By on September 22, 2015


After Volkswagen admitted to gaming emissions tests with software containing a “defeat device”, German publication Der Tagesspiegel (via Jalopnik) is reporting that Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn will be replaced at the end of the week by Porsche CEO Matthias Müller.

The German outlet — the name of which translates to “The Daily Mirror” — reportedly gained the information from “supervisory circles”.

Volkswagen has not yet confirmed the rumor.

Update 1: Reuters is reporting that a Volkswagen spokesman described the report as “ridiculous.” A spokesman for Porsche said Müller is at a Volkswagen board meeting today in Wolfsburg.

In April, after a prolonged battle between Winterkorn and then-Chairman Ferdinand Piech, the supervisory board supported Winterkorn which resulted in Piech resigning his chairmanship.

At the beginning of September, it was announced Winterkorn’s contract was to be extended into 2018 on this coming Friday. That contract extension looks to be cancelled.

Winterkorn was initially tipped to take the Chairman position, but Volkswagen’s parent company — Porsche SE — proposed its own CFO, Hans Dieter Poetsch, for the position. That proposal was supported by the Volkswagen supervisory board.

Matthias Müller is a Volkswagen lifer, starting his career at Audi in 1977 as a toolmaker before going back to school and returning to Audi as a junior manager of its IT department in 1984. Müller has also held management positions at Lamborghini and Volkswagen.

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39 Comments on “BREAKING: Winterkorn To Be Replaced By Porsche CEO Matthias Müller on Friday (UPDATE 1)...”

  • avatar

    Das Hausmeister

  • avatar

    We can all thank the Ruskies that half the world isn’t being run by guys who look like this.

    • 0 avatar

      Thank the Americans that half the world isn’t being run by the Ruskies.

      Then thank MURICA’ for running the world.

      (Since I know many people will disagree with that statement, let me add that Murica’ – despite its debt – is still “the cleanest shirt in the hamper” and the rest of the world calls on Murica’ when their safety is threatened by their neighbors.

      And since America is separated by water and thousands of miles from its neighbors – and has the most powerful forward deployment capabilities on Earth – literally bringing the war to your front door, our enemies can do nothing but shake their fists at the sky in anger at predator drones that have just completed their bombing runs. Yes they can choose to attack us, but that attack will be their own suicide. )

      NO APOLOGIES for Murican’ exceptionalism.

      • 0 avatar

        Hahaha. Holy crap dude.

      • 0 avatar

        Can we just focus on cars today?

      • 0 avatar

        BTSR, I wish you were right. Fifty years ago this was the case.

        But not anymore.

      • 0 avatar

        >let me add that Murica’ – despite its debt – is still “the cleanest shirt in the hamper”<

        The cleanest shirt in the hamper is probably the best simile for the state the world is in that I've heard. I'm offended that anyone is offended by what BTSR wrote.

        • 0 avatar

          ….annnd look who shows up right on cue.

        • 0 avatar

          > >let me add that Murica’ – despite its debt – is still “the cleanest shirt in the hamper”<

          It doesn't matter if the cleanest shirt in the hamper is covered in chicken crap (U.S.), pig crap (Russia) or cow crap (China). It's still covered in crap.

          • 0 avatar

            Having grown up in Virginia, I disagree. I went to Virginia Tech, which always smells like cow crap when you arrive. Eventually, you get used to it. It did bother me that whenever I left Virginia Tech I suspected that I smelled like cow crap to people that didn’t live in Bleaksburg. JMU was in Harrisonburg, which has pig farms for neighbors. That’s a whole other level of hurt right there. Chicken farms smell nastier than dairies too, so I guess China wins this round.

    • 0 avatar

      To Mark Stevenson:

      A couple of months ago you asked us regular readers what improvements could be made to TTAC. My response is we need more moderation of off-topic/offensive/racist comments. Please see a prime example above.

      Why is the world is this particular comment thread allowed to stand? It makes TTAC responses look like the hateful comments regularly seen on Youtube and certainly does not help the overall image of your site.

      Farago would have wiped this thread within minutes. Please consider similar action.

  • avatar

    Well say what you want about VW and Germany but they do take quick action once they were caught with their pants down, in one week story comes out CEO is out. I doubt if that would happen at 99% of American companies and this is for a non death issue. I am sure Mr. Piech is smiling today.

    • 0 avatar

      German business law (and enforcement) is far more strict than here in the US. Winterkorn and other execs could very well face additional criminal prosecution.

      I’ll put good money on the good Dr. Piech having a hand in all of this. Perhaps not necessarily in the actual activities, but in the stirring of the pot and leaking of information.

      • 0 avatar

        I briefly thought about Piech as well, but I just don’t see it. Between he and his cousin, they lost $8.5 billion and look set to lose another multi-billion dollar chunk today. Piech probably receives the most damage of anyone.

        That said, I do think he had a hand in it insofar as establishing a culture that led to this. It’s not a stretch to think the person that championed the Phaeton, and a second generation of the Phaeton, would pressure his people to meet impossible objectives for the TDI program (e.g. a “Nobody wants to fill a DEF tank, make it work without one if you ever want to work in this country again!!!” kind of thing).

    • 0 avatar

      let’s not trip over ourselves patting them on the back — VW was notified of these allegations over a year ago. They then tried fixing the issue with software and still couldn’t reach emission compliance. The only reason anything is happening today is because the deception went public. If word hadn’t gotten out it would be business as usual.

      BTW it is now being reported that this fraud extends to over 11 million VW and Audi (and maybe Porsche) vehicles worldwide, not just the 480k 4-cyl diesels in North America. This was willful, purposeful, intentional deceit on a massive, global scale. I hope the governments absolutely bury VW with fines, and consumers put the final nail in the coffin by black listing VAG.

      • 0 avatar

        > I hope the governments absolutely bury VW with fines, and consumers put the final nail in the coffin by black listing VAG.

        Typical liberal overreaction – solving things with emotion rather than logic and reason.

        While we’re at it, let’s blacklist GM, Ford, Toyota and any other automaker with recent transgressions – and what’s left will be a bike-riding utopia where we all hold hands and sing kumbaya – while other countries throw dirt on top of our grave technologically and economically.

  • avatar

    …well cool: now volkswagen warranty-coverage denial can be replaced by, umm, porsche warranty-coverage denial…

  • avatar

    Well… the SUPERIOR MURICAN public school system apparently has lacked in history education and obviously in Geography :)

    Your neighbours Canada and Mexico are on the same continent, but I suspect you certainly don’t include them in your ‘American supremacy’ ideas(but technically, they’re Americans too, ask your Geography teacher).

    I doubt they would want you to though :))

  • avatar



  • avatar

    September 14, 2015

    “Sustainability investing group RobecoSAM AG has found Volkswagen Group to be the most sustainable automaker in the world in this year’s review of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). This year’s review analyzed the performance of 33 different automotive companies, with VW topping all of them with a total of 91 of 100 possible ratings points.
    “This distinction is a great success for the entire team. It confirms that the Volkswagen Group is well on the way to establishing itself long term as the world’s most sustainable automaker,” said VW Group chairman Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn.
    VW was awarded 93 points in the sector of economic sustainability, 91 for social sustainability and 89 for ecological sustainability. It also received full marks in the areas of codes of conduct, compliance and anti-corruption as well as innovation management, climate strategy and life cycle assessment. RobecoSAM also found VW to be the industry benchmark for supplier management and environmental reporting.”

    Wow. What a difference a week makes.

  • avatar

    There may not be direct fatalities from this massive fraud, known at the highest levels of VW for at least a year, but the environment was intentionally damaged illegally. Serious legal consequences should follow, including pursuit of criminal charges on the executives in both Germany and the U.S.

    It is past time to hold executives and companies accountable for putting the public at risk for their knowing actions. This includes the Peanut fiasco killing nine, the Blue Bell listeria killing three, and this intentional bypassing of environmental laws. And don’t think this shouldn’t include the EPA’s Animas River incident, either. All should be legally pursued enthusiastically.

  • avatar

    Looks like Ferdinand Piëch showed Winkerton the door after all.

  • avatar

    Winterkorn Stonewalling!

    Limeys Scoop TTAC!

    • 0 avatar

      They are allocating 1Quarter profits to initially address this, might be a bit optimistic for 11 million diesels.

      Instead of VAG buying Fiat, maybe Sergio could pick them up cheap. FCA could get Seat back and Lamborghini as well.

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