Volkswagen’s brand chief Herbert Diess said he was not intending to step aside despite being investigated by the German persecutors.
German prosecutors from a regional court in Braunschweig in the automaker’s home state of Lower Saxony opened in June an inquiry targeting former Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn and brand chief Herbert Diess for manipulating the markets by not disclosing earlier information about the cheating and financial implications of the Dieselgate. The inquiry was triggered by Germany’s Bafin, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, which said that there were sufficient real signs of manipulation. An insider from the financial watchdog also revealed that Bafin believed that the entire former management board should be under inquiry and held responsible if the members are found responsible.
Diess recently told the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that he saw no reason to step down as a result of the inquiry, a probe that he had first heard about in the media and that it took him by surprise. When it announced its “Together – Strategy 2025″ turnaround plan, Volkswagen promised to launch the biggest change process in its history, focusing on electrification, petrol particulate filters, streamlined operations, autonomous tech and mobility services. Diess said the company would need 12-18 months to recover from the diesel crisis and to restore its reputation, while a strategic shift will take up to 14 years.