The top manager led the development of world markets, while he managed to notice the complaints of users of specific cars. Criticism brought about fundamental modifications to the steering wheels of the new Volkswagens.
German-born Thomas Schäfer started working in the automotive industry thirty-one years ago. He spent a significant part of his career at Daimler, in 2012 he moved to the rival concern Volkswagen AG, where, through the management of several business groups around the world, he became the head of Škoda and then Volkswagen.
An ambitious manager can argue with the successful architecture of sales, production and supply structures in new and established markets, the business card of diligence is the planning or logistics of the development of international production of passenger and commercial vehicles. Schäfer continues the sleepy ride of the businessman, and from July 1, 2022, he took the helm of Volkswagen.
The new chairman of the board of directors in Wolfsburg maintains a high pace of development of the entrusted car company, in his latest outlook for the future he also hinted at very practical thinking, which could be distorted by the view of the top management director. In a written summary of VW’s further development, Schäfer announced a return to push-button control on the steering wheel.
The welcome cancellation of touch surfaces indicates the perception of criticism from ordinary users, the unwanted control of the radio probably bothered even influential officials at the head of the German car industry. Schäfer commented on the conservative measure by saying: “We are improving our portfolio and design and creating a new simplicity of operating our vehicles. For example, we are bringing back the button steering wheel! That’s what customers want from VW.”
An impractical solution near the fingers and palms began to complicate the driver’s life three years ago. Flat backlit segments integrate more and more user functions, but most people lack the tactile feedback to perform a specific operation without eye focus on the center of the steering wheel. Good old buttons or rotary controls are the better choice now confirmed from the highest levels of Volkswagen.
The Germans follow Honda, which abandons the capacitive control on the steering wheel in the same style. Not a single manufacturer has spoken about the return of proven controls to the dashboard, the space in front of the gear lever is also littered with touch surfaces unsightly covered with fingerprints as part of modern trends.