollutants), which apply to both the manufacturing of automobiles and the automobile itself.

The economic success and competitiveness of the Volkswagen Group depend on how successful we are in promptly tailoring our portfolio of products and services to the changing conditions. Due to the intensity of the competition and the speed of technological development, identifying relevant trends at an early stage and reacting accordingly is crucial.

Among other things, we therefore conduct trend analyses and customer surveys and examine the relevance of the results for our customers. We counter the risk that it may not be possible to develop modules, vehicles or services within the specified timeframe, to the required quality standards, or in line with cost specifications by continuously and systematically monitoring the progress of all projects. To avoid patent infringements, we intensively analyze third-party industrial property rights, increasingly in relation to communication technologies. We regularly compare the results of all the analyses with the respective project’s targets; in the event of variances, we introduce appropriate countermeasures in good time. Our end-to-end project organization supports effective cooperation among all areas involved in the process, ensuring that specific requirements are incorporated into the development process as early as possible and that their implementation is planned in good time.