Frankfurt, Sep 26 (IANS) The chairman of Porsche AG on Friday became CEO of the Volkswagen Group, which is caught in a cheating scandal relating to emissions.
The Supervisory Board held a meeting in its headquarters in Wolfsburg on Tuesday and decided to appoint Matthias Mueller, 62, as CEO Volkswagen AG with immediate effect, a company statement said.
Mueller will continue to act as chairman of Porsche AG until a successor has been found, it added. At a time when the scandal is still escalating, Mueller is expected to steer the car maker out of the current difficult situation, reported Xinhua.
“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group – by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation,” said Mueller.
“Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry. If we manage to achieve that then the Volkswagen Group with its innovative strength, its strong brands and above all its competent and highly motivated team has the opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger than before,” added Mueller.
According to the statement, Mueller who is also a member of Board of Management of Volkswagen AG will act as the CEO VW Group until the end of February 2020.
The interim chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, Berthold Huber, expressed the urgency for Mueller to fulfill his responsibility in the new position “with full energy”.
Mueller was made CEO of VW Group two days after his predecessor Martin Winterkorn quit. Winterkorn resigned prematurely as the company struggling to resolve the emissions cheating issue.
At the same time, the Supervisory Board announced that the structure of the company has been changed.
The Supervisory Board decided to combine the markets in the US, Mexico and Canada and put the former chairman of the Board of Directors at Skoda Winfried Vahland in charge of the new North America region market.Michael Horn who according to rumors could be fired eventually kept his job as president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
Christian Klingler, 47, has been fired as a member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG with responsibility for Sales and Marketing. The Supervisory Board said it was a part of “long-term planned structural changes”. “This is not related to recent events.”
The company also gave details about its decision to streamline the Group Board of Management. The production department has been abolished.
“One key point is that we are scaling back complexity in the Group. In recent weeks, we have already undertaken important steps such as separating Group and brand functions,” said Huber who hoped the change could bring the Board greater freedom to address urgent issues regarding Group strategy, development and steering.
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt in Berlin on Thursday said Volkswagen had admitted that it also manipulated emission tests in Europe.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found the software on VW diesel cars showed false emission data. The software installed by Volkswagen in its cars has violated the Clean Air Act, the US Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement on Friday.
According to the findings of EPA, the software called “defeat device” by the EPA can turn on full emission controls only when the car is undergoing emission tests to make the car meet the legal emission standards, but during normal driving, the car will emit nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the standard.
The allegations cover roughly 482,000 diesel passenger cars sold in the US by Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America since 2008. The models include Jetta, Beetle, Golf, Passat and Audi A3.
The company later admitted that a total of 11 million diesel cars may have been involved in the emissions cheating scandal. It set aside 6.5 billion euros to cover the costs of the issue.