Report: VW CEO expects to earn less this year image

Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn, the highest-paid top manager among Germany’s biggest companies, expects to earn less this year.

Winterkorn said that is because the carmaker considers limiting compensation packages.

A compensation of 20 million euros ($27 million) would be difficult to explain to the supervisory board, and it would be understable if the board changed terms of executives’ pay, Winterkorn told Der Spiegel magazine. Michael Brendel, a VW spokesman contacted by Reuters, confirmed Winterkorn’s comments.

In 2011, Winterkorn earned 17.5 million euros, the most of any CEO of companies listed on Germany’s DAX Index. In March last year, the IG Metall labor union called for limits on top managers’ pay packages, with Bernd Osterloh, the top labor representative at VW, saying the supervisory board is considering revising criteria for salary and benefits.

In the interview with Der Spiegel, Winterkorn said that VW is considering manufacturing a budget-priced vehicle, priced between 6,000 and 7,000 euros. The car would be build with one of its Chinese partners from 2015.

VW aims to reduce CO2 emissions across its fleet to 95 grams per kilometer by 2020 to comply with possible European Union environmental standards, Winterkorn also said. That would be equivalent to a fuel consumption of about four liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers.