FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group has poached an executive from Apple to become the director responsible for technical development at its commercial vehicles division. VW confirmed the hire on Wednesday.
Alexander Hitzinger, 47, will also take group-wide responsibility for VW's efforts to develop self-driving vehicles as well as offer 'Mobility as a Service' (MaaS), an initiative that seeks to keep drivers behind the wheel of its cars even if they don't own them.
Hitzinger had been working on Apple's Project Titan electric car project, having earlier worked at Porsche, VW's sports car unit. Prior to that, the German-born engineer worked in Formula 1 racing at Red Bull Technology.
The appointment, which takes immediate effect, comes as VW seeks to meet the challenge from Silicon Valley tech giants that are working on their own projects to develop fuel-efficient, self-driving cars.