In interview, Volkswagen brand software boss Christian Senger sees need for more digital capabilities

Christian Senger

The Volkswagen brand is the first car manufacturer to have a board member in charge of software. In an interview, Christian Senger talks about the sea change within the company, software as a core competency and changes in supplier management.

The Volkswagen brand is the first car manufacturer to have a board member in charge of software. In an interview, Christian Senger talks about the sea change within the company, software as a core competency and changes in supplier management. Excellence in mechanical engineering, traditionally a core strength at VW and other German carmakers, is no longer enough to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.

Mr. Senger, since March 1 you have been the first-ever board member in charge of software for an automotive brand in Germany. Would you say that your appointment signals a fundamental change in the industry?

Volkswagen is the first car company to create its own board-level function devoted to the development of vehicle software. But it’s not enough to merely announce a Volkswagen brand board member with these responsibilities. This is more than an appointment. We are building up a high-performance software unit that acts across brands and consolidates expertise. The reason is simple: We will continue to be successful only if we keep focusing on our customers and elevate their user experience: in the car, on and via their smartphone and in dealerships, at all the touch points. Software is the key to this approach.

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