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Volkswagen named most innovative car manufacturer of the decade

Last week saw the tenth presentation of the annual AutomotiveINNOVATIONS Awards for exceptional innovative achievement in the automotive industry. The Volkswagen Group emerged as one of the evening’s big winners, securing the award for “Most Innovative Car Manufacturer 2015” as well as receiving a special award for “Most Innovative Car Manufacturer of the Decade”. 

Volkswagen Group developers also achieved first place in the categories for “Networked Vehicle”, “Vehicle Concepts”, “Conventional Drives” and “Safety Systems”. 

The AutomotiveINNOVATIONS Awards are presented each year by the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) in cooperation with the auditing and consultancy firm PwC.The Volkswagen Group stands for superior technological expertise and a wide portfolio of innovative brands. This was the conclusion of the latest report by the CAM, which this year again names the Wolfsburg group as the world’s most innovative automotive company. The Group’s innovative strength over the past decade was also commended in the study. 

The official explanation by CAM and PwC for the award acknowledged that “1251 individual innovations, 212 of which were world firsts, have been developed by Volkswagen in the last ten years. Highlights among these include the XL1, a platform for new technology.

Dr Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Board Member for development of the Volkswagen brand and head of drivetrain development of the Volkswagen Group, said: “The key to a company’s success is its innovative strength. We will continue to extend our technological leadership and meet the technological challenges of the future with sustainable products.”

Volkswagen Group secured the award for best manufacturer in the “Conventional Drives” category. Among other things, the study commended the high proportion of engine innovations with start/stop and recuperation technologies that facilitate to reduce fuel consumption by an average of 14 per cent. Moreover, the wide range of efficient engines also finds its way into the Group’s various brands very quickly.

The Volkswagen Group also reaffirmed its pioneering status in the “Safety Systems” category, thanks to its numerous driver assistance and safety systems. Special mention is also made of the current Passat’s highlights, which include the world’s first Emergency Assist system.

The Volkswagen Middle East model range includes a number of technically-perfected models, including thenew Touareg which offers sophisticated, state-of-the-art, passenger-centric technologies, including a post-collision braking system, a city emergency braking system and a “PreCrash” proactive passenger protection system;and Start-Stop technology with a coasting function ensuring greater fuel savings.

The new 2.5L Jetta also offers extensive proactive and reactive safety equipment including up to six airbags as standard equipment in the base model (two newly designed headthorax airbags near the upper side window offers even greater protection against being ejected from the car in a rollover accident, two front airbags and two side airbags in front).

Commenting on the award, Thomas Milz, Managing Director, Volkswagen Middle East said: “Our success at the AutomotiveINNOVATION Awards 2015 is a progressive step forward to achieving our goal of becoming the world’s most innovative volume automotive brand, and demonstratesthe success of Volkswagen in the democratisation of innovative technology.

“We believe genuine innovationimproves people’s lives,which is why we are dedicated to developing technology that iseco-conscious, of the highest standard, easy-to-use and intelligently designed.”

The CAM study also reveals a clear lead of the Volkswagen Group in presenting the most innovations in the “Networked Vehicle” category as well. The control concept vehicle Volkswagen Golf R Touch in which a number of touchscreens replace the conventional controls also came in for praise.

The study also gave a positive rating in the field of “Vehicle concepts / body”. In the current Passat the use of lightweight metals in the bodywork and chassis has yielded savings of up to 85 kilograms in weight. 

The Center of Automotive Management (CAM) in Bergisch-Gladbach (Germany) is an independent institute for empirical research on automotive and mobility issues that conducts extensive studies together with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on an annual basis. This year’s analysis covered 18 global automotive groups with a total of 53 brands. For the past ten years, the CAM has been assessing new developments in vehicle technology to identify future trends and innovation profiles of the global automotive companies across a range of different categories.

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