Volkswagen plans to shorten the development cycle of new cars from 54 months to 36 months to keep up with the faster development speed of Chinese competitors.
The upcoming Volkswagen ID 2 is one of three pilot models that will use a shorter 36-month development cycle, Volkswagen technical chief Kai Grunitz said at the Munich auto show. The first design sketches of the car were completed in December last year, and Volkswagen hopes to have it on the market by the end of 2025. “You can see from our Chinese competitors that this is doable,” Grunitz said. “We have concrete ideas of how to do it.”
Shortening development cycles will require Volkswagen to build new simulation tools and verification methods, Grunitz said. He added that the development cycle could be shortened by reducing various road validations, test cycles and cooling tests. For example, cooling testing can be shortened from two or three winters to one.
It is noted that Grunitz said that BYD is one of the Chinese competitors he admires most, which can produce high-quality cars in a shorter time. “They have a real platform strategy, low cost, very good of batteries and have built some excellent factories around the world.”
Volkswagen will also work more closely with suppliers to incorporate their technology and ideas into its own models, rather than “trying to develop everything in-house.”
Grunitz also acknowledged that there are further risks in ensuring that the quality of the cars is consistent and meets Volkswagen customer expectations, especially with problem-prone models such as the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen ID 3. “That’s exactly the challenge we face. We’re not going to hand our customers vehicles with thousands of faults like you saw with the Golf 8 or the ID 3. The question is how do we reduce the test cycles and maintain quality. “
Volkswagen will also look to not start from scratch every time it develops a new car, but carry over around 70-80% of models into the next generation.