Newsflash: Ferrari komt met 812 Versione Speciale

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+++ BMW and Mercedes-Benz have halted their partnership to develop AUTONOMOUS CAR TECHNOLOGY , having announced their plans to collaborate in February 2019. The German car makers said that, following an extensive review, they “have arrived at a mutual and amicable agreement to concentrate on their existing development paths, which may also include working with current or new partners”. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have halted their partnership to develop autonomous car technology, having announced their plans to collaborate in February 2019. The German car makers said that, following an extensive review, they “have arrived at a mutual and amicable agreement to concentrate on their existing development paths, which may also include working with current or new partners”. The joint statement added that the partnership could be resumed at a later date and that the firms’ approach to “safety and customer benefits in the field of automated driving remains highly compatible”. The announcement doesn’t affect the co-operation between BMW and Mercedes parent company Daimler in other fields. They joined forces with Audi in 2015 to acquire location and technology platform Here. Then in early 2019 they pooled their mobility services in a €1 billion joint venture, which includes car-sharing, electric vehicle charging and ride-hailing. Explaining the decision, the statement said: “BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG were unable to hold detailed expert discussions and talk to suppliers about technology roadmaps until the contract was signed last year. “In these talks, and after extensive review, both sides concluded that, in view of the expense involved in creating a shared technology platform, as well as current business and economic conditions, the timing is not right for successful implementation of the co-operation”. While no more details were given, the move shows the increasing importance of non-automotive partners to achieve technology-led goals. It also demonstrates the huge impact of the recent pandemic and the subsequent need for manufacturers to prioritise certain areas of their respective businesses to ensure profitability. BMW development boss Klaus Fröhlich said: “We have systematically further developed our technology and scalable platform with partners like Intel, Mobileye, FCA and Ansys. Our current technology generation offers very strong, sustainable potential: with extremely powerful sensors and computing power, our robust modular system puts us in an excellent position to offer our customers what they need for many years”. Mercedes research and development boss Markus Schäfer commented: “Our expertise complements that of the BMW Group very well, as our successful collaborations have proved. Next to decarbonisation, digitalization is a major strategic pillar for Mercedes-Benz. To prepare for the future challenges of a rapidly changing environment, we are currently also sounding out other possibilities with partners outside the automotive sector”. +++ 

+++ BMW is already working on the next-generation 7 Series but that doesn’t mean the current one would be left untouched for the rest of its lifecycle. Still on sale in many regions around the world, Bavaria’s flagship saloon is getting a new family of straight-6 diesel engines for the European market, which includes greener and more effective mills. That’s possible thanks to the addition of a 48 volt electrical system with an integrated starter-generator, which helps acceleration with a boost of 11 hp. BMW promises it’ll help the new 3.0-litre diesels deliver better fuel consumption of between 0.4 and 0.6 litres per 100 kilometres. Starting with the 730d and 730d xDrive (and their respective long-wheelbase versions), these models get an updated inline-6 diesel with an extra 21 hp for a total output of 286 hp, while the torque goes up by 30 Nm to 650 Nm. Thanks to the added oomph, the 2 saloons gain an improved 0 to 100 kilometres per hour acceleration in just 5.9 and 5.6 seconds, respectively. Moving to the more powerful iteration of the 3.0-litre engine, the 740d xDrive now offers 340 hp; up 20 hp compared to the previous version of the engine. Thanks to that, and the extra 15 lb-ft (20 Nm) to a peak of 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) between 1,750 and 2,250 rpm, the luxury saloon now needs just 5.0 seconds to reach 62 mph (100 kph) from a standstill, 0.2 seconds quicker than before. Both engines benefit from a new exhaust gas filtration system with an optimised diesel particulate filter, helping the diesel 7 Series meet Europe’s latest Euro 6d emissions standards. In addition, BMW says, customers will be offered with new customisation options for the exterior and interior, including the new BMW Individual Merino leather for the cabin in Smoky White/Midnight Blue/Black colour combo. +++ 

+++ FERRARI looks to be developing a hardcore, track-focused variant of the 812 Superfast with a prototype recently spied testing at the company’s Fiorano circuit. Considering that GTO and tdf versions of the 599 and F12 have launched in the past, it’s only a matter of time before a flagship variant of the 812 Superfast is also released. Just what the potent 812 model will be called remains a mystery. The car will be called the Ferrari 812 VS, Italian for ‘Versione Speciale.’ In all likelihood, the car will follow the Italian car manufacturer’s familiar formula of more power, less weight and improved aerodynamics. The car will undoubtedly continue to be powered by a naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine delivering somewhere in the region of 810-850 hp. That should make it an absolute weapon and it will have a unique tone compared to the current 812 Superfast. Improvements can also be expected to be made to the transmission to allow for faster shifts and improved response. On the weight front, a host of carbon fiber parts, potentially including similar carbon fiber wheels to the 488 Pista, will ensure the 812 VS is lighter than the regular model. We also expect to see aggressive new bodywork complete with a custom front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser. If current rumors are to be believed, Ferrari may cap production at approximately 799 examples for the global market. +++ 

+++ FORD hopes to give electric car owners extra peace of mind by releasing a clever feature named Intelligent Range that monitors electricity consumption in real time. The 2021 Mustang Mach-E will inaugurate it. Engineers started with the premise that range estimates are just that. How far you can drive on a full battery (or a full tank of gasoline) depends on a wide variety of factors and the number you see in the instrument cluster is rarely 100 % accurate. If you’re running low on gas, you can stop somewhere and fill up in a few minutes. If you’re running out of juice, finding a charging station may be more difficult, and you’ll to wait longer for a charge. Intelligent Range analyzes electricity consumption and factors in the driver’s behavior, the current and future weather conditions, plus data from other Mach-E drivers who choose to share it. It then predicts how much electricity the powertrain will use to complete a trip. Range goes down if the driver floors the accelerator pedal between every red light, for example, and Ford noted warmer and colder weather has an effect on how far an electric car can drive on one charge. If the number changes, users will see a notification in the instrument cluster. Ford told this technology works regardless of whether a destination is entered into the navigation system. Intelligent Range learns the driver’s habits on a daily basis, even if navigation isn’t being used. It notably detects if the car is regularly driven briskly and if the A/C is always on full blast, among other parameters. It also doesn’t require navigation information to factor the weather and crowd-sourced data into its real-world range estimate. “Changes in driver behavior and the environment can impact range, which is the reason other electric vehicles often experience significant range adjustments. Ford is tapping the power of the cloud to make estimates even more accurate, reduce the need for surprise charging stops, and help reduce customers’ range anxiety”, explained Mark Poll, the manager of Ford’s electric vehicle charging user experience, in a statement. Motorists who nonetheless run out of electricity will be able to count on a free roadside assistance program Ford is creating specifically for the Mach-E. They’ll be towed to their home, to the nearest public charger or to an EV-certified Ford dealership within 50 kilometres of where their car stopped, free of charge. If there’s nothing in a 50 kilometre radius, their car will be taken to the closest location available. Ford will improve its Intelligent Range feature via its new over-the-air updating system, which it will also use to beam early Mach-E customers the hands-free Active Drive Assist technology. It explained future updates will review information stored in the cloud to analyze real-time traffic conditions, road slope, the elevation changes on a given route, and the temperature at the driver’s final destination and adjust range accordingly if needed. +++ 

+++ GUMPERT is seeking assistance to bring the fuel-cell-powered Nathalie sports car to the market. The car was first previewed at the Geneva Motor Show last year before becoming official this past March. Drive is provided by a 15 kW methanol fuel-cell producing hydrogen from methanol and converting it into electricity. This power is then sent to 4 wheelmounted electric motors through a pair of synchronized 2-speed gearboxes that results in a total of 536 hp. The car can hit 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 300 km/h. “We feel left alone by politics and the economy”, Gumpert said in a recent statement. “We are looking for powerful partners with whom we can spread this new, ground-breaking technology. We can also imagine participation from the federal or state governments. Our technology offers long ranges with short refueling times, a simple infrastructure. It is CO2-neutral and completely harmless thanks to the use of green methanol”. “With the methanol fuel cell, we have managed to develop a safe energy concept from hydrogen. We generate electricity without risk and in an environmentally neutral way and even less risky than any petrol-powered car”. Supplying the car manufacturer with its innovative methanol fuel cells will be Danish firm Blue World Technologies. Gumpert itself is backed by Chinese electric vehicle start-up Aiways and intends on selling the Nathalie for €407,000. The first deliveries were penciled in for 2021 but it remains to be seen if that date is still feasible given the coronavirus pandemic. +++ 

+++ JAGUAR LAND ROVER will make a decision “in a few weeks” whether to further reduce its spending by possibly cutting into its model range, or simply by modifying future programs, said a top executive with the firm. JLR first wants to determine whether its global sales will rebound from the Covid-19 derived collapse, before making any more major decisions regarding its future, said PB Balaji, chief financial officer at Tata Motors (JLR parent company). Meanwhile, his colleague Adrian Mardell at JLR already stated that some new model programs have been paused, although he did stress that no programs had been significantly changed or canceled, with decisions on paused programs depending on the company’s finances. “In the case of JLR, we need to wait for a few more weeks to understand this better”, said Balaji when asked on a call if JLR would have to become smaller and leaner in case sales don’t pick back up. “We don’t want to react to newspaper headlines to decide long-term strategy because the decision will impact us 3 to 4 years from now. We will come back later in the year once we have figured out the speed of liquidity build and affordability and what that means for those programs on pause”. The British carmaker is already in the middle of a cost-cutting program, yet the plan is to add another 2 models to its portfolio by 2024, which would give them a total range of 16 vehicles, including the new Defender. Next year, the fully-electric Jaguar XJ will arrive too, as the first model on the MLA flexible drivetrain platform. However, JLR is actively reviewing the future of the Jaguar brand, as part of a project led by marketing boss Felix Brautigam. “It’s not an easy task. It is a very renowned brand, yet in some markets it’s not as strong as it ought to be”, added Balaji. “The team is focusing squarely on what is the brand positioning of Jaguar and how we are going to make it sharper. And how we ensure the portfolio we have is in sync with that position”. With the exception of the I-Ppace, sales of all Jaguar models dropped in the first 3 months of the year, with demand for the XE and XF sedans taking the biggest hit. +++ 

+++ In JAPAN , Ryota Kawamata hadn’t driven for more than a decade, but as the Covid-19 crisis worsened in May, his employer near Tokyo rented him a car so he wouldn’t have to use public transport. The 32-year old engineer, a self-described “poor driver”, now wants to buy his own car. “There are places where I can’t go without a car”, said Kawamata, who recently paid 30,000 yen ($280) for a 5-hour refresher course to hone his driving skills. As Japan emerges from its coronavirus lockdown, restaurants and offices are practicing social distancing, but public transport doesn’t require it. People like Kawamata, known as “paper drivers” because they have a licence but don’t own vehicles, are an untapped pool of potential car buyers. They could give Toyota, Nissan and others a small but much-needed boost amid a global slump in car-buying. Demand from lapsed drivers elsewhere, such as the United States, China and other countries where social distancing has become the norm, could also help soften the coronavirus blow for car makers. There are no statistics about the number of such drivers in Japan, but about 45 million people have gold-class driving licences, issued to people with no traffic violations for at least 5 years, according to Japan’s National Police Agency. Many of those drivers have simply not been on the road. Akitake Sawamura, who manages a driving school that offers refresher courses to inexperienced drivers, estimates that around two-thirds of gold licence holders are paper drivers, who have become more numerous over the years as more Japanese use public transit. Over the past 3 decades, car sales in Japan have fallen from a peak of 7.8 million vehicles in 1990 to 5.2 million last year. “There’s been a pick-up in people attending courses since the emergency was declared in April”, Sawamura said. Recent students, he said, have included a healthcare worker treating Covid-19 cases and an office worker who moved out of Tokyo and bought a car to get around his new town after he began telecommuting. In a sign that the roads may be more crowded, demand for parking, particularly in central Tokyo, has increased during the coronavirus crisis, according to Akippa, a smartphone service that searches for parking spaces. Demand for spaces more than doubled nationwide and jumped by 5 times in parts of Japan’s capital during the state of emergency declared in April compared with February, before the coronavirus crisis took hold, according to Akippa spokeswoman Ayako Ishikawa. “People are still commuting to work by car and they have been joined by others since the emergency ended”, Ishikawa said. The government has noticed the increase in drivers but says it is not concerned about congestion or other issues. “The number of vehicles on the roads is currently less than it was before the coronavirus pandemic began. Going forward there will likely be some impact”, said a roads bureau official at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. “We don’t yet know what that balance will be between new drivers and those not travelling because of teleworking”. Among the people returning to the road is Kawamata’s co-worker, Keisuke Kai, 25, who also drives a rented car to work. He enjoys the convenience, but says he is “hesitant” about buying a car because of the cost, including parking fees. Dealerships in and around Tokyo hope paper drivers will eventually take that step. “We would welcome any increase in the number of drivers on the road”, a salesman at a Toyota dealership told. +++ 

+++ MCLAREN is considering to sell a small stake of its Formula 1 team as it’s seeking for ways to raise capital to deal with the hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. The British carmaker has been looking at various alternatives for additional funding over the recent months, including mortgaging its historic car collection and its Woking-based Technology Center. Selling a minority stake of McLaren Racing, which includes both the IndyCar and F1 teams, will also help McLaren’s chances in challenging the top-3 teams in the 2021 Formula 1 championship, which is when the $145 million budget cap will be established. An unnamed source confirms McLaren’s plan to sell a stake in McLaren Racing of up to 30 %. The racing arm of McLaren has currently the same shareholders with the parent Group and selling a stake will require some sort of restructuring. The McLaren Group’s ownership structure includes Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Holding Company with a 56 % stake, Mansour Ojjeh with a 14 % stake, Michael Latifi with a 10 % stake and the remaining 20 % split between minority shareholders. A few weeks ago, the company announced its plan to cut around 1.200 jobs across all 3 business sectors, with the racing team’s staff to lose around 70 employees. McLaren Group continues its search for additional funding, saying that “is currently looking at a number of potential financing alternatives, secured and unsecured, of up to €310 million equivalent to strengthen its liquidity position”. +++ 

+++ A new MERCEDES S-Class is always a big deal, so we’re patiently waiting for the wraps to finally come off the W223. I now have some preliminary details to sink our teeth into what the head of development, Jürgen Weissinger, told. He admitted development hurdles corroborated with the coronavirus outbreak have pushed back the world premiere several times, but the revamped S-Class will finally be ready for an official debut early September at home in Sindelfingen. Development on the next-generation S started back in 2015 when work commenced on a new platform that will eventually trickle down to lesser members of the lineup. You can imagine creating new underpinnings for a flagship car is extremely expensive, but Mercedes will spread out the costs as a “large number of future models” will share the hardware, varying from the shell and safety systems to the seats and climate controls. We also get to learn from Weissinger the new S-Class has been developed to offer both rear- and allwheel-drive configurations, along with the usual AMG and Maybach derivatives. Not only will the V12 live to see another generation, but it will also be paired with 4Matic for the first time. While the head honchos initially considered dropping the powerhouse, the engine with a dozen of cylinders is sticking around. However, with the AMG S 65 not coming back, it means the V12 will only exist in the Maybach and possibly the armoured Guard versions that are due by mid-2021. Although the bread and butter of sales will come from mild-hybrid 6- and 8-cylinder engines, the next S-Class will once again be offered with smaller 4-pot powertrains in some markets, but not in Europe or North America. The smaller engines are going to be available primarily in markets with high taxes for bigger engines, as evidenced by China’s 1.5-litre CLS 260. Despite rumours claiming the demise of the standard-wheelbase model, the new S will once again be offered with a choice between 3 wheelbases: standard, long, and the extra-long Maybach. I won’t be too surprised if there’s going to be a new Pullman, but that remains to be seen. Weissinger also revealed the engineers have implemented rear-wheel steering to reduce the car’s turning circle, which is good to hear considering the wheelbase has been stretched by a further 4 centimetres compared to the outgoing model. At launch, Daimler’s flagship model will offer a level 3 semi-autonomous driving system, with a level 4 setup programmed to arrive later in the model’s life cycle. There will be several plug-in hybrid versions with electric ranges as high as 100 kilometres. Following its September premiere, the 2021 Mercedes S-Class will enter production at the new Factory 56 facility in Sindelfingen, which Mercedes claims will be the most modern car plant in the world. It’s the place where additional “upper and luxury class” models will be assembled later this decade. +++ 

+++ Research suggests new cars are still around 5 % less economical than official figures suggest, despite the introduction of a new, more ‘real-world’ test in 2017. However, the study found the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) system to be much more representative of REAL ECONOMY FIGURES figures than its predecessor. The study pitted 56 new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles against its independent True MPG test, which replicates a mix of urban, rural and motorway driving to determine a car’s real-world fuel economy. On average, the vehicles, which ranged from small hatchbacks such as the Renault Clio to larger SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, were found to be 5.4 % less efficient than their official economy would suggest. That said, the test did reveal that such a deficit is by no means uniform. Instead, some vehicles over-performed by as much as 15 % compared with their official economy figures, while others under-performed by as much as 20 %. The best performer was the Honda CR-V, which saw its hybrid powertrain return 15.9 % better than the official figure. The Mazda MX-5 also over-achieved, with its 2-litre petrol engine sipping 10 % less fuel than the WLTP cycle. At the opposite end of the scale, the 2-litre petrol-powered Volvo XC40 struggled, drinking down 22.1 % more fuel than the WLTP test suggested it would. And the 2-litre diesel Volvo V60 was almost as bad, missing its official economy figure by 19 %. Other vehicles to fall short of expectations included the BMW 320d, 1.5-litre diesel Ford Focus and the 2-litre mild-hybrid diesel Kia Sportage. There was some good news, though, in that the data revealed the new WLTP economy test, which was introduced to be more representative of real-world driving than the old New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) type approval test, fulfilled its brief. Although the WLTP test was an average of 5 % out, the NEDC test showed an average discrepancy of 20.2 % between its results and those achieved during the test. The worst performers, meanwhile, were falling short of their NEDC figures by as much as 40 %. “For years, most buyers have taken the official fuel economy figures with a grain of salt”, said supervisor Steve Huntingford. “Our research shows that while the latest test is more accurate, there are still large differences on some makes and models, which is why it’s important for buyers to do their research before buying”. +++ 

+++ RENAULT ’s incoming chief executive Luca de Meo said he was confident the ailing French carmaker, which has just launched major cost cuts, could deliver a positive surprise for investors after a period of faltering sales and margins. The former Volkswagen executive is due to take up the job on July 1, in the middle of an upheaval for the firm as it grapples with the coronavirus pandemic and reverses years of production expansion to focus on its most profitable models. Addressing shareholders at an annual meeting, De Meo said he shared a “sense of urgency” with teams at Renault to deliver on its restructuring. “I’ve always liked to go where there are challenges”, De Meo said, adding he was very conscious that Renault faced problems. “I know that with everyone’s help, we can make Renault one of the best turnaround surprises in your investment portfolio”. The coronavirus crisis has forced carmakers around the world to temporarily halt manufacturing, while dealerships also closed, compounded existing problems at Renault, which is also trying to relaunch an alliance with Nissan. De Meo is expected to announce a new strategic plan by the end of the year or early next year, which would include a vision for the models Renault wants to focus on. The Italian-born executive had to delay his arrival at Renault due to a non-compete clause in his former contract. He will work alongside the current interim CEO Clotilde Delbos and chairman Jean-Dominique Senard. De Meo recently asked staff to prepare him with memos on the group’s brands and their performance, people at Renault said, adding he had taken interest and been complementary about its Alpine sports car ranges for example. Several factories in France are under review, including the one that makes Alpine vehicles in Dieppe. Renault has not asked for European Union’s stringent carbon emission reduction goals to be pushed back in spite of the coronavirus crisis, chairman Jean-Dominique Senard. Senard, who was speaking at a shareholder meeting, added that the company aimed to increase production of electric vehicles in France 4-fold by 2024. +++ 

+++In SOUTH KOREA , Hwang Min-yong, a 37-year-old businessman, recently received his black Porsche Cayenne coupe with red leather seats after a 7 month wait and took it out for a spin on a scenic road overlooking a river near Seoul. “Porsche has been my dream car. I don’t really feel the effects of Covid-19 as my company is less affected”, said Hwang, who owns a small tech firm. South Korea’s swift handling of the Covid-19 crisis has provided a backdrop for a sharp increase in demand for premium and luxury cars, dealers and officials said, as wealthy people, insulated from many of the pandemic’s worst effects, want to show off on the road. “This year will be one of our strongest years”, Porsche Korea CEO Holger Gerrmann told, as the brand saw sales rise by 46 % to 3.433 vehicles as of January-May this year from a year earlier. That compared with 4.285 vehicles in all of 2018 and 4.204 in 2019. In many ways, experts say, the rising sales of imported cars illustrate the widening wealth gap during the pandemic in South Korea, which already has one of the highest inequality levels among advanced countries. Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, the monthly average income of the wealthiest 20 % of households rose by 6 % from January to March, while the poorest 20 % of households saw income unchanged. “The strong sales are testament to the rising consumption power of the top class despite the pandemic”, said Yang Jun-ho, an economics professor at Incheon National University. He said rich people benefited from rising stock and property prices, while vulnerable workers at mom-and-pop stores lost their jobs. South Korea’s unemployment rate surged to its highest level in more than 10 years in May, government data showed. But those who can afford it see luxury cars as an alternative to buying property, dealers said. “In the early 2000s, the price of a BMW 320 was the cost of a Gangnam apartment”, said Ro Chang-whan, a longtime dealer and exporter of used cars. “House prices have gone up enormously since and buying a car is a more realistic choice”. Sales of imported cars priced over 100 million won ($82,511) jumped 70 % to 15.667 vehicles from January to May this year, compared with a year earlier. Sales of small cars made in Korea fell by 10 % from January to April, according to the latest data. “Porsche and BMW are so popular that there are not enough of them”, said Kim Ryu-bin, a dealer of imported cars. BMW sales rose 46 % to 21.361 vehicles from January to May this year from a year earlier, while Lamborghini sales quadrupled to 115 vehicles during the same period, Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association data showed. South Korea has surpassed the United States as the top country for sales of the BMW 5 series from January to April this year, according to BMW’s South Korean unit. “As the virus eases quicker than expected, consumers are going ahead with purchases”, said Kim Hyo-hyun, a BMW dealer in the affluent Gangnam district of Seoul. Sales of Hyundai’s premium sedan Genesis G80, priced at roughly $50,000, surpassed that of the $30,000 Sonata last month and hit a record high. While demand is strong, supply constraints due to Covid-19 manufacturing shutdowns in Europe and the United States are expected to slow sales, dealers say. Kim said his store expects to see sales fall by one fifth next month. +++ 

+++ SSANGYONG is looking for a potential buyer after India’s Mahindra said it could give up its majority stake in the struggling company. The South Korean SUV maker has picked an advisor to tap markets for a new investor, a spokesman for the South Korean company said. Shares in the carmaker closed up 30 % after South Korean media, citing unnamed sources, said that China’s Geely and BYD might be interested in SsangYong, which is 74.65 % owned by Mahindra. A representative for Geely, however, said the carmaker has no plan to participate in any bidding for SsangYong. Electric vehicle maker BYD declined to comment. South Korean media said SsangYong had picked Samsung Securities to tap the market for interest, working with its global strategic partner Rothschild. SsangYong is burdened with high debt and reported its 13th consecutive quarterly operating loss in January-March. It suffered from sluggish sales even before the spread of Covid-19 due to tough competition in the SUV market. An executive at Mahindra said last week that the Indian company was willing to let go of its ownership stake in SsangYong. +++ 

+++ VOLKSWAGEN wants to use an open-source approach to refine elements of a software-based car operating system being developed by the carmaker, Christian Senger, its board member responsible for digital services and software, said. With the advent of autonomous driving, carmakers have been forced to link up radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors and connect them to braking and steering components, something which requires thousands of lines of software code. “There is a race to create automotive operating systems. We are seeing that many non-automotive players are building up competence in this area”, Senger told. Volkswagen board member Thomas Ulbrich said in March that Tesla has a 10-year start on rivals when it comes to building electric cars and software. “In future there will likely be fewer automotive operating systems than carmakers”, Senger explained. “The operating system is not something that we will control on our own. We will define its core and then quickly include open-source components, to create standards. This will create opportunities for partnerships”, Senger said. Adopting an open-source approach to development with external partners is a new approach, Senger said. “This is almost unimaginable for traditional carmakers. But this is the key breakthrough opportunity”. In January, Volkswagen launched Car.Software, an independent unit responsible for developing lines of code, with around 3.000 digital experts and a budget of more than €7 billion. By 2025 it wants to have more than 10.000 software experts. Senger said it has received many inquires from other carmakers about whether they can participate in the project. “We are in the process of looking at the opportunities”, Senger said, adding that Volkswagen wants to create a new system, rather than integrate legacy software from rivals. “This will filter out many who are not willing to do this”, Senger said about potential partners. +++

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