Volk­swa­gen Group

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business/Comment -

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

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