By on September 28, 2015

 

A criminal complaint in Germany (that could have been filed by anyone) has prompted an investigation into whether former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn knew the automaker was selling cars with an illegal “defeat device” to fool emissions test, Reuters reported.

Several complaints have been filed with German prosecutors, including one from within Volkswagen, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Winterkorn’s investigation may take months — or even years — as German authorities look into how widespread cheating and lying was at the automaker.

(Read More…)

By on September 25, 2015

 

Making official Friday what we’ve heard for a while (Der Tagesspiegel reported on Monday), Porsche CEO Matthias Müller will take the reigns at Volkswagen.

Müller replaces Martin Winterkorn, who resigned after the Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen that 482,000 cars in the U.S. used an illegal “defeat device” to cheat emissions.

In a statement Müller said that restoring trust in the automaker would be his first priority:

My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group – by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation.

(Read More…)

By on September 24, 2015

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Porsche CEO Matthias Müller will take over as CEO at Volkswagen following Martin Winterkorn’s resignation Wednesday.

Müller, who is 62 years old, took over as CEO of Porsche in 2010, where he expanded the sports car-maker’s lineup to include more crossover vehicles. Müller is a Volkswagen AG lifer: before becoming CEO of Porsche, Müller was in charge of all Audi and Lamborghini product lines, and had been at Audi since 1977.

On Monday, German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported that Müller would replace Winterkorn by the end of this week.

According to the report, Müller will be seen as a compromise CEO who is friendly to rank-and-file VW workers.

By on September 24, 2015

Winterkorn on a pure plugin. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Ousted Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn could receive up to $67 million after leaving the automaker on Wednesday, depending on how his exit pay is calculated.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Winterkorn had amassed at least $34 million in his pension by 2014 (was stock included?) and his exit pay would be roughly two years of his current former $17 million annual compensation.

He’d also be entitled to a company car. There are plenty he could choose from right now.

(Read More…)

By on September 23, 2015

Martin Winterkorn in Shanghai - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn announced his resignation after an emergency meeting held Wednesday. Five supervisory board members met with Winterkorn on Wednesday ahead of a regularly scheduled meeting Friday.

Winterkorn resigned five days after it was announced that 482,000 Volkswagens in the U.S. had illegal “defeat devices” that allowed them to cheat through emissions tests. It later came out that 11 million cars worldwide had the programming, and the company set aside more than $7 billion to pay for the ongoing scandal.

As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.

(Read More…)

By on September 23, 2015

Martin Winterkorn in Shanghai - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Five senior members of Volkswagen’s supervisory board are meeting Wednesday to discuss the future for the automaker after stock prices have plummeted and the company has publicly acknowledged it cheated worldwide emissions tests, the BBC reported.

The smaller Wednesday meeting is ahead of a regularly scheduled full board meeting Friday, where members are expected to discuss the contract extension to 2018 for CEO Martin Winterkorn. According to reports, Winterkorn’s future may be decided before Friday’s meeting.

Winterkorn issued a video statement in German on Tuesday apologizing for the scandal, but stopped short from resigning from the top VW post. The German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported that Winterkorn would be replaced this week.

(Read More…)

By on September 22, 2015

porsche-ceo-matthias-muller

After Volkswagen admitted to gaming emissions tests with software containing a “defeat device”, German publication Der Tagesspiegel (via Jalopnik) is reporting that Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn will be replaced at the end of the week by Porsche CEO Matthias Müller.

The German outlet — the name of which translates to “The Daily Mirror” — reportedly gained the information from “supervisory circles”.

Volkswagen has not yet confirmed the rumor.

Update 1: Reuters is reporting that a Volkswagen spokesman described the report as “ridiculous.” A spokesman for Porsche said Müller is at a Volkswagen board meeting today in Wolfsburg.

(Read More…)

By on September 21, 2015

Picture courtesy Volkswagen

More than $17 billion has been erased Monday from Volkswagen’s value in shareholders’ eyes as the company awaits more fallout from news that the company cheated through emissions tests.

Volkswagen’s stock dropped more than 20 percent Monday after the German automaker announced it would stop sales of its diesel cars on Sunday. New CEO Martin Winterkorn issued a statement Sunday to apologize:

I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case. Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter.

(Read More…)

By on September 14, 2015

2011 VW up!

Volkswagen’s search for a new finance chief to fill the role vacated by new chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is still going strong.

While on the floor at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, Reuters asked CEO Martin Winterkorn if a successor had been found. Winterkorn said he would make an announcement when the issue was resolved, stating nothing else during the interview.

(Read More…)

By on September 5, 2015

 

Reports out of Germany indicate that ousted chairman and current majority owner of Volkswagen’s parent group, Ferdinand Piech, may have tampered with the board nomination to replace him.

Piech may have prevented current VW CEO Martin Winterkorn from becoming chairman after the two’s public feud ultimately resulted with Piech’s abrupt resignation in April, Reuters reported.

If true, the backroom dealings would indicate that while Piech may not be overseeing VW anymore, he still wields significant influence on its operations and leadership.

(Read More…)

By on September 3, 2015

 

Porsche Automobil Holding SE announced Thursday that it would propose its CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch to succeed Berthold Huber as chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board. The proposal was supported by Volkswagen AG.

Huber was appointed interim chairman for the German automotive giant after Ferdinand Piech was ousted in a dustup among leadership.

The announcement comes only a few days after Volkswagen said it extended its contract with its current CEO, Martin Winterkorn, for two more years and effectively ending his bid to replace Piech. Winterkorn and Piech publicly feuded over VW’s direction, eventually leading to Piech’s surprise resignation as chairman in April.

As a member of the board of majority shareholder in VW’s parent company, Porsche SE, Piech voted alongside the rest of the board unanimously to approve Poetsch as proposed chairman.

(Read More…)

By on September 2, 2015

Martin Winterkorn in Shanghai - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Volkswagen will extend its contract with CEO Martin Winterkorn through 2018, Automotive News is reporting, but that two-year deal may make him too old to succeed the man he ousted, Ferdinand Piech, who left the company last year after clashing with Winterkorn. (Read More…)

By on June 29, 2015

Volkswagen Beetles in Paphos Circa March 2015

Once upon a time, Volkswagen lived up to its name by providing a low-cost car for the people. Now, the automaker has plans to do so once more.

(Read More…)

By on April 25, 2015

"It wasn't Domino's. Someone delivered Wiedekings head." Piech and Winterkorn.  Picture courtesy handelsblatt.de

While Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn wears bruises from the conflict, Ferdinand Piëch has paid the ultimate of price and resigned his chairmanship with immediate effect.

(Read More…)

By on April 23, 2015

2013 Volkswagen Up

While the dust-up between chairman Ferdinand Piëch and CEO Martin Winterkorn lingers on, Volkswagen looks to take silver on the global sales podium in 2015.

(Read More…)

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