Andreas Tostmann 2007



Andreas Tostmann was born in Peine in Germany on 7 March 1962. He received his schooling at the local schools, where he matriculated in 1981. He completed his military service, then between 1982 and 1988 he studied Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Braunschweig. Subsequently he completed a diploma in Economic Sciences at the same university in September 1990.

His career at Volkswagen AG started when he was appointed in October 1990 as a specialist in the Consortium for Product Planning Management. In 1995 he became manager of Technical Project Management in Wolfsburg. In 1998 he started working in Manufacturing Management in Salzgitter, where he became plant manager in 2001. In January 2004 he was appointed as Managing Director of Volkswagen South Africa.

Under the leadership of Andreas Tostmann the company has increased its output, played a key role in promoting economic development and exports and has played a pivotal role in furthering education.  Mr Tostmann’s dedication to furthering education is demonstrated most clearly through the new Student Orientation Programme for Manufacturing Engineering, a vocational orientation programme which he implemented in 2005 at the NMMU, personally delivering a four-hour lecture to final year engineering students as part of the programme.

Realising the need to have the university and its engineering students focus on industry-related technology, Mr Tostmann made it his mission to address this. The result was the sponsorship and installation of a modern hi-tech laser facility within the Faculty of Engineering; the Built Environment and Information Technology by Volkswagen engineers. This will ensure that the NMMU can offer a new level of materials engineering research and development expertise in the future.                                            

Andreas Tostmann has been an active promoter of local and international student exchange programmes and has made Volkswagen an integral part of the NMMU/German exchange programmes. His frequent discussions with senior NMMU School of Engineering staff; hosting and sponsoring German educational staff and students; and making senior Volkswagen staff available, has demonstrated and set new parameters of collaboration.                                                                      

With Volkswagen’s support and local co-ordination, the Auto Industry Engineering Development Programme was launched with NMMU, specifically to promote the development of young, local black students in the field of mechatronics engineering. This will increase the number of engineering students (80-100), mainly from the NMMU, which Volkswagen hosts each year for practical learning.       

Some of the milestone events in the career of Andreas Tostmann have been the South African launches of the Touareg and the Golf as well as the Golf 5 export announcement in 2004, the Volksbus and the Laser Cell at NMMU in 2005, the Audi awards of distinction in 2005 and 2006, and the Car of the Year in 2005 and 2006. The establishment of the Volkswagen South Africa-DAAD International Chair in Automotive Engineering at NMMU in October 2006 was one of the major milestones in his career.

Andreas Tostmann, with his passion for and commitment to all things educational, coupled with his ability to make tangible contributions, has laid the foundation for a new era of industry co-operation and collaboration on an international level.   

In recognition of his substantial contribution to engineering at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, it is an honour for NMMU to confer the degree of Doctor of  Technology: Engineering (Honoris Causa) on ANDREAS TOSTMANN