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Volkswagen Poaches Tesla Man To Lead EV Project

Former Model S and Model X program head joins VW.

Volkswagen announced it has hired away the former program manager for the Tesla Model S and Model X as the German giant aims to expand its electric and mobility solutions. Matthew Renna has been brought in to serve as Vice President for VW North America’s G4 team. Renna will be tasked with leading development of electric cars and mobility related projects, focusing in particular on the automaker’s MEB electric architecture.

MEB is set to underpin a litany of upcoming EVs expected from the VW Group over the next several years. According to the release, Renna’s responsibilities “will include product content, costs, financial results, timing, quality, launch, and risk management throughout the entire MEB product line life cycles.” Renna had previously been with Tesla since 2013, where he not only served as program manager for Model S and Model X, but also led key improvements on the autopilot & autonomous vehicle programs. Before joining Tesla, Renna held technical, engineering, and leadership responsibilities at Porsche Motorsport North America, and Honda Performance Development.

“Matt brings an outstanding combination of financial acumen, engineering depth and product program management—all within the electric vehicle space,” said VW North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken. “His experience and leadership will be a tremendous asset as we strengthen our electric vehicle position in North America and we are excited to welcome him to Volkswagen.” The announcement is a real coup for Volkswagen in terms of Renna’s technical prowess along with the promotional value of bringing in a key Tesla executive to help lead the company’s electric vehicle development. Look for the first series production MEB vehicle from VW to launch in 2020 under the I.D. subbrand.

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