- Apr 17, 2006
- Lake Forest, CA
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e2afceba-8ec8-...us_yahoo/auddev Steering wheel and front seats should be less than 10-15 varieties.
A steering wheel may seem like a simple component for a car. But when you buy a Volkswagen Golf, you have a choice of 117 different steering wheels. VW is now planning to cut that number to 43 as the scandal-ridden German carmaker looks at ways of saving money and boosting profitability. Many of the variations were just for slightly different shades of grey or an extra button or two on the wheel, according to managers. VW was aware of its cost problem even before the diesel emissions scandal broke in September. Martin Winterkorn, its former chief executive, started an efficiency program that current managers say will now be intensified. Much of the work is about reducing complexity, as with the steering wheels. Endless examples abound. VW currently manufactures two different types of internal lighting — one for left-hand drive cars, one for right. In the future, it will make just one. The front seats in the Golf will have 259 variations in the future instead of 341.