Volkswagen Group began its first week under a new chief executive yesterday, after Matthias Mueller handed the wheel over to Herbert Diess, writes Alan Tovey.
The change at the top came at the same time as structural changes to how the 12-brand business operates. The company will run as three divisions: “Volume”, likely to include marques such as Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda; “Premium”, expected to cover Audi and Porsche; and the “Super Premium” brands of Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini.
What lies in store for the Ducati motorbike arm is unknown. However, its MAN and Scania commercial vehicle units look set to be separated and some analysts think this division could be worth €30bn (£26bn).
Mr Diess will no doubt continue the drive to make VW a leading force in electric (and self-driving cars) by 2025, having regained the title of the world’s largest car group. However, the company continues to labour under its unusual shareholder structure, with almost 90pc of the voting shares controlled by just three investors, a situation that continues to raise concerns about VW’s corporate governance.
The Volkswagen AG headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany
Herbert Diess Chief executive