We thought he was doing okay, but greater change needed.
It seems that there are big things cooking for the behemoth Volkswagen Group, the automotive conglomerate that owns everything from Bugatti to Seat, with Ducati in between. While the enormous German concern is making serious manoeuvres to distance itself from the Dieselgate scandal that has cost the company billions, most notably with a next-generation mobility plan that places near-total emphasis on electric mobility, a call to change its rigid management structure in the wake of the emissions scandal has been left relatively unattended.
The reason for this, sources say, is down to the captain at the helm, Matthias Mueller. After having spent the entirety of his career at the Volkswagen Group, Mueller’s management style is very much in keeping with what the Group has done historically. And while that no doubt accelerated his rise through the ranks, culminating in him taking up the role of Chief Executive following the departure of predecessor Martin Winterkorn at the height of Dieselgate.
*Current VW Group CEO, Matthias Mueller
While Mueller later went on to replace 7 out of 10 senior executive members at the company, his management style hasn’t changed. Those familiar with the situation have spoken to Autonews Europe on the condition of anonymity, say that an outside influence may bring about greater change to the company. Which is why they’re fielding present Volkswagen (brand) executive Herbert Diess, a former BMW boss before moving to Wolfsburg, to fill Mueller’s shoes.
“We believe that if Diess is confirmed as successor, VW shares will extend their gains. Investors will like his strong execution track record, and his understanding of Mobility 2.0. Put simply, we see no better alternative to Matthias Mueller to make the company fit for the future, by dealing with some of the legacy businesses as well as making the right investments in future technologies.” — Arndt Ellinghorst, Analyst, Evercore ISI
*Current VW boss, Herbert Diess
It was in a statement released on Tuesday that the Volkswagen Group alluded to the possible management shakeup, after it was said that Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch was in discussions with top management and supervisory board members about changes to the lineup, and that Mueller had “showed general willingness to contribute to the changes.”
We can only hope that the expectations that surround the (possible) appointment of Diess will see the Volkswagen Group continue its course towards electrified, next-generation mobility. While there are many companies realigning themselves to head in that direction, with the exception of Tesla, Volkswagen has largely been considered to be the leaders of the pack, and we’re sure that that’s a position that the new CEO will seek to maintain.