Synergies and Alliances

Leveraging synergies increases efficiency

A number of studies during the reporting period proved that Volkswagen AG is investing more than any other company in research and development. In order to make even better use of these resources in the future to contribute to the Company’s success, additional synergies are being leveraged by way of cross-brand cooperation to develop technologies. To ensure this, a Group Board of Management Technology Committee was formed; it defines the efficient development and implementation of core technologies in the Group that make us competitive in the long term. This relates in particular to strategic key technologies that a brand on its own could only finance with difficulty. In addition, the individual brands use our modular toolkits, which ensure that we can benefit from the synergy effects that exist both between models in one series and across all series and brands.

Pooling strengths with strategic alliances

The Volkswagen Group is systematically pressing ahead with research into and the ongoing development of high-voltage battery systems for electric and plug-in hybrid drives in cooperation with expert battery manufacturers. We continued and intensified these cooperative projects in 2013. VOLKSWAGEN VARTA Microbattery Forschungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, which we formed in 2010 with VARTA Microbattery GmbH in Ellwangen, successfully continued its work and achieved important research results in the field of electric vehicle batteries in the reporting period.

Our collaborative projects with the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab – as well as with other national and international partners – are also in the area of battery research.

We continued our cooperation with Daimler AG in 2013 to produce the Crafter; this arrangement will continue until 2016.