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The Economic Club of Chicago’s Auto Show Luncheon Features Keynote Address by Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. President and CEO Hinrich Woebcken

Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen and president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., delivered the keynote address at the annual Economic Club of Chicago (ECC) luncheon at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview.

Woebcken, who oversees all Volkswagen activities in North America, worked for 30 years in the automotive industry for Tier 1 suppliers and manufacturers prior to joining Volkswagen. A native of Germany, Woebcken earned a degree in industrial engineering from University of Applied Science in Rosenheim, Germany in 1985.

Addressing more than 900 members, guests, automotive journalists and manufacturers, Woebcken spoke about what it takes to manage a crisis, mount a comeback and build for the future at the same time.

Woebcken said he first had to rally his team around him, and then direct their focus toward two primary objectives: changing the way Volkswagen operates here in the United States, and launching an aggressive product initiative where the company plans to roll out at least two major new products each year.

Building on the company’s product launch plan, Woebcken helped unveil its flagship 2019 Arteon sedan at the Chicago Auto Show Media Preview on Thursday. Loaded with technology and safety features, the premium midsize sedan demonstrates that passenger vehicles are still vital in a largely SUV-driven industry.

Founded in 1927 to serve as a forum for Chicago’s business community, the ECC is one of Chicago’s finest business groups and is a decade-long partner of the Chicago Auto Show. The ECC has become a premier institution, providing elite members of the business world a platform to express and discuss economic, business and social issues. The ECC luncheon at the Chicago Auto Show is a cornerstone event of the Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, long featuring industry-leading guest speakers such as Dan Ammann, Bill Ford, Ralph Gilles, Yoshi Inaba and Jim Press.

For continuing coverage and a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow the Chicago Auto Show on social media. For more information about the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, please visit

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