According to Volkswagen AG, the world’s second largest automaker and the biggest in Europe, the core passenger-car brand will have a new chief – ex-BMW executive Herbert Diess – three months earlier than expected, from July.
Volkswagen previously stated that Diess, 56, would start on October 1, but the new top manager will dive into work faster – from July 1 – as he takes over the duties from the current executive, Martin Winterkorn, who also directs the entire Group. While, naturally, Winterkorn remains in his VW AG chief executive officer position, Diess will also be appointed to the company’s management board. VW said the earlier start was a result of an arrangement with Diess’s former employer – BMW, where the executive was the development chief until last December.
Volkswagen also announced in the same statement it was appointing Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller, 61, to the group management board since March 1, confirming the numerous reports surrounding his new role. Mueller remains in the same role as leader of Porsche. Last year the sports car brand, together with luxury unit Audi, contributed to the Group’s record profit of 202 billion euros thanks to double-digit sales increases. Meanwhile, Diess has his work cut out at the Volkswagen namesake brand. The company reported the core brand’s deliveries dropped for a fourth consecutive month in January on sales weakness in the crucial markets of Europe and China. Additionally, the VW AG CEO has started to implement an aggressive cost savings plan at the brand to lift earnings margins – which are the lowest among all brands though VW accounts for about 60 percent of all Group deliveries each year.
Via Automotive News Europe