Herbert Diess Joins Volkswagen As New Group CEO

VW's Herbert Diess and Matthias Müller

This new structure will include the brand groups of volume, premium and super premium products, as well as a truck and bus division, and a still-unannounced fifth and sixth division as of Friday morning.

This was not the only shift in the Volkswagen: Porsche CEO Oliver bloom joined the Board of governors of the concern and the head of Audi, Rupert Stadler will now be responsible for global sales group.

Diess will not only head the management board, the top executive body at German companies that reports to the supervisory board, or board of directors, but will also have charge of vehicle development and research as well as vehicle-related information technology.

Diess was appointed late on Thursday to succeed ousted group chief Matthias Mueller as part of an overhaul that includes the streamlining of VW's multiple auto brands into three groups while preparing its truck business for a potential listing.

Aside from separating the trucks unit, VW plans to regroup its 12 vehicle brands into four groups to forge closer ties between similar nameplates like mass-market Skoda and Seat.

"Bundling brands in groups greatly helps to increase synergies", said Bankhaus Metzler analyst Juergen Pieper.

Diess described the "most important task" ahead for himself and the German corporate titan as "pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility".

Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said Diess would have a chief operating officer to oversee day to day issues at the volume segment so that he would not lose focus on the company has a whole.

On his watch, the VW group previous year held on to its title as the world's largest vehicle maker and made a net profit of ß11.4- billion (R169-billion).

The VW cars with 2-liter diesels would meet emissions standards tests in a laboratory or testing station, but in normal operation, they emit nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the standard, according to the EPA. In 2015, Volkswagen admitted it had used special devices created to skew results on US emissions tests. Six others have been indicted and have been advised to stay out of the U.S.

Head of purchasing Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz is leaving at his own request and his post is to be filled on an acting basis by Volkswagen brand purchasing head Ralf Brandstaetter, the company said.

Gunnar Kilian who has served as Secretary-General of the Volkswagen Group Works Council until now has been appointed as the new member of the Group Board of Management for Human Resources. Lastly, Porsche sports vehicle division head Blume has been promoted to the top management body of the entire organization.

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