Uwe-Karsten Städter: from Volkswagen neophyte to Member of a Executive Board

Uwe-Karsten Städter was innate in Wolfsburg in 1956, finished an tutelage during Volkswagen and climbed adult a career ladder stage by rung. “I hadn’t designed it that way,” he says in an talk with Braunschweiger Zeitung. The 64-year-old, who retires this August, looks behind during roughly half a century in a automotive industry, describes a stream issues in buying and reveals what he loves about his home city.

Mr Städter, we set feet in a doorway during Volkswagen for a initial time during a age of 16. This year we will be 65 and will leave a Group after roughly 50 years. What has kept we during Volkswagen for so long?

Uwe-Karsten Städter: The sparkling tasks we was obliged for, a certain growth of a Volkswagen code and a Group as a whole. And also a good people we worked with. This desirous me time and again. Volkswagen is so sundry and successful during a same time. we owe a lot to a company. It done me, challenged me and entrusted me with several government positions.

Do we consider a career like yours – from neophyte during Volkswagen to Member of a Executive Board during Porsche – would still be probable today?

Städter: we would not order it out. But fitness plays a large part. You have to be means to work in a team, be passionate, tackle challenges. The horizon conditions now have, of course, changed. In any case, we never designed my career, even if no one believes me (laughs).

You have worked in purchasing for your whole veteran life. How has this area altered in new decades?

Städter: The measure of buying have changed. The multi-brand plan has played a vital purpose in this. The Group has grown strongly given a 1970s. This has also had an outcome on procurement. The purchasing volume is most higher, and many some-more people work in this area today. Digitalisation has supposing another boost. we can still remember my early days during Volkswagen: we had steel desks and dual employees common a write with a dial. Work processes have developed adult to a benefaction day and we have unequivocally enjoyed being a partial of that.

How does a miss of semi-conductors impact Porsche?

Städter: We have got by this utterly well. We have optimised and managed a prolongation of a vehicles in such a proceed that this has usually had a teenager impact on a prolongation so far. We coordinate things within a Group, yet it is still a formidable situation.

And what other effects has a coronavirus pestilence had during Porsche so far?

Städter: The pestilence has strike everyone. We generally felt it during a six-week prolongation shutdown final year. We yet confirmed reserve interjection to a multiple of coordination and organisation. Intensive communication with a suppliers was crucial: we were in consistent hit and were wakeful of all of a partners’ situations during all times. we asked my group to call a suppliers each day and find out how they were doing. And, of course, a Group helped: we closely concurrent coronavirus insurance measures in particular. We also common Group standards with suppliers.

How many suppliers have we mislaid due to a coronavirus pandemic?

Städter: Not a singular one.

And how do we consider a conditions of suppliers with courtesy to electric mobility and a phasing out of a explosion engine?

Städter: We are witnessing a mutation on a scale that we have not seen before. This is quite perfectionist for suppliers and use providers. They are confronting good challenges. Not usually in terms of a product portfolio, yet also in terms of financial resources. Around 25 per cent of a normal suppliers have already started changing to electric mobility.

How critical is it for German automobile manufacturers to turn some-more eccentric from Asian suppliers when it comes to electric mobility?

Städter: The mutation will dramatically change supply chains. Globalisation is irreversible. In procurement, we will increasingly act as managers who emanate value. Combustion engine record has shaped an determined component during suppliers for decades. The new structures are really different: new components, special tender materials and new technology. This means that we need to build adult imagination most earlier, for instance in terms of tender materials. The concentration is on sustainability, starting with a buying of cobalt and lithium for battery dungeon production. That’s because we already make certain we have efficient partners within a supply chain. In general, it can be pronounced that decisions are now being taken as to who will work with whom and how in a future. This is a outrageous task. Everyone, including manufacturers, contingency rethink their proceed within a value chain.

What do we think? How most of a risk is there that when redefining a supply chains, for example, sub-sub-suppliers will be concerned with employees operative in bad conditions? Such as in cobalt mining, for example.

Städter: I would not call this a risk, yet an opportunity. Thanks to synthetic intelligence, we are now means to code when something is not operative scrupulously during a supplier. We guard over 4,000 suppliers around a universe with an early warning system. That’s a start. We therefore know when we need to proactively intervene. We concentration on sustainability as partial of a targeted routine and also assistance suppliers to urge structures and processes. Ultimately, it is about people and satisfactory operative conditions. We are committed to this.

Is that enough? You can pointer a lot of agreements and have early warning systems in place, yet it’s usually a start, as we pronounced …

Städter: We also revisit suppliers on site and demeanour around. And not usually when there are signs that a manufacturer is carrying issues. We ourselves revisit a mines or let suppliers uncover us how they tan a leather.

What kind of automobile do we drive?

Städter: I always expostulate a automobile done by a code we am operative for: a Volkswagen during Volkswagen, a Seat during Seat and now a Taycan, a initial all-electric sports car, during Porsche. By a way, all of Porsche’s executive house members expostulate electric vehicles. We need to knowledge a vehicles on a highway to share a customers’ experiences.

And what do we cite to drive? An electric or combustion-engined vehicle?

Städter: Both! The pushing knowledge offering by electric mobility is simply fantastic. The extensive acceleration, a wordless coasting, a absolute pushing performance. This is a totally new and complicated proceed of mobility.

You would contend that, wouldn’t you?!

Städter: But we am being serious! we am also ardent about a emotive explosion engines. For instance a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. One thing does not order out a other, even yet we grew adult with explosion engines. But holding a event to assistance figure a all-electric destiny is really critical – and it’s a lot of fun!

Personal information

  • Uwe-Karsten Städter, 64, was innate in Wolfsburg in 1956.
  • In 1974, he started training as an industrial clerk during Volkswagen and subsequently lerned as an industrial business administrator.
  • Städter worked in several positions within a Volkswagen Group: from 1999 to 2002 he was Head of Chemicals Procurement during Seat, and in 2007 he became Head of Electrical Systems Group Procurement.
  • Since 2011, Städter has been on a Executive Board of Volkswagen’s subsidiary, Porsche – he is also obliged for buying during a sports automobile manufacturer.


Text initial published in Braunschweiger Zeitung newspaper.

Interview by Hannah Schmitz.