Volkswagen AG names Karl-Thomas Neumann, former chairman of German auto parts conglomerate Continental AG, to a new position overseeing its new electric vehicle development.

Officially, Neumann is named group chief officer-Electric Traction, reporting directly to VW Chairman Martin Winterkorn. The appointment is effective Dec. 1.

“Electric traction is a crucial technology for the Volkswagen Group and offers enormous potential,” Winterkorn says in a statement. Neumann “is a top-class expert on our industry and in this field. He will be instrumental in supporting our company to systematically further develop this particular area of innovation.”

Neumann, who has a background in electrical engineering, worked for VW in the late 1990s, heading research on electronics and electronics strategy. He later was put in charge of electrics/electronics for Volkswagen-brand passenger cars, before joining Continental in 2004.

Neumann was chairman of Continental from August 2008-September 2009, exiting nine months after Germany’s Schaeffler Group completed acquisition of a 49.99% stake in Continental.