Volkswagen car brand to be led by former BMW development head image

Volkswagen AG has announced that its passenger cars unit will be lead by the former BMW development chief Herbert Diess, with the executive also appointed as a full member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group from October 1, 2015.

Volkswagen pointed out in a statement released today that once the appointment becomes effective in October 2015, Diess, 56, would also replace VW AG CEO Martin Winterkorn as the chairman of the Volkswagen namesake brand. The latter would remain the Chairman of the Group Board of Management. Diess was until now the development chief for the world’s largest luxury automaker, BMW.

“With Herbert Diess we will be welcoming an outstanding personality and one of the most capable minds in the automotive industry to our Company. At the same time, this step puts the executive management of both the Group and the brand on an even broader footing”, said Winterkorn.

The appointment of Diess and the creation of the new seat in the Group’s management board comes at a critical time for the core passenger brand – which has seen four straight months of little to no sales growth. It should also go through a full cost cutting strategy designed to lift the falling earnings margins.