Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Volkswagen New Boss Is Herbert Diess

Volkswagen New Boss Is Herbert Diess

Under his leadership in 2017, the auto group went on to turn in record annual sales of €230.7bn and pre-tax profits nearly doubled at €13.9bn.

Shares in Volkswagen rose 0.6 percent to 177.64 euros by 1250 GMT, against a similar rise for the STOXX 600 automotive index.

A former executive with rival BMW, Diess joined VW only two months before the emissions cheating scandal broke in mid-2015 and is thus relatively untainted by the crisis.

"Diess will get vast power", he stated.

Volkswagen has officially replaced CEO Matthias Muller with its VW brand head Herbert Diess as the automaker implements a new management structure to keep up with the "highly dynamic change" in the industry.

VW said that Diess will oversee group development and vehicle IT while Rupert Stadler will handle group sales, Oliver Blume group production, company IT by Frank Witter, and procurement and components will be combined into one entity.

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Hans Dieter Pötsch, chairman of the supervisory board, said Diess was the right manager to ensure VW Group secured its position as an global vehicle-maker, as well as being instrumental in shaping the future of personal mobility.

As CEO, Diess will also be responsible for the company's mass market brands Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda, as well as digital services and vehicle software.

Earlier Friday, Diess told reporters that he would "review all options" when looking at different assets in VW's portfolio.

Blume will head up a "super premium" cars division which groups Bentley, Porsche, Bugatti and possibly Lamborghini, which is now integrated with Audi. "For that, he is due to the thanks of the entire company".

Speaking at a news conference at the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, Diess said the company's goal would be "to forcefully and with focus press ahead" with the company's Strategy 2025.

He was installed after Mueller's attempts to reshape the automotive group foundered amid labour opposition, including his plans to sell motorbike brand Ducati.

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The move is the biggest shake up of the German auto giant since the Dieselgate scandal back in 2015.

The scandal surrounding the Volkswagen associated with intentional understatement of the level of harmful emissions from diesel engines, has erupted in the fall of 2015.

Since then, Diess has worked to cut costs and increase profits at the core Volkswagen brand.

Even with the diesel emission burden to bear and faced with various accusations in the matter from all sides, Müller successfully managed to lead the VW boat through rough waters.

"Back then, we were not immediately on the same page", Osterloh said in his letter.

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