Volkswagen reaches 30mn milestone in deliveries in China
The Germany-based automotive company, Volkswagen, is accelerating its activities in China in a bid to re-energise its brand under the Move Forward initiative, Automotive World reports.
It has been announced that Volkswagen’s product portfolio has been extended with nine new models this year.
In 1985, the car manufacturing giants has delivered approximately 2,000 cars to Chinese customers in a market of around 5,100 vehicles. This is in comparison to 2018, when it was revealed that the company has just passed the 30mn milestone of Chinese customers purchasing Volkswagen cars.
“We reached a fantastic milestone this November, as we delivered the 30 millionth Volkswagen – a Touareg – to a customer in China,” said Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Brand China, speaking at Auto Guangzhou 2018. “And to remain the number one choice for Chinese car buyers, as we have been for many years, our product offensive will continue in 2019.”
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In a bid to provide Chinese consumers with a wider variety of choice, through a joint venture FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen, have highlighted their commitment to introduce five new models in 2019, which are set to also include 3 SUVs.
“Together with our joint ventures, we also will step up our efforts with our NEV offensive in 2019 – introducing 3 locally-produced battery-electric versions of well-known Volkswagen models,” added Wöllenstein. “We will also introduce one more locally-produced PHEV and the Touareg PHEV from Volkswagen Import.”
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.