By on October 14, 2015

2014-vahlandChairman of Škoda Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland, who was tapped to lead a new North American Volkswagen region, will be leaving the Volkswagen Group, it was announced Wednesday.

Vahland will not be taking the N.A. role which would have given him the responsibility of overseeing the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets.

“Differing views on the organisation of the new Group region have led to this decision,” Škoda said in a release on Wednesday, though the automaker was careful to point out that “this decision is expressly not related to current events on the issue of diesel engines.”

A replacement for Vahland in North America has not yet been announced.

“In the last 25 years, Prof. Vahland made a great contribution to the company. We respect his decision and thank him for his exceptional performance,” said Matthias Müller, newly-minted CEO of Volkswagen Group AG, in a prepared statement.

The recent diesel saga that’s seen nearly 11 million vehicles equipped with a “defeat device” to pass emissions tests has caused an executive shuffle within Volkswagen AG and its brands.

Matthias Müller, who was CEO of Porsche, finds himself heading the overall group, replacing Martin Winterkorn. Volkswagen Group AG appointed Hans Dieter Pötsch as its new chairman on October 7, replacing the departed Ferdinand Piëch, though that was planned before the scandal.

Last week, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn — who would have reported to Vahland had he made the trip across the Atlantic — testified to a congressional committee October 8 that he wasn’t aware of the “defeat devices” until last month.

It’s unclear who will now take the new North American post.

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9 Comments on “New Volkswagen NA Boss Quits Before Taking Position...”


  • avatar

    Just in case you’ve never seen one, this is what the beginning of a FIRE SALE looks like.

    (~Margin Call)

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Smart man. What reason would their be for anyone to take that job other than to reap a huge financial windfall.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Good lord, this is exactly the kind of news that the financial markets *don’t* want to see, especially when you’re already downgrading corporate bond rankings for the parent. Vahland is highly respected in the automotive world.

    Clearly there are still battles being fought over the NA strategy (which in the last year finally appeared to be coming together). Toss in there the whole diesel mess, finance downgrades and no doubt, unrealistic sales targets for the region and Vahland may have seen himself being made at worst short-term scapegoat or unable to effect much change due to his hands being tied.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    If this guy is a Herr Professor Doktor he’ll have a whole other rewarding life outside VW/Skoda that I doubt he’d want to tear asunder for a brief tenure at VW’s equivalent of the Saigon Embassy.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    For VW… when it rains, it pours.

    VW had management issues for years esp. how the company wants to succeed in North America esp. the American auto market.

    Looks like some of the internal issues are now coming public and not just the diesel matter.

    Notice how older the management personnel is in the VW management group.

    Guess for a company like VW, older management people are desirable instead of bringing in new blood with newer ideas.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “this decision is expressly not related to current events on the issue of diesel engines.”

    Hurrr, okay. This is one of those statements where it would be better if they just left things unsaid. But I suspect VW has about 429 lawyers.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Translation – We plan on airlifting you to the bridge of the Titanic. Rest assured you will be greatly rewarded.

    I’d say fook yoo too.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Sounded like a great gig until he sobered up.

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