VW del­e­gates low-cost car de­vel­op­ment for In­dia

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION&ANALYSIS -

WHEN Volk­swa­gen (VW) boss Matthias Müller vowed to re­form the car maker af­ter its emis­sions scan­dal, de­cen­tral­is­ing power from its Wolfs­burg head­quar­ters in Ger­many was a top pri­or­ity.

That com­mit­ment is now be­ing put to the test in one of the com­pany’s most im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional projects: build­ing a low­cost car for In­dia.

Müller said in March he was giv­ing the job to the group’s Czech brand Skoda, which is now lead­ing part­ner­ship talks with In­dia’s Tata Mo­tors. Skoda has been au­tho­rised to take “in­cre­men­tal” de­ci­sions, while keep­ing Wolfs­burg in­formed, a source said.

The move, the first ma­jor in­ter­na­tional project led by Skoda since VW took full con­trol of it in 2000, is a sign of how the different di­vi­sions and re­gions within the 12-brand VW em­pire are gain­ing in­flu­ence, the source added.

Müller’s nine-mem­ber man­age­ment team has also started to hold reg­u­lar meet­ings out­side of its north­ern Ger­man home, with the first one abroad held in Shang­hai in April.

Shar­ing out power is im­por­tant, be­cause many peo­ple both in­side and out­side VW be­lieve the com­pany’s tra­di­tional au­thor­i­tar­ian man­age­ment struc­ture cre­ated the en­vi­ron­ment that led to en­gi­neers in­stalling il­le­gal soft­ware to cheat diesel emis­sions tests in mil­lions of cars world­wide. – Reuters

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