Volkswagen chief executive Bernd Pischetsrieder is between a rock and a hard place. Saying "there is no
alternative" to cutting jobs and costs at its loss-making German plants, Pischetsrieder is also battling a board
divided between shareholder representatives and the labor leaders who hold half the seats.
Under VW's "ForMotion Plus" restructuring plan, Pischetsrieder says he will cut up to 20,000 VW jobs over the next three years, as he tries to counteract not only sky-high labor costs at the company's West German plants, but also an earnings shortfall in American and Chinese markets.
Without restructuring, Pischetsrieder sees no long-term future for the VW brand. While the restructuring may move forward, there's no guarantee that he will be around to lead the charge - chairman Ferdinand Piech has stated publicly that united opposition from the board's union representatives could make Pischetsrieder's position untenable.