Before Porsche CEO Matthias Müller was promoted to the Volkswagen Group supervisory board, he made remarks on his potential as a successor to Group CEO Martin Winterkorn. His comments were taken to mean he wasn't interested in the job, but he now says his words were misunderstood.
Volkswagen Group has sacked – well, he left "by mutual agreement," at any rate – its production chief, Michael Macht, marking the second executive dispatched by the automaker in the last week. Macht, pictured above, left, with VW Group Chairman Martin Winterkorn, was the man responsible for overseeing the introduction of VW's extremely important MQB platform, which will underpin a huge array of vehicles in the coming years.
During a gathering of 20,000 Volkswagen Group employees at company headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany on Wednesday, CEO Martin Winterkorn dropped a bombshell. The boss stated that the automaker isn't operating efficiently enough and admitted the company needs to radically start cutting back to raise its profit margins. To right the ship, Winterkorn has proposed killing off less profitable models and spending less on research and development.
Broadcasting from its "Mobile Life Campus" in Wolfsburg, Germany (and crowing about Germany's World Cup win last night), Volkswagen has just announced that its new "Midsize SUV" will be built at the company's Chattanooga, TN manufacturing facility. Further, the company says it will establish a new "National Research & Development and Planning Center" at the Tennessee campus.
Volkswagen AG is in the middle of implementing a comprehensive electric vehicle strategy, one that we've been documenting for a long time. The Group stands ready to offer dozens of plug-in vehicles in the coming years if it feels there is sufficient demand and believes that selling a million EVs in Germany by 2020 is reasonable. That would be a solid number, but remember that VW sold over 5,923,000 passenger cars around the world last year, and the group as a whole sold over 9.7 million.
Each year, the Vienna International Motor Symposium showcases some of the up-and-coming technologies automakers are engineering for the use in passenger cars, and Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn revealed some big developments VW is working on for its future products. Winterkorn discussed a multi-faceted approach that VW is looking to reduce its fleet fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
Almost four years ago Seat got a new CEO, James Muir, tasked with the job of creating a sustainably profitable division out of Volkswagen's Spanish brand. Three years ago Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn publicly explained that the home of the Ibiza was getting its last chance, but Muir and a healthy shot of new investment and new product worked like a trick: 18 months later Winterkorn publicly stated his pleasure at Seat's continuing turnaround, and earlier this month Muir was talking up the br
Amidst slow auto sales in Europe, top executives at both Volkswagen and Daimler AG will be receiving pay cuts in 2013, which comes at the same time as conflicting reports of a possible pay increase for General Motors CEO Dan Akerson (right). According to Automotive News Europe, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn (center) and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche (left) are set to make less this year, but while a number of reports (including Automotive News) suggested that GM has requested a pay increase for Akerson,
The throw-down between Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and Volkswagen has heated up in earnest. According to Bloomberg, Fiat and Chrysler are now offering current Volkswagen owners in the US $1,000 rebates to trade in their ride. It's the latest in a series of shots Marchionne has taken at his German rival. As you may recall, the Fiat executive entered into a spat with Volkwagen board chairman Ferdinand Piëch and CEO Martin Winterkorn in October after the duo called for Marchionne's resignation
Automotive News has announced its annual list of Industry All-Stars. This year, the theme is apparently "success in the face of economic uncertainty," or something of that liking. The list points to executives who have led their respective brands and automakers to positive sales in spite of the European financial crisis and slowing sales in China. See the list below, and you'll understand why:
Volkswagen Group Chairman Ferdinand Piëch has seen his fair share of executives leave the company's brands during his time at the helm, but according to Automotive News, he now openly regrets allowing Audi designer Peter Schreyer to go. During a rare interview – with an even rarer admission of fault – Piëch made it clear his company should not have let the talented designer head for Kia, saying plainly, "We should not have let him go." But that wasn't the only revelation. P
We've been hearing rumors and reports about a seven-passenger crossover or SUV from Volkswagen, dating back to 2008. Now it seems like the German automaker could be closer than ever to offering such a vehicle. This new utility vehicle has now been mentioned twice by two different VW representatives since the Paris Motor Show wrapped up; first by CEO Martin Winterkorn in the Automotive News and now by Peter Thul, head of brand and product communications for VW AG, in Bloomberg.
Fiat chairman Sergio Marchionne said Friday he will keep his title of President of the European Automotive Manufacturers Association [ACEA], a day after he excoriated Volkswagen executives for calling for his resignation and suggesting in public that Fiat would not survive the economic recession in Europe without a government rescue.
Whatever Volkswagen has done to get to the position of dominance in the European – and indeed the global auto industry, it's clearly been working. But some of its decisions still leave us scratching our heads. The Phaeton is one such four-wheeled decision.
Martin Winterkorn is a happy man: Volkswagen is putting up big numbers in North America, its latest field of dreams, Audi, is breaking records every month, there are exciting cars in the pipeline – from Bugatti down to the XL1, Porsche's digestion continues, and now Skoda and especially Seat are turning in no-questions performance.
Someone at the Frankfurt Motor Show caught Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn investigating a Hyundai i30 as if he was just like one would expect from an intrigued engineer at a rival company. It might be too much to infer that the Herr Doctor is impressed by what he finds, but there is no doubt that he's got some questions that will need answering when he leaves.