In fiscal year 2008, the Volkswagen Group launched a large number of new models in its European markets, as well as in China and South America. Group Quality Assurance played a key role in the successful ramp-up of these models.
The key to customer satisfaction and loyalty to our Company lies in exceeding their expectations of our products. The perceived quality of the product is particularly important here, above all its reliability and appeal, but also the service provided for the product. Only if we positively surprise and captivate our customers in all these different aspects can we claim to provide them with superb quality in all brands and vehicle classes. This, after all, is the objective of the Volkswagen Group.
The intensive efforts being made throughout the Group to achieve this quality objective are clearly taking effect: the number of defects has fallen by 41% since January 2006. The Volkswagen Group’s vehicles rank among the best in the long-term quality tests carried out by the ADAC and TÜV. New models also consistently receive high marks.
A vehicle manufactured by the Volkswagen Group must be an all-round success if it is to convince our customers. Clients must be able to feel the quality and excellent value both on the outside of the vehicle and inside it, and also experience the precision and attention to detail. All of the Group’s brands are increasingly focusing on this appeal, which is very much determined by the use of innovative, high-quality materials. Here we are also setting standards for the future. The sixth generation of the Golf is the latest model to define itself by this quality standard. As the highest-quality vehicle in its class, it sets the benchmark for quality in the compact class – thanks, among other things, to its exceptional acoustic properties.
In 2008, we tailored quality assurance processes and organization to our customers’ standards even more efficiently where this was necessary, further enhancing service quality in the process. The improvement can be seen, for example, in the lower number of repeat repairs, which has increased customer satisfaction. As the service provided by our dealerships substantially influences customer satisfaction, we will also continue to improve our repair and servicing solutions in the future.
Challenges facing Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance is facing enormous challenges because of the growing number of customer-related features and innovations. Safety, comfort and electronics systems, as well as new drive technologies, are increasingly being included in vehicles. The integration of these systems must be tested early on in the concept phase so that reliability, safety and trouble-free functionality are guaranteed.
To provide our customers with an optimized product, Quality Assurance has been restructured and reorganized – including in the pre-series process. It now works more closely with the Engineering and Production divisions as well as with suppliers. Together with our suppliers, we assess and analyze material and tool concepts, as well as production processes. This is an important, useful procedure, especially when the suppliers are based locally.
New Group production facilities and sales markets are making it necessary to adapt products to the requirements of local customers without losing sight of Volkswagen’s customary quality standards. By introducing new concepts and taking fresh approaches – in cooperation with all divisions – we can meet the volume targets, the needs of the rapidly growing markets and the constantly changing customer requirements.