Koda CEO Tipped to Take Over Volkswagen US, Horn Out

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

The Chairman of the Board of Management for Škoda, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland, is expected to replace Michael Horn as CEO of Volkswagen of America, reports Automotive News.

The news is just the latest in a number of rumors regarding a massive executive shuffle following the departure of Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn on Wednesday.

During the U.S. launch of a refreshed 2016 Passat in New York on Monday, Horn said: “Our company was dishonest with the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board and with all of you. And in my German words: We have totally screwed up.”

Vahland has held multiple posts within Volkswagen. Prior to the CEO position at Škoda, he was president and CEO of Volkswagen China Investment Company between 2005 and 2010. He’s worked in numerous positions within Škoda, Volkswagen do Brazil, Audi, Adam Opel AG and General Motors Europe.

Vahland has never held a technical role or been in charge of powertrain or electronics development.

His move, if true, will likely be confirmed on Friday along with the departure of Horn and Germany-based powertrain and technical engineers and executives.

Mark Stevenson
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9 of 14 comments
  • Seth1065 Seth1065 on Sep 24, 2015

    Was Horn canned for knowing about the TDI mess or for saying what he said, Good luck Mr. Vahland you will need it and it is a lovely time of year to move to MI.

    • See 2 previous
    • Seth1065 Seth1065 on Sep 24, 2015

      @whynot My bad thought they were in Auburn Hills , so enjoy the DC traffic as I think VW office is just outside DC, close to visit congress and perhaps the EPA.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Sep 24, 2015

    "Vahland has never held a technical role or has been in charge of powertrain or electronics development." That's good, because nobody at VW has any idea how to make reliable powertrains or electronics.

    • RideHeight RideHeight on Sep 24, 2015

      Excellent deniability when everybody knows you don't know nothin'.

  • Land Ark Land Ark on Sep 24, 2015

    Welcome to NoVa Mr. Vahland! I work right down the street from your new digs. You might find my resume on the "totally ignore" pile. While you're coming over, why not go ahead and bring a few Skodas with you? And grab a few Seats too, we need to wash the current US VW lineup out of our systems.

  • John Williams John Williams on Sep 24, 2015

    Seems like Vahland's more of a finance guy. So I guess this means VW customers (heh) can expect another rousing round of cost-cutting measures in their new rides in the coming years.

    • VolandoBajo VolandoBajo on Sep 26, 2015

      More likely, they want someone who can figure out how to enable his company to digest the large amount of crow they are going to have to eat over the next few years, especially the type of crow that is green and has dollar signs imprinted on it. The engineers who survive this fiasco will be scared to death for their pensions, and won't dare try anything very radical in the near future, so they need financial leadership more than engineering leadership, if they are to survive. Otherwise, they run the risk of becoming the weak sister arm of FCA, or worse, if there is such a thing. On a side note, it looks like someone was asleep at the wheel when this article was posted... he was "TAPPED" for the post, not "TIPPED" for it. Unless ending up in his new position is akin to being left defenseless out in the open, similar to a cow that has been tipped. You tell me...