Volkswagen names Hinrich Woebcken as head of its US operations image

Hinrich Woebcken, who was previously appointed as head of Volkswagen for the North American region, was also named president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America.

Europe’s biggest automaker announced back in January it chose the former BMW manager Hinrich Woebcken to run the North American business of its brand, a position created after the diesel scandal broke last year. Back in March, he also was named the head of the company’s US unit on a temporary basis, after the former chief executive officer Michael Horn suddenly stepped down. From now on, Hinrich Woebcken will perform a double duty, as he was permanently put in charge of Volkswagen Group of America.

Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Brand, told employees about the company’s strategy for its newly established Volkswagen North American Region. “The establishment of the North American Region provides the U.S., Mexico and Canada more freedom and more responsibility than ever before,” he said in a statement. “With the new structure of the North American Region, we will be empowered to make the decisions to bring the vehicles that the consumers in the market are demanding,” Woebcken said. “I look forward to leading the teams in the U.S., Mexico and Canada and make sure we deliver these markets the right products, with the right content at the right time.”

Woebcken’s first major challenge comes on Thursday, as the district Judge Charles Breyer gave last month to Volkswagen an April 21 deadline to make a deal with the US Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board over a fix for the 580,000 over-polluting diesels.