VW Group boss steps down, Herbert Diess steps up as new chairman

VW Group boss steps down, Herbert Diess steps up as new chairman

Senior works council members a year ago had their salaries cut and bonuses suspended after public prosecutors investigated alleged overpayments at the carmaker, a move that labour leaders are blaming on Blessing, one source said. Meanwhile, Matthias Mueller, who took over in 2015 at the height of the Dieselgate scandal, has been moved out of the top spot.

Müller's departure had also left a vacant space on Porsche's board which has been filled by Oliver Blume, the current CEO of the brand.

Hans Dieter Pötsch, chairman of the supervisory board, said Diess was the right manager to ensure VW Group secured its position as an worldwide vehicle-maker, as well as being instrumental in shaping the future of personal mobility. The company's brands, which include Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Lamborghini, will be grouped into the broad categories of "volume", "premium" and "super premium".

Volkswagen Group's new structure will now be composed of six divisions, as well as a specialist China-focused group.

Additionally, the carmaker will prepare its truck and bus division for "capital market readiness" by making it a public limited company.

Volkswagen's new Chief Executive Herbert Diess embarked on the most far-reaching shake-up in the carmaker's history on Friday, seeking to unite a company whose feuding factions have often slowed reform.

Mueller, a former chief executive of sportscar-building VW subsidiary Porsche AG, was brought in to replace Martin Winterkorn in 2015 and was contracted to serve until 2020.

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"Not exclusively did he securely explore Volkswagen through that time, together with his group, he likewise on a very basic level realigned the gathering's system".

As part and parcel of the Diess appointment, the automaker also announced that it is streamlining its product offerings.

Human resources head Karlheinz Blessing is being replaced by Gunnar Kilian, until now an official with the company's works council - or employee representatives - and Porsche sports auto division head Oliver Blume is being promoted to the top management body of the entire group, Volkswagen said.

The repercussions of Volkswagen's admission in 2015 that it had installed "cheat software" on millions of diesel engines in an end-run around global emissions standards reverberate to this day.

"Audi is the core brand for this competitive segment, which features BMW, Daimler and Lexus", Diess said, when asked whether Audi is the sole premium vehicle brand.

"Diess is a man of activity, he is the most conceivable decision at VW to lead the gathering into the following period of its change", said Nord LB examiner Frank Schwope.

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