Volkswagen snags 200 BlackBerry employees in Germany

In a bid to become profitable, BlackBerry has sold off its research and development department to Volkswagen Infotainment, resulting in the shift of over 200 employees to the car company.

Volkswagen Infotainment, which deals with the interactive technology inside the dashboard for cars, will be assuming control of the various offices leased by BlackBerry at the Bochum University Center and the Design Support Lab in Bochum, Germany. The car maker has been actively working to bring connectivity between cars and other devices with the newly launched Infotainment division, and the recent acquisition will further boost their effort.

Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, a board member at Volkswagen said that, "Connectivity will be a key feature of the car of the future. Many customers are expecting connected vehicles of a new dimension in terms of convenience and road safety."

BlackBerry is believed to be moving towards its core business of smartphones and enterprise mobility software in order to become profitable by 2015. The smartphone maker has been battling critics and is still fighting to stay relevant in the modern smartphone race.

Accordingly, the company has taken the step to cut down on the automotive research, which is now only carried out from Canada, with the sale of the German department; neither BlackBerry, nor Volkswagen have revealed the terms of the deal.

Source: Volkswagen via Phys | Image via CBC

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3 Comments

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_dandy_ said,
So, at this point, why is there even still a business entity known as "BlackBerry"...or rather, RIM?

Good question, I'm surprised they just don't just kill off Blackberry and focus on getting QNX into more embedded systems, mobile device management software and really pushing their messaging service because right now I fail to see them ever clawing back the customers they lost (many leaving Blackberry willingly after Blackberry took their customer base for granted and allowed their products to stagnate).

All they have done is sell their R&D division in Germany (200 employees). As far as I know they still have a R&D research facility in Ottawa (I believe?). They are probably just avoiding duplication.