Annual Report 2023

Group Management Report


The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest private employers. On December 31, 2023, we employed a total of 684,025 people, which includes the Chinese joint ventures. This figure represents a 1.2% increase compared with the end of 2022. The ratio of Group employees in Germany to those abroad remained largely stable over the past year; at the end of 2023, 298,687 (293,862) employees worked in Germany.

Human resources strategy and principles of the human resources policy

For the Volkswagen Group the transformation of the workforce is defined as a focus topic in the Group’s NEW AUTO strategy. We have also embedded the topic in our Group-wide "People & Transformation" initiative. The Group People Strategy Transform to Tech will play a key role in this context for our three brand groups – Core, Progressive and Sport Luxury. This strategy also enables the Volkswagen Group to continue with key, successful approaches in human resources policy. These include the pronounced stakeholder focus in corporate governance, comprehensive participation rights for employees, forward-looking training opportunities, the principle of long-term service through systematic employee retention and remuneration that is fair and transparent.

At the same time, the Group People Strategy is setting innovative trends. Employee experience is to be improved systematically, the teams strengthened as the most important units in the company’s organization, and modern forms of working, such as agile methods, are to be developed. Our aim is to become more attractive as an employer and take the performance of our organization to the next level.

In our Group People Strategy we have identified different dimensions with which we aim to address employees’ needs and expectations in a holistic manner. Together, these four dimensions make up the work experience, job satisfaction and, ultimately, the success of the work and the Group’s integration into society.

1) “Me” (Me@Volkswagen): We strive to systematically improve the employee experience and ensure that all employees have the best possible conditions in which to do their job. Starting with availability of contemporary, task-specific work equipment and tools, this also entails avoidance of red tape and overly complex process steps and includes state-of-the-art workspaces, opportunities for 360-degree feedback, individual health coaching, and training opportunities tailored to the individual.

2) “My team” (Teams@Volkswagen): As our transformation takes shape, the way in which teams in the Volkswagen Group collaborate changes fundamentally. Hybrid, digital and agile forms of collaboration become more important. They require office environments and working methods to adapt and facilitate collaborative, flexible work. The same applies to opportunities for digital collaboration.

3) “All of us at Volkswagen” (All of us@Volkswagen): The seven Volkswagen Group Essentials define the shared underlying values across all of the Group’s brands and companies: We take on responsibility for the environment and society, We are honest and speak up when something is wrong, We break new ground, We live diversity, We are proud of the work we do, We not me, We keep our word. Our corporate culture aims to create a sense of belonging for our workforce – an important aspect that is gaining in significance particularly in times of change and in an increasingly diverse environment. We believe in the importance of fair remuneration, which underscores our image of ourselves as an attractive employer. It is designed to motivate and to express our appreciation for the performance of each individual. In addition, we need to empower our leaders to support the transformation in a goal-oriented way and act as role models. Group-wide activities such as team dialogue and the role model program are designed to encourage employees to discuss the Group Essentials and incorporate them into all work processes. In the role model program, managers from all brands strive to improve the corporate culture together with their staff.

4) “Volkswagen in society” (We@Volkswagen and the world around us): We are aware that without long-term social legitimacy at our locations and in our markets, we will not be able to carry forward our business model in times of accelerated changes in values – this applies from an economic, environmental and social perspective. We see our employees as representatives of the Volkswagen Group who communicate our values to society. Together with them, we also assume responsibility above and beyond our core business – such as through foundation work and corporate volunteering (employee engagement). The topics of our social commitment range from education to culture, diversity, a culture of remembrance, climate action and environmental protection, and various local commitments.

The transformation has put us on a long-term path of change and renewal. It is important for us to regularly review whether we are maintaining the course we have set and achieving our objectives. The following strategic key performance indicators help us measure our progress and take remedial action if necessary:

  • Internal employer attractiveness: This indicator is determined by asking respondents, as part of the Stimmungsbarometer (opinion survey), whether they perceive the respective company as an attractive employer. The opinion survey is conducted for the majority of our Group workforce. The target for 2025 is 89.1 out of a possible total of 100 index points. A score of 86.0 index points was achieved in the reporting year, meaning that the target for 2023 of 88.8 index points was missed. 86.6 points were achieved in the previous year. For Volkswagen AG, the score for 2023 was 84.7 (87.1) index points.
  • Diversity index: As part of our Group-wide diversity management system, we report in this strategic indicator on trends in the proportion of women in management and the internationalization of top management as a percentage of the global active workforce (total workforce excluding vocational trainees and employees in the passive phase of their partial retirement), excluding employees in the withdrawal phase of their time asset bonds. In particular, this indicator underpins the objective of the Group People Strategy, which is aimed at contributing to an exemplary leadership and corporate culture. The proportion of women in management, comprised of management, senior management and top management (including Group Board of Management members), amounted to 19.2% in 2023 and was 1.9 percentage points up on the prior-year level. We aim to raise this figure to 20.2% by 2025. Our goal is to increase the level of internationalization in top management, the uppermost of our three management tiers, to 25.0% by 2025; in the past fiscal year this was 25.6 (23.4)%. The figures for the proportion of women in management and the internationalization of top management are placed equally weighted in the diversity index and the figures for the year 2016 set to an index value of 100. For 2023 we had planned to increase this index to 142. This target was exceeded with a score of 154 (140).
  • Implementation status of strategic HR planning: Strategic HR planning supplements operational HR planning by adding a qualitative, long-term and strategic planning perspective. It allows business units to identify qualitative and quantitative surpluses and shortfalls at an early stage and develop necessary qualification, training and restructuring requirements designed to help support the transformation. To map progress in strategic HR planning, we measure the percentage of the active workforce considered in the strategic HR planning from 2023. The data collected showed a coverage of 34.3%, which was just under the target of 35%.
  • Number of training hours per employee: Due to the transformation in the automotive industry, we are facing the biggest process of expertise and cultural change in the history of the Group. As a result, individual opportunities for change for employees are becoming an increasingly important success factor. Through economies of scale in connection with digitalization and through use of the learning platform Degreed, which is to be gradually rolled out across the Group, Volkswagen is improving the access to training opportunities. The goal is to increase the average number of training hours per employee in the Volkswagen Group – based on the active workforce (excluding employees in the withdrawal phase of their time asset bonds) – by 35% by 2030 to 30 hours per year. The baseline value is 22.3 hours and represents the average for the base years 2015 to 2019. These years were chosen as the baseline due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which temporarily curtailed training activities in 2020 and 2021. The target figure for the reporting year was 24.0 hours. With an average of 22.1 hours per employee, the target has not been met.

in percent, as of December 31, 2022

Employees by market (pie chart)

Training and professional development

At Volkswagen, our capacity for innovation and our competitive position largely depend on the commitment and knowledge of our employees, particularly during the transformation.

Volkswagen Group employees have access to a wide range of training measures organized according to vocational groups. These comprise all employees whose tasks are based on similar technical skills and who require related expertise in order to perform their jobs. A skills profile lays down the specialist and interdisciplinary skills for each job and serves as a guide for training measures. Formats range from further training in general Company-related topics to specific training or personal development programs. Thanks to these opportunities, Volkswagen employees are able to further develop and steadily deepen their knowledge throughout their working lives. The range of learning opportunities is being expanded continuously.

Degreed, the innovative learning platform that we have implemented, opens up diverse training opportunities for our employees. The platform creates a simple, customized learning experience and is aimed at supporting the results of strategic HR planning with appropriate training programs. Another focus is developing important and specific skills, for example in areas such as data analytics, software development, leadership, machine learning and artificial intelligence. In addition, Volkswagen’s Faculty 73 program is providing in-house training for the software developers who are needed for the digital transformation. The graduates from this program largely work in departments at Group IT, brand IT, Technical Development and CARIAD. The fifth year of this innovative transformation program started in November 2023. The program is designed for employees and also external applicants with an affinity for IT and an interest in software development.

Volkswagen AG, CARIAD and Škoda are also supporting the innovative programming schools in Wolfsburg, Berlin and Prague in cooperation with the non-profit École 42. In 2023, an average of 882 students in Berlin, Wolfsburg and Prague were learning from and with each other in this innovative training approach.

Vocational training and cooperative education

The core components of training at Volkswagen are vocational training and cooperative education (dual study programs combining university studies with on-the-job training). As of the end of 2023, the Volkswagen Group trained 17,081 young people. We have introduced the principle of dual vocational training at many of the Group’s international locations over the past few years and are continuously working on improvements. Once a year, Volkswagen honors its highest-achieving vocational trainees in the Group with the Best Apprentice Award. Even after their vocational training has been completed, young people at the start of their careers are encouraged to continue their professional development in our Company.


as of December 31, 2023; in percent

Age structure in years (pie chart)

Development of university graduates

Volkswagen offers two structured entry and development programs for university graduates and young professsionals. In the StartUp Direct trainee program, graduate trainees gain an overview of the Company while working in their own department and also take part in supplementary training measures. University graduates interested in working internationally can participate in the StartUp Cross program. The aim here is to get to know the Company in all its diversity and to build up a broad network. During their participation in the program, young professionals become familiarized with several locations in Germany and other countries by working in various departments. Both programs also include several weeks’ experience working in production.

Increasing attractiveness as an employer and development programs for specific target groups

A human resources policy that promotes a work-life balance is a major component of Volkswagen’s attracttiveness as an employer; in particular, it contributes to greater gender equality. We are working continuously to develop family-friendly working time models and to increase the number of women in management positions. For Volkswagen AG, we have also set targets for the proportion of women in management in accordance with German legislation. In line with the Gesetz zur gleichberechtigten Teilhabe von Frauen und Männern an Führungspositionen (German Act on the Equal Participation of Women and Men in Leadership Positions) and section 76(4) of the Aktiengesetz (AktG – German Stock Corporation Act), Volkswagen AG set targets for the period until the end of 2025 of 16.5% for the proportion of women in the active workforce at the first level of management (senior management, top management and brand Board of Management) and 23.4% for the second level (management). As of December 31, 2023, the proportion of women in the active workforce (excluding employees in the withdrawal phase of their time asset bonds) at the first level of management was 15.3% and at the second level of management it was 21.5%. The Group Board of Management and Supervisory Board are regularly informed of the figures achieved and the current target paths.

as of December 31
















Vocational trainees1





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Senior management





Top management






Excluding Scania and Navistar

In order to encourage women with great potential to advance within the Company, we have set targets relating to the development of the proportion of women in management for every Board of Management business area at Volkswagen AG. This approach is supported by many different measures ranging from cross-brand mentoring programs to agreement on target quotas for the management selection procedure and targets for the share of women among external hires.

The Group also has a large number of collective regulations in place to make it easier for employees to balance the demands and needs of work and home life and allow staff to arrange their own individual working model. In addition to flexible working hours and the use of working time accounts and flextime, these include variable part-time work and shift models, leave of absence enabling employees to care for family members, the possibility to convert salary components into paid leave, childcare services that are associated with the company or are company-owned, and remote working. “Meine AusZeit” is a program offered by Volkswagen AG that allows employees to take a self-financed leave of absence with an upfront payment from the Company.

Hybrid working – a combination of remote working and working onsite – gives employees greater flexibility in terms of when and where they work and is increasingly becoming the norm for the Volkswagen Group. To strengthen collaboration between teams in this changed environment, we offer accompanying knowledge transfer and training formats on the topic of virtual and hybrid collaboration.

The use of hybrid collaboration also poses new requirements for the design of office spaces. Against this backdrop, we are currently testing desk-sharing models in various office environments (for example at Volkswagen AG, Audi and Porsche) with the aim of designing more modern workplaces at Volkswagen. At production sites, too, we are investing in contemporary working environments. At our Wolfsburg site, for example, we are gradually modernizing several hundred social spaces, including with financial support from the modernization fund. Plants and departments can apply to the modernization fund, which distributes an average of €25 million each year. The fund has a total volume of €125 million, spread over five years.

The Volkswagen Group attaches particular importance to its employees being able to act with agility and entrepreneurial drive. Together with 30 publicly traded large companies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, we developed a skills matrix for training and professional development in the area of agile business processes under the umbrella of the DACH30 initiative. As part of these endeavors, the Volkswagen Group Academy set up an agility training portfolio.

Preventive healthcare and occupational safety

In addition to complying with legal requirements, we aim to protect and promote physical and mental health, taking into account psychosocial risks and their effects. We believe in providing employees with health care that is above the standard set by law in the country in question.

Employee participation

Codetermination and employee participation are important pillars of our human resources strategy. Volkswagen aims to promote high levels of expertise and a strong sense of team spirit. This includes employees’ opinions, assessments and criticism being heard.

We brief our employees extensively on upcoming changes so as to involve them in strategic decision-making as early as possible. When shaping labor relations to embody cooperation and social peace, we are guided by universal human rights and the standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Building on these principles, we have agreed various charters and declarations with the European and Global Group Works Council which set out the principles of labor policy in the Volkswagen Group as well as employee rights.

Employee participation in the Company’s success through the issuance of treasury shares in the form of an employee share program is not currently offered.

By means of the opinion survey (Stimmungsbarometer), the Company regularly gathers information regarding employee satisfaction and also surveys employees on our corporate culture. Based on the results, follow-up processes are implemented in which measures are developed and executed. The 2023 opinion survey covered 129 companies in 48 countries. Of the 588,072 employees in the companies surveyed, 464,749 participated. This was a participation rate of 79%. The sentiment rating calculated from 22 questions is the main parameter of the opinion survey and is used to help determine Board of Management remuneration, among other things. It is calculated from the total of all the related answers in the survey and, in 2023, stood at 82.5 out of a possible total of 100 index points. The score achieved in 2023 was thus just above the previous year’s figure, which amounted to 82.4 points.

In addition, we also encourage employee involvement by means of Idea Management. Employees have the opportunity to put their creativity and knowledge to use by contributing their ideas for making improvements, thus contributing to streamlining workflows, further enhancing ergonomics in the workplace, reducing costs and continuously increasing efficiency. The system also provides monetary incentives by offering set rewards.

Systematic assessment of companies in terms of their credit quality. Ratings are expressed by means of rating classes, which are defined differently by the individual rating agencies.
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Vocational groups
For example, electronics, logistics, marketing, or finance. A new teaching and learning culture is gradually being established by promoting training in the vocational groups. The specialists are actively involved in the teaching process by passing on their skills and knowledge to their colleagues.
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