VW's new CEO to push internal change, as well as electric cars

VW's new CEO to push internal change, as well as electric cars

The change in CEO is part of a wider management shake-up for the VW Group whose 12 brands include Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT and Skoda.

At a news conference at Volkswagen (VW) group headquarters, Diess sought to play down the extent of planned changes, taking care not to stoke fears over jobs that have caused labour bosses to stifle previous attempted overhauls.

"The Volkswagen Group's goal is and remains to align the company and its brands with future needs, to safeguard its position among the leaders of the worldwide automotive industry with innovativeness and profitability and to be instrumental in shaping tomorrow's personal mobility with the strength of our Group brands", said chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Pötsch in the statement announcing the changes.

Dieselgate has so far cost VW more than 25 billion euros ($31 billion) in buybacks, fines and compensation, and the carmaker remains mired in legal woes at home and overseas.

In the release, the German automaker said it would reorganize its management structure into six areas and china.

One of Diess's biggest challenges as he takes the helm at VW will be to clarify the group's vision for the future as the auto giant navigates between a pivot towards electric vehicles and clinging to the diesel technology it has invested so heavily in over the years.

This management reshuffling comes in the aftermath of VW's diesel emissions scandal that saw the company admit to using software, known as a defeat device, in the 2009-2015 Audi A3 and the Volkswagen Beetle, Golf, Jetta and Passat TDI cars with 2.0-liter diesel engines to trick emissions tests.

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Diess is a former BMW executive who has overseen the core Volkswagen brand since 2015. Also, new brand groups - Volume, Premium and Super Premium, will be introduced. The company sold 10.74 million vehicles and made 11.6 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in profit.

Gunnar Kilian, from the company's works council, becomes group head of human resources, succeeding Karlheinz Blessing, who will be available as a consultant until his contract expires.

"Bundling brands in groups greatly helps to increase synergies", said Bankhaus Metzler analyst Juergen Pieper.

"Possible sanctions are naturally a concern", Diess said on Friday.

He stressed however that VW remains opposed to costly hardware fixes for its cars as well as to urban diesel bans.

Blume will head up a "super premium" cars division which groups Bentley, Porsche, Bugatti and possibly Lamborghini, which is now integrated with Audi.

The automaker's board member for procurement Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz will quit his post, the sources further added.

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