Take a Little Off the Top Come Bonus Time, Mller Tells Volkswagen Management

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
take a little off the top come bonus time mller tells volkswagen management

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller is expected to cave to shareholder and labor pressure today and ask that his management board agree to trim their bonuses by 30 percent, insider sources have told Reuters.

Will it satisfy dealers and vehicle owners stuck with depreciated rolling stock? Not. Bloody. Likely.

The request, if it comes to pass, comes after workers unions and the state of Lower Saxony (Volkswagen’s home and its second-largest shareholder) protested the idea of senior management receiving full compensation while the diesel emissions scandal continues to rage.

The groundswell of voices demanding that management shoulder part of the financial burden takes into account the automaker’s cost-saving efficiency plan, as well as rumors of looming layoffs.

Taking home extra pay on top of a salary described as being one of the best in the industry isn’t good optics for Volkswagen, especially at a time when it is being sued by some American dealers over lost revenue. To many protesters, it appeared as if the uppity-ups were cruising over the scandal at 30,000 feet, not getting their hair mussed by its fallout.

The refrain “Oh, c’mon!” grew louder when it was reported that former CEO Martin Winterkorn, who stepped down in the wake of the scandal last fall, was eligible for some of Volkswagen’s 2015 profits.

Volkswagen says it has contractual obligations to meet, however, which is why Müller’s request would only see bonuses trimmed on a voluntary basis.

The company is nervously awaiting the April 28 release of a delayed 2015 earnings report, which should give top brass a better picture of where the company stands financially. No one expects that picture to be a pretty one.

[Image: Matthias Müller, Volkswagen AG/Wikimedia Commons ( CC BY 3.0)]

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  • John John on Apr 12, 2016

    Way back when I was young - before the wheel was invented, bonuses were given out for good work and profits. Just like A's in university, they are now given out for merely showing up.

  • Raph Raph on Apr 12, 2016

    Hah, cold comfort when the layoffs start rolling around! Board: "Regrettably it has been decided that layoffs are necessary for the health of the company in these trying times as we shore up investor confidence over our unfair implication in this so called "Dieselgate". Line worker speaking loudly: "What are we supposed to do? I have bills, a family, where am I going to find work?" Board member: "Hey buddy, we are all going through tough times! If you think getting laid off is anything like taking a 30% cut in your annual bonus you need to open your eyes and be a little more compassionate to the people around you!".

  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln in 1987 even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs. 1985 was the last year for the rear wheel drive Olds Delta 88 and rear wheel drive Buick Lesabre the rear wheel Caprice and Caprice Classic 3rd generation continued till 1990 when it was redesigned. B Body Buick Estate wagons continued thru 1990 as the Olds Custom Cruiser wagon and both were redesigned. GM held onto a few rear wheel drive full size cars but the Lincoln ad really brought home the similarly looking front wheel drive full size cars. Lincoln's ad was masterful.
  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.