Volkswagen CEO Muller Outlines Plan To Save Automaker From Scandal

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Speaking for the first time as Volkswagen chief, newly hired CEO Matthias Müller outlined his plan for the automaker’s future in the wake of a growing scandal for its illegally polluting cars.

Müller’s five-point plan includes a significant overhaul of the automaker’s plan to be the world’s largest automaker by 2018. According to Volkswagen, its Strategy 2025 plan — which replaces the Strategy 2018 outline — will be unveiled next year. In its earlier plan, Volkswagen had prioritized 10 million sales by 2018, 8-percent profitability and to position the automaker as “a global economic and environmental leader,” according to the automaker’s plan.

Müller’s five-point plan began with the automaker’s solution for its diesel scandal, which affects more than 11 million cars worldwide. The CEO said Volkswagen would work with German transportation authorities to “develop effective technical solutions” that would begin in January. Müller’s plan didn’t specifically outline how those cars would be fixed.

The plan also specifically highlighted changes to its structure, including a comprehensive investigation into how software designed to cheat emissions tests made its way into millions of cars. Müller said the company would “decentralize” and offer more autonomy for regions and brands in their developments and that the automaker would evaluate its massive portfolio of brands, including Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti and Ducati.

“We will review in detail our current portfolio of more than 300 models and examine the contribution that each one makes to our earnings,” Müller said in a statement.

Going forward, Müller said the company would be more open and transparent in its operation, including how it plans on growing after spending billions to recall and fix its cars — just as long as you’re not looking for details right now.

“We need a culture of openness and cooperation,” Müller said in a statement.

The automaker also announced Tuesday that it had lost $1.9 billion in third-quarter revenues, mostly due to its defective diesel cars, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Müller’s five-point plan, in brief:

• Assumption

• Investigation

• Reorganization

• Behavior modification

• Let’s 86 Our Aspiration

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • Wmba Wmba on Oct 28, 2015

    This announcement seems firmly in the blah, blah, blah category. No real news, just whats-his-name mouthing future product plans, which are by-the-by and highly tentative. What people want to hear is an honest-to-goodness point-by-point plan as to the how and when the dud engines are going to be fixed. The rest is just lips moving. The company is so out to lunch they seem incapable of real meaningful action. If they don't get moving soon, governments will TELL them what to do instead, and they deserve it.

    • Th009 Th009 on Oct 29, 2015

      You're not going to get a detailed plan on an investor conference call. All you're going to get is the high-level direction.

  • JimothyLite JimothyLite on Oct 28, 2015

    The Strategy 2025 plan will be unveiled shortly, replacing the Strategy 2018 plan. Their seven years of bad luck is accounted for. All they need now are the funds to amortize it.

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