With new CEO, VW shifts focus from scandal to future tech

With new CEO, VW shifts focus from scandal to future tech

With new CEO, VW shifts focus from scandal to future tech

Despite the high costs in reputation and fines, the company under Mueller's two-year stewardship achieved record sales of 10.74 million vehicles in 2017 and made 11.6 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in profit.

Volkswagen's new CEO said on Friday that the automaker must "significantly step up the pace" as it pushes ahead with electric and self-driving vehicle technologies and offers transportation as a digitally driven service.

German auto giant Volkswagen on Thursday named Herbert Diess as its new chief executive, replacing Matthias Mueller, as the one-time paragon of German industry seeks to turn the page on the "dieselgate" emissions scandal that has dogged it since 2015.

VW chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said in a statement that Mr Mueller had done "outstanding work" for the company. The company's brands, which include Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Lamborghini, will be grouped into the broad categories of "volume", "premium" and "super premium".

Besides, Volkswagen plans to organize the group into 6 new business areas including a separate China region.

Chairman of the supervisory board Hans Dieter Potsch said: "The Volkswagen Group's goal is and remains to align the company and its brands with future needs, to safeguard its position among the leaders of the global automotive industry with innovativeness and profitability and to be instrumental in shaping tomorrow's personal mobility with the strength of our group brands".

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Mr Mueller had been running Porsche before being elevated to replace Martin Winterkorn as VW chief.

"Not only did he safely navigate Volkswagen through that time, together with his team, he also fundamentally realigned the group's strategy".

Diess brings an outsider's perspective to the job, having joined Volkswagen (VLKAF) in July 2015 after spending almost 20 years at rival German automaker BMW (BMWYY). Prior to this, the company admitted that it had used devices to the skew results on United States emission tests. Analyst Max Warburton at Sanford C. Bernstein said the Kilian appointment had the appearance of concession to powerful employee representatives in return for agreeing to naming investor-friendly cost-cutter Diess as CEO.

The carmaker will prepare its truck and bus division for "capital market readiness" by making it a public limited company as a prelude to a potential listing, confirming a Reuters report from last month.

And the CEO of subsidiary Porsche, Oliver Blume, will join the VW board.

"Diess is a man of action, he is the most plausible choice at VW to lead the group into the next phase of its transformation", said Nord LB analyst Frank Schwope, who has a buy rating on Volkswagen.

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