Volkswagen Powertrain, Technical Development Personnel Next To Get The Axe?

volkswagen powertrain technical development personnel next to get the axe

According to Germany’s Bild tabloid, the next Volkswagen personnel to be shown the door could be three people integral to powertrain development during the time when vehicles were fitted with “defeat devices”.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development; Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Board of Management; and Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Head of Powertrain Development at the Volkswagen Group are rumored to be the next executives and managers to be fired, though a final decision won’t be made until Friday.

Hackenberg joined Audi in 1985 after working for the Automotive Institute for seven years. From 2002 until 2007, he was responsible for electronics in Audi vehicles, along with superstructure and electrics development. In 2007, Hackenberg was appointed Member of Volkswagen’s Brand Board for Development. He became a member of Audi’s Board Management, responsibility for Audi’s technical development as well as the technical development of all the Volkswagen Group’s brands in 2013.

Hatz joined Volkswagen in 1989 after leaving BMW where he was a powertrain engineer. At Porsche, we was part of the company’s Formula 1 engine development efforts. He left the company in 1993 and returned to Volkswagen Group in 2001 where he was responsible for Audi powertrain development. He assumed that same responsibility with Volkswagen in 2007 and was appointed to Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of Research and Development in 2011.

In 2012, Hatz was replaced by Neußer as Head of Powertrain Development at the Volkswagen Group. Neußer joined Porsche in 1996, assumed responsibility for Porsche engine construction in 1998, drivetrain development in 2001, and powertrain development for Volkswagen’s passenger cars brand in 2011.

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  • Voyager Voyager on Sep 24, 2015

    Looking back, you wonder why it took so long to catch VW in the act. That it eventually would have come out, there's no doubt about it. Call it arrogance then that VW managers thought that they would not get caught.

    • VCplayer VCplayer on Sep 24, 2015

      Regulators are underfunded and probably a little lazy a lot of the time. Makes it easy to slip something sneaky through.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Sep 24, 2015

    With heads rolling throughout the VW chain of command, how much actual work do you think is getting done around VW's technical centers these days? Also with so much high level turnover, what projects are going to be delayed or destroyed? The competition probably isn't sitting around worrying about internal politics all day long.

  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?