Features & Interviews

Five minutes with… Cian O’Brien, Managing Director, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK

28 September 2023 #Features & Interviews

What has the reaction in the UK been like to the ID. Buzz Cargo? 

The ID. Buzz is an important moment in time for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – it is our first factory built all-electric product.   Since its launch in March 2022, it has been a success winning the brand a raft of new fans, with strong pre order sales matching demand, and now with more vehicles on the road it is beginning to establish itself in the market.

The ID. Buzz has also been a hit with media, winning countless awards, praised for its iconic-design, spacious interior and electric powertrain. And it resonates with business buyers, too, with a number of businesses converting to ID. Buzz Cargo, including long-term partners, Miele and Ringtons.


How is Volkswagen’s van centre dealer network dealing with the increasing numbers of EVs sold? 

The transition to electric requires new tools and training, a new outlook and Volkswagen Group is ahead of the curve. Our Van Specialists have undergone hours of technical training to ensure they know the ID. Buzz better than anyone else.

Furthermore, knowledge sharing within the Group ensures learnings are shared quickly, making the customer journey as easy as possible.


What work is Volkswagen doing in the field of automated vans? 

Our ID. Buzz range is fitted with the latest safety technology such as Autonomous Emergency Breaking Front Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Monitoring; and Park Assist Plus with Memory function.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has also already conducted its first automated driving tests with passengers on board. A fleet of self-driving prototypes, based on the ID. Buzz, hit the roads in Munich, Germany and Austin, Texas in July 2023.


How important is diversity and inclusion to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles when hiring staff?

Without it, the Volkswagen Group would be at a standstill. We’re committed to continuously ensuring an inclusive culture at all levels, in all areas and all processes. Only then can we ensure that we are an attractive employer for our employees and for new talent.

Volkswagen Group UK works with five Employee Network Groups; Driven Women, Cultural Diversity, We Drive Proud (LGBTQ+), Parents+Carers and Disability+Neurodiversity, to create a more equal workplace where everyone can bring their whole selves to work.


Could more be done to accelerate EV charging infrastructure roll-out in the UK? 

History shows that legislation ultimately drives change, as seen in countries like Norway where the pace of the adoption of electric vehicles is strong.

Volkswagen has already rolled out its own initiatives to help with the transition to e-mobility. This includes charging network partnerships with Tesco and Pod Point; providing affordable zero-emission charging at home in partnership with Octopus Energy and Ohme.

Decarbonisation of transport is key to all net zero targets. As the first automotive group to sign up to the Paris Climate Agreement, we remain committed to achieving net carbon neutrality by 2050.

Cian O’Brien, Managing Director, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK

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