By on January 26, 2016

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen’s top-level executives will meet again next week, the third meeting for the supervisory group in as many weeks, for an unusual crisis-planning cram session, according to Reuters.

“In this special situation it would not be enough for the executive committee to only meet ahead of a supervisory board meeting, or every six to eight weeks,” according to one of the sources.

The call for the emergency meeting comes shortly after one of the supervisory members, Stephan Weil, who is Lower Saxony’s prime minister, called for the automaker to come clean within three months. Volkswagen’s regularly scheduled shareholder meeting will be at the end of April.

“There is a very legitimate concern on the part of U.S. authorities, the public and the company itself for a comprehensive investigation,” Weil said in an interview, according to Bloomberg (via Automotive News). “It’s in the interest of VW to provide a complete clarification.”

New Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller has come under fire for a disastrous trip to the U.S. where he met with environmental regulators to discuss the company’s fix for its cars without apparent progress toward a solution, and a radio interview where he initially downplayed the deception by the automaker.

Weil said he supported Müller and that the company could withstand the crisis.

“I am confident that later we’ll be able to say the bottom line is, this crisis made Volkswagen stronger,” Weil said.

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11 Comments on “Feeling Pressure, Volkswagen Bumps Up Exec Meetings...”

  • avatar

    “What do you mean we’re doing nothing? We held meetings!”

  • avatar

    Müller was very much a product of the Piëch culture and it’s showing in his tone-deaf handling of the constant barrage of bad news coming out of Wolfsburg. There are consultants that specialize in corporate crisis management and it would behoove VW to hire them immediately and listen to what they have to say. Müller may be a competent automotive executive but it’s becoming pretty clear he may not be the right man for the job. Mary Barra’s apologies at GM were far better received and an example of how a CEO should react to this kind of life-or-death crisis for the brands involved.

    • 0 avatar

      The best crisis management consultant was Gerald Meyers, who used to run AMC, and then opened his own consultancy. He also taught crisis mgmt at the Michigan and Carnegie-Mellon MBA programs.

      I just don’t think this is a culture that would accept advice from an outsider.

      • 0 avatar

        Leek, my thoughts exactly.

        And as vogo said its definitely not the company to hire anyone outside its dna. It is big stetch for them to hire from BMW or Benz. I can’t imagine any diversity of views within the new-but-very-much-the-same VW.

    • 0 avatar
      dash riprock

      Meanwhile over in England another VW executive is making friends as well

      Paul Willis, VW’s UK managing director, told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee that it should not be defined as a defeat device on this side of the Atlantic.

      GO TO
      VW Group admitted in September that 482,000 diesel vehicles in the US were fitted with defeat device software to switch engines to a cleaner mode when they were being tested.

      But despite the German-based manufacturer also announcing that some 11 million vehicles were affected worldwide – including almost 1.2 million in the UK – Mr Willis insisted that it did not break European rules on testing.

      He said the software was not a defeat device in Europe because it is not “part of the emission control system”.

      Asked by Labour MP Graham Stringer if VW believed its vehicles were “still compliant with European regulations” despite them recognising when they were being tested, Mr Willis replied: “That’s our position.”

  • avatar




  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe they should practice their English in those meetings.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Horst: Homer, could we have a word with you?
      Homer: No.
      Horst: I must have phrased that badly, my English is, how you say, inelegant. What I meant to say is: “Can we have a brief friendly chat?”
      Homer: No!
      Horst: Once again I have failed. (brings out a phrase book) “We request the pleasure of your company for a free exchange of ideas.”

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