BREAKING: Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn Resigns

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Volkswagen’s American operation is looking for a new leader.

Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, stepped down effective immediately on March 9.

The company stated that Horn departed in mutual agreement with the company, and will be pursuing other opportunities.

Horn’s duties will be taken over on an interim basis by Hinrich J. Woebcken, who was chosen in January to head Volkswagen’s North American Region and serves as chairman of Volkswagen Group of America.

Horn joined Volkswagen AG in 1990 and had headed their U.S. operations since January, 2014. Previously, he served as head of sales for Europe.

In a statement, the company thanked Horn for his contributions to Volkswagen:

“I want personally to say ‘thank you’ to Michael Horn for the great work he has done for the brand and with the dealers in the United States,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen brand. “During his time in the U.S., Michael Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand,” he added.

In October, Horn testified before a congressional committee investigating Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. It was there he announced the company would be withdrawing its application for emissions certification for 2016 models powered by 2.0-liter diesel engines.

Volkswagen has yet to reveal a plan to fix the millions of diesel models that left the Volkswagen factory with a built-in “defeat device” designed fool emissions regulators.

In his testimony before Congress, Horn stated that older affected models — possibly numbering more than 300,000 in the U.S. — would not easily be fixed, and would require extensive hardware revisions to bring them into compliance. Without the modifications, the vehicles would suffer from lowered performance and fuel mileage.

Speculation continues to this day as to whether Volkswagen will buy back those older vehicles, rather than spend money on their repair.

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Mar 10, 2016

    That photo reminded me of the color scheme at an electronics store (defunct) I used to go into as a kid in a mall (defunct), and play with the PCs they had on display whilst my mom shopped at Bigg's (defunct). I had to look up the name because it's been so long. CompUSA!

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Mar 10, 2016

    What a s**t show.

    • See 5 previous
    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Mar 10, 2016

      @FreedMike Wow, $3.8B of fraud, after he used the company as his own private loan source for his other businesses.

  • Lorenzo All the efforts made over decades to reduce/eliminate NVH in ICE cars, and now they're putting noise and vibration into electric cars. It reminds me of efforts to make veggie burgers taste like meat. Vegetarians don't want the taste of meat, and meat eaters will want meat, not veggie burgers.
  • Jalop1991 A true golf cart.Sure, it's a penalty box inside. But you're not in it for more than a few minutes at a time during commutes and in between charging stops.Ergo, it's the cart.
  • Zipper69 I'm sure it will sell just fine at all trim levels.I'd only note that IMHO the dashboard is a bit of a busy mess.
  • MaintenanceCosts Why do you have to accept two fewer cylinders in your gas engine to get an electric motor? (This question also applies to the CX-90.)
  • Zipper69 Do they have unique technology that might interest another manufacturer?