Volkswagen’s supervisory board will pick the head of sports-car maker Porsche as its next chief executive to succeed Martin Winterkorn who resigned on Wednesday, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Announcing his resignation, Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said he was clearing the way for a fresh start for the company.
“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”, Mueller said in a company-issued release.
At a New York promotional event Monday night, VW’s US leader Michael Horn said the company “totally screwed up”.
But the scandal keeps growing. On Friday Dobrindt put the number of affected vehicles in Germany at 2.8 million.
US regulators could impose fines worth billions of dollars, and prosecutors on both sides of the Atlantic are considering launching criminal investigations.
The scandal has rippled through the entire auto market, with manufacturers fearing a drop in demand for diesel-powered cars and tougher regulations.
The top official responsible for the European single market, Elzbieta Bienkowska, said Friday that “we need full disclosure and robust pollutant emissions tests in place”.
The company also said it was suspending some employees and would reorganize its North America operations after admitting it used a piece of engine software to cheat on diesel vehicle emissions tests in the U.S.
It’s not clear whether those Skoda cars cheated on any emissions tests.
The interim chairman of the supervisor board of Volkswagen AG, Berthold Huber, in a statement called Mueller “a person of great strategic, entrepreneurial and social competence”.
He is believed to have the backing of the majority of the members on the 20-member supervisory board of the company and is also close to the Piech-Porsche family that control the company.
Mueller’s immediate priority is to clean up the mess in the United States, analysts said. Now we’re getting the first word of who those executives might be.
“Humility will be the name of the game”, he said.
Matthias Mueller has been named CEO of Volkswagen AG, effective immediately, the company announced today. “That means there will be discussions about succession in the foreseeable future again”.
Many high-ranking executives are expected to be sacked in the process.
Mueller, 62, would represent part of the fresh start that Winterkorn said was needed when he stepped down.
Volkswagen has admitted to falsifying the results of emissions tests for the Jetta, Beetle, Audi, A3 and Golf models between 2009 and 2015 and Passat between 2014 and 2015 so they would pass US Enivronment Protection Agency regulations.
Volkswagen is under heavy pressure to show it can get to grips with the biggest business-related scandal in its 78-year history. “Volkswagen needs a fundamental cultural change”.
Germany, Italy and France are among the countries known to be investigating, and the commission says their probes would include carmakers beyond VW.