Volkswagen AG to increase independence of brands and regional units image

The German automaker, the largest in Europe and the second-biggest carmaker in the world, aims to increase the power of its brand chiefs and regional heads – according to the company’s labor boss.

The move from the second-largest automaker in the world comes amid mixed situations around the world – the carmaker is very strong in China and doesn’t give up ground in Europe, but has grown weaker in recent years in the Americas. The move to award even more power to managers of the brands and regions comes as a way to combat underperformance in those exact regions – chief among them the United States and Brazil.

Bernd Osterloh, the leader of the German group’s works council, added that the company’s boss – Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn – is expected to continue to work with VW another two years – until 2018. He took the post back in 2007 and the automaker has been on a rapid expansion process ever since, as profit almost doubled to 11.7 billion euros ($14.4 billion) in 2013. Now, its most ambitious target is to also surpass Japan’s Toyota to become the undisputed leader of the auto industry, after passing in the second position back in 2013, ahead of General Motors.

Via Reuters