VW’s Michael Jost leaves to develop electric yachts

Key figure in German giant’s roll-out of electric vehicles leaves firm after a decade.

Volkswagen Group strategy chief Michael Jost, a key figure in developing the group’s expansive electrification plan, has quit the car giant – to focus on developing autonomous electric boats.

Jost joined the VW Group a decade ago, initially as Skoda’s product strategy boss before moving to the Volkswagen brand in 2015. He was promoted to head of group strategy in 2018, where he was heavily involved in mapping out the group’s electric vehicle plans, including the development of the MEB electric platform and the forthcoming Project Trinity.

Jost announced his departure on his website and hinted that home working during the coronavirus pandemic had prompted him to devote more time to his family.

At the same time, Jost said he would pursue his interest in the development of electric and autonomous ‘smart boats’, describing it as “a nautical passion that I will devote myself to together with the family.”

His website suggests he will take on a role with a boat manufacturer called Silent Yachts. The Austrian firm recently secured an agreement with the Volkswagen Group for the Seat brand to supply MEB platforms and electric powertrain components that will be utilised on a planned line of electric yachts.

That deal was explained on the Volkswagen Group website in an interview with Jost and Smart Yachts boss Michael Kohler. In that piece, Jost said the aim was to have an electric yacht using MEB components testing by 2022.

James Attwood

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