Hans Dieter Poetsch, the new chairman of Volkswagen Ag has a tough job on Wednesday when he’s due to preside over the first board meeting since his election, as the 78-year carmaker cross its biggest crisis in history.
The board meeting, where the company’s new chief executive officer Matthias Mueller would also be present could be crucial, since it has been scheduled mere hours away from a deadline set by German authorities and a congressional testimony by the top US manager. It has been a little over two weeks since the automaker acknowledged it had cheated on diesel-powered emissions tests in the United States and Poetsch is getting ready to assume his duties as chief of the 20-person supervisory board at a specially convened meeting at the German company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. Due to start early at 9 a.m local time (0700 GMT), sources believe it would last for several hours as the issues to be discussed are a matter of “life and death”.
The largest European automaker and the biggest in the world by sales after the first six months is coping with immense pressure to find those responsible for setting up and installing the software that allowed the company to dupe emissions tests, to say how it would repair the affected cars and to what extent they rigged the testing procedures in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The crisis has blasted through the entire automotive industry and the established German industrial strength as well as killing off around a third of the company’s market share and forcing out Martin Winterkorn, the long running CEO.