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Platooning tech in an MAN truck [Image: MAN Truck & Bus]
Volkswagen Group IT and MAN Truck & Bus AG are setting up a software development center in Lisbon. The new facility will focus on cloud-based software solutions to further digitalize corporate processes and connected vehicle systems.

Around 300 IT specialists will be employed there in the medium-term. Besides software engineers, the team will include web developers and UX designers.

Martin Hofmann, Volkswagen Group CIO, outlined in a statement this week: “We want to recruit highly qualified, highly motivated IT specialists in Portugal… We are transferring the success story of our Berlin digital labs to Portugal: combining exciting tasks with the most advanced agile working methods of the IT scene.”

Volkswagen Group already has a presence in Portugal, where its Autoeuropa factory builds the T-Roc, Sharan and SEAT Alhambra models and employs 5,900 people, but this decision demonstrates how the city of Lisbon is positioning itself as a growing global tech hub – as well as a shift in focus for traditional manufacturing industries.

MAN CIO Stephan Fingerling said: “We are gradually moving away from being a commercial vehicles manufacturer with a focus on hardware to become a provider of sustainable and intelligent transportation solutions… Since 2017 our customers have been able to access the corresponding cloud-based services with any new MAN truck in Europe as standard. The new IT center in Lisbon will propel us considerably further on this journey.”

MAN is part of VW's Truck & Bus division. In a restructuring announced last week, VW said it is preparing its commercial vehicles operations for an initial public offering (IPO).

-Farah Alkhalisi