Volkswagen Group has named Thomas Ulbrich board member responsible for the newly created new mobility division which covers the EV and software expertise of Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

Kai Gruenitz, currently head of development for commercial vehicles, will replace Ulbrich as board member responsible for technical development (TD) and Patrik Andreas Mayer, currently chief financial officer at VW Group Russia will be VW Passenger Cars brand CFO.

Meanwhile, Alexander Seitz was appointed executive chairman of Volkswagen Group South American region.

The management reshuffle takes effect on 1 October, 2022

“By restructuring the [board technology] functions, VW is creating a strong foundation for systematically driving forward the company’s transformation toward a software-oriented mobility provider,” the automaker said in a statement.

“With the newly created New Mobility division, we’re bundling the strategic action areas of electric mobility and software, thereby increasing our pace of innovation. The goal is to offer our customers top quality hardware and software that’s very easy to use,” said Thomas Schaefer, passenger cars brand CEO and head of the group volume brand.

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“As [development head for commercial vehicles, Gruenitz] made a significant contribution to the successful launch of the ID. Buzz.

“As [CFO], Seitz has successfully led the Volkswagen brand through choppy waters in the past two-and-a-half years and has helped put the company on a strong footing. With his many years of experience in South America, he is precisely the right man for this important market.”

The two e-series G4 (MEB platform-based models) and G3 are now grouped in the new mobility division, VW said. The G3 series is all models to be based on the new, scalable, group-wide SSP platform. The division also bundles the brand’s software capability.

The new board division will also work closely with CARIAD, the group’s automotive software unit, as part of that.

Ulbrich has also been named to CARIAD’s supervisory board in order to strengthen cooperation further. CARIAD develops software and its integration into the passengers cars division models.

Ulbrich started at VW in Wolfsburg plant logistics at Wolfsburg and, in 1996, became head of logistics at the FAW-VW JV in Changchun, China. Two years later he took over responsibility for assembly “segment II” at Wolfsburg before becoming head of plant logistics at Emden in 1999. His next move was to AUTO 5000 in Wolfsburg where he was technical managing director and speaker of the management board from 2001 to 2008.

He became management board member for production at VW Commercial Vehicles in Hannover in 2008 and then to the JV SAIC VW, China, as technical executive VP in 2010, in charge of development plus production and logistics at five locations. From April 2014 until January 2018, Ulbrich was VW brand management board member for production and logistics and next, from February 2018 until January 2021, responsible for e-mobility. He’s held hid current technical development division post at VW Passenger Cars since February 2021.