Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, recently spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at the UCF College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Approximately 70 people listened as Jacoby discussed the current status of the automobile industry, emerging innovations and trends, Volkswagen’s competitive strategy, and efforts to address sustainability challenges in a global market.
Jacoby cited environmental issues and differing global emission standards as some of the challenges the auto industry must deal with in the years ahead. He also addressed the potential of electric and battery-powered vehicles and “mobility sharing” public transportation solutions to reshape the market.
Jacoby discussed the “Punch Dub” ad Volkswagen ran during the Super Bowl. The ad is intended to evoke nostalgia for a game that started off with the original VW Beetle. Asked about the use of humor in the ad, Jacoby said, “We believe in strong brands. Consumers are not just making a rational decision. The majority of purchasing decisions are emotionally driven.”
Jacoby received his MBA from the University of Cologne in Germany. He started working at Volkswagen in 1985. In 2001 he began a stint as president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Europe, but in 2004 he rejoined Volkswagen as head of its U.S. division.