Integration of external R&D know-how
In addition to the Group’s internal resources, the expertise of our suppliers is an important aspect of the development process and helps us expand our model range with innovative, sustainable vehicle concepts. Close cooperation at an early stage between internal and external capacity ensures that projects can be successfully completed to the standard required and within reduced development times. This allows us to draw on external expertise, particularly in creative processes, but also in virtual technologies and megatrends.
We put external capacity to good use, especially in support services and in downstream processes such as series production management. This expertise is also helpful in activities that are not customer-facing and generate improvements. As the expertise of subsequent system suppliers is particularly useful when developing modules and components, we are extending our cooperation with such partners for the benefit of both sides.
Employees contribute ideas
In 2010, our employees filed 1,969 patent applications, 1,250 of them in Germany and 719 abroad. Many of these innovations related to driver assistance systems and infotainment topics as well as to hybrid and bodywork technology. The large number and the technological quality of the applications showed once again that the employees of the Volkswagen Group have exceptional innovative strength.