Integration of external R&D know-how
In addition to our own internal development capacity, the Volkswagen Group uses the expertise of its suppliers and development service providers in the development process so that it can systematically advance its new model rollout in the coming years. Thanks to the early and close collaboration of our internal and external resources, we are able to successfully complete projects with the quality we expect in reduced development times. Creative processes and the intensive use of virtual technologies are central to our integration of external expertise.
In meeting the challenges of the coming megatrends, the structure of the necessary core competencies plays an important role.
We already use the expertise of subsequent suppliers in the development phase of modules and components. Using external capacity also makes sense with support services and downstream processes such as series production management, as well as activities that do not face the customer but generate improvements. Volkswagen will therefore continue to build and expand its cooperation strategy for the benefit of the Group and its suppliers.
Numerous patents submitted by employees
The employees of the Volkswagen Group are an enormous source of innovation; the large number and technical quality of the ideas submitted demonstrates this once again: in 2011 our employees applied for 3,182 patents –1,418 in Germany and 1,764 abroad. The main focus of these innovations was on the areas of infotainment, driver assistance systems, electric drive technology and lightweight steel design.