The Volkswagen brand should become the world‘s most innovative high-volume brand and should have the best quality of its class.
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn
In order to fulfill this statement, Volkswagen created its long term strategy called „Mach 18″ which should be reached by 2018. In this strategy, VW sat up the following challanges:
Become a top employer
How? By recruiting the best specialists and university graduates, strenghtening personnel development and support, commitment of every individual, thinking of physical fitness and monitoring the employee’s health.
It’s really nice goal, but the most important thing, in order to achieve it, is to define the right methods. Volkswagen belongs to the companies with really centralised organisation structure, with many hierarchical levels. That could cruitialy complicate and slow down the decision making process. And according to the reality, it really does.
HR department plays important role in recruition process. It should advice the other departments, seeking for the workforce, how to create their requirements relevant. It’s not necessarly important, to find a student with the best grades, though it means he/she has been really diligent during his/her studies. More important is to seak for the people with many experiences, ability to learn fast, and sensibility to the working environment. The reality is unfortunately different.
There have been already many studies, concerning the cross-cultural differences of this giant. One would think, that people could learn from them, but … You can always hear the Germans complaining about Mexicans, or the other way around. Without any proper training and proper international HR practices it’s not going to change. Of course, you could say „But they already send their expats into other countries“, that’s true. And I would question you by „Is it going well?“. We have already seen the failure of Daimler and Chrysler merger in the last decade, mainly because of the wrong HR practices. And it belonged to the concern as well.
Volkswagen established its own internal academy, where the employees can attend different types of courses and workshops either on their own costs or free of charge. The main factory has also its own emergency facilities and numbers of various fitness, welness and healthcare programmes. According to this, we could say, that the staytment „thinking of physical fitness and monitoring the employee’s health“ is observed, but… There are always small things, which a top-manager can’t see from his point of view. Stress caused by everyday’s difficulties doesn’t help to improve the employees health. „That’s the rule, I have to keep with that“ is one of the least favourite senteces, the employees could here, either from HR department, Travel Management, or any other department.
In a bid to meet the commitment of every individual, VW started a research called „Stimmungsbarometer“, which costed the company significant amount of money and it certainly didn’t stand its purpose.
Along the customer’s satisfaction and quality, belong to the best carmanufacturers around the world
Volkswagen AG sees the potential in the „Big 5„, which is China, USA, Bazil, Russia and India and strives to strenghten the brand on already established markets. However, there are the regulations in Russia coming from the events of this year and lack of qualified personnel.
There is a huge ethical problem in cooperation with China, which doesn’t support the human rights so deeply and has poor working conditions. In Brazil and India VW deals with huge cultural differences, such as level of income, lifestyle and different work-approach. In the USA, Volkswagen doesn’t satisfy the customer’s needs. The main reason is that they closed their eyes and didn’t adjust the car according to the US customer, who’s behaviour is significantly diverse from most of the EU’s customers.
Also, at the time, there exist already many information concerning the itnernational business problems. Still, we can meet people in high positions in the whole concern, who are not suitable for international cooperation and who reject to adjust to the european business or cultural standards.
Sell at least 6,6 million cars in one year and increase the return of investment up to 21%
This goal goes hand to hand with the others. VW wants to create innovative, attractively priced vehicles in order to satisfy the regional markets, which requires at least detailed and relevant market research. In order to shorter the development period and cut the price, they want to reduce the number of variants currently available. Despite the current uncertain market situation, the performance of the Volkswagen Group has been significantly good. After 9 months operating profit grew by 10% to 9,4 billion EUR, the operating return on sales up to 6,4 % (Chinese joint ventures excluded).
We have turned in a solid performance in the year to date. However, we must continue on focus on laying the foundations now that will enable us to respond to the major technological and economic challanges facing the automotive industry. To achieve this, we have successfully launched our „Future Tracks“ program, which aims to sustainably increase our efficiency, flexibility and profitability, and make Volkswagen fit for the future
said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, in Wolfsburg.
Let’s see what will the upcoming 4 years bring to Volkswagen and how this automotive giant will be able to fullfill all these statements.*All the information used in this article come from the official PUBLIC resources, NO secret internal information have been used.