VW group CEO says management reshuffle will continue

Europe

FRANKFURT – Volkswagen Group is not done reshuffling its management, CEO Herbert Diess told a German newspaper in an interview.

“We are 80 percent done with our personnel decisions. Some outstanding decisions have been prepared and we will implement them in a planned manner,” Diess said in the interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on Friday.

Diess has for months pushed lower costs at the carmaker’s German operations, repeatedly clashing with labor representatives, before handing responsibility for managing the core VW brand to an internal manager.

An “integrative” leadership style is more effective than a confrontational one, Diess told the newspaper, adding that Thomas Schmall, head of Volkswagen’s components division, had achieved much in this way. VW will do more to nurture internal leaders from now on, Diess said.

Days after Diess relinquished his direct oversight of the VW brand in early June the automaker unveiled a raft of other changes which hit a network of external managers that Diess had brought in to increase efficiency at the automaker. 

Diess was also forced to apologize forced to apologize to the supervisory board after accusing a member of leaking confidential information to the press.

On Thursday, VW Group’s management board issued a declaration of support for the embattled CEO. 

Diess also said in the interview that Volkswagen’s Skoda brand – one of 12 in the group — needed to do more to compete with South Korean and French brands.

Volkswagen’s labor leader Bernd Osterloh has repeatedly criticized Skoda as cannibalizing sales from the VW brand.

Skoda said separately on Friday that it sees signs of recovery after first-half deliveries fell by 31 percent amid coronavirus lockdown measures.

Skoda said it had delivered 426,700 cars in January to June while sales revenue fell by a quarter to 7.55 billion euros ($8.95 billion) and operating profit sank 72 percent to 228 million euros.
 

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