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Classics VW boss: Diess: “I have a contract until 2023 and I want to fulfill it”

14:20  04 december  2020
14:20  04 december  2020 Source:   wiwo.de

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VW boss Herbert Diess is confident he can make electric cars as profitable as his best-selling combustion engine vehicles © FT montage / Bloomberg. “If you look at Tesla’s evaluation, it ’s not about profitability,” Mr Diess said. “ It ’s a new game, and that’s also what I have always said.”

Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess publicly confirmed in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche for the first time that a power struggle over personnel issues has broken out between him and the group works council.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of German carmaker Volkswagen is seen on a rim cap in a showroom of a Volkswagen car dealer in Brussels, Belgium July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo © REUTERS FILE PHOTO: The logo of German carmaker Volkswagen is seen on a rim cap in a showroom of a Volkswagen car dealer in Brussels, Belgium July 9, 2020. REUTERS / Francois Lenoir / File Photo

Diess was also optimistic, that there will be a solution soon: "I am confident that we will get a decision in the next few weeks," he told WirtschaftsWoche. At Volkswagen, the positions of CFO and Purchasing Director have to be filled. In addition, a possible extension of Diess ‘contract, which runs until 2023, is to be decided. "The personal details are a complex matter in which the various stakeholders - the works council, the owner families, the state of Lower Saxony - want to be taken along," Diess told WirtschaftsWoche. The situation is "not easy", but does not tolerate any further delay. The position of the purchasing director has been vacant for a long time. "We can no longer afford that because there are many important decisions to be made," said Diess. At a time of great change, “two or three months could be very crucial”.

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Want to join? He's focusing more on the overall direction of VW Group, while Ralf Brandstaetter is tasked with implementing more less insane cost cutting measures Edit for correction: Diess , who was nicknamed the Kostenkiller when he was in charge of purchasing/supply at BMW for having chopped

When asked about the contract extension, which Diess apparently requested for himself, the VW boss said: “As I understand it, you want to give the whole thing a continuity and perspective by setting a strategic course. My contract runs until 2023. And I intend to fulfill this contract. "

Diess emphasized that he will not play against VW works council boss Bernd Osterloh, but with him" in the same team ":" Of course we play in different positions. But we try to mostly pass balls to each other ”. He has meanwhile got used to the self-confident public relations work of the works council. He also has no problem with Osterloh holding international investor conferences at which he explains VW's strategy to analysts and major investors: “With Bernd Osterloh, we have a works council chairman who can do that. He thinks entrepreneurially and is well received. ”However, so criticized Diess,“ what is said there should also be implemented. ”

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German prosecutors have charged former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn in the diesel emissions scandal. Current CEO Herbert Diess said in Shanghai that he didn't expect to face charges. Until taking the reins at VW , Müller had been the chairman at Porsche, a VW subsidiary.

VW will more than double sales in China

Diess expects car sales to double in the world's largest car market, China in the coming years. "Measured by the level of prosperity, there are still too few cars in China," said Diess in an interview. “The market can double again in the coming years.” Volkswagen will benefit particularly from this due to its high market share in China: “We are the clear market leader in China. Our market share continues to grow, and I am sure that we will be able to benefit disproportionately from the rising demand. "Volkswagen has recently made" great progress "in China, says Diess:" We have overcome the difficulties of recent years. In some cases it was not easy because China has given its own manufacturers a lot of support and they have now also become technologically strong. ”

Diess also sees his group in a strong position when it comes to electromobility:“ We are more consistent than any other major car manufacturer The course has been set in the direction of electrification and digitization, ”he told WirtschaftsWoche. "Volkswagen therefore has a real lead over traditional competitors" of "around two years". However, VW also has to face competition from new providers like Tesla: “They see the car more as a software product. We're not at eye level here yet. ”Software deficiencies in new e-cars such as the Porsche Taycan or the VW ID.3 showed that the company“ has to improve on the software, that's no question ”. The market launch of the next important electric car, the SUV model ID.4, planned for 2021, will "certainly" run smoother, the VW boss promised.

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 New unrest at VW: Can boss Diess prevail? The dispute between Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess and the employees' side, which was laboriously resolved in the summer, could reignite. The reason for this should include the manager's ideas about filling top positions. © Sebastian Willnow / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa The dispute between Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess and the employee side, which was laboriously settled in the summer, could be reignited by the manager's personal ideas.

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Volkswagen cannot comply with the EU's CO2 targets, but

VW will probably not sell enough electric cars to meet the EU climate targets for 2020 and 2021. “We are now working flat out to get as close as possible to our goals,” said Diess. "Next year it will be easier, and from 2022 we shouldn't have any more problems achieving the fleet targets." If VW does not achieve the targets for 2020 and 2021, the EU faces fines running into billions. VW had "started relatively late" to convert the fleet to lower-emission vehicles, admitted Diess. "The entire industry knew that the fleet targets were coming". Nevertheless, Diess welcomed the Green Deal from EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyens and announced that Volkswagen would make additional efforts in terms of climate protection. "I think the goal of making Europe the leading region in the fight against climate change is correct," said Diess. “If Brussels demands an even faster pace from us, then you have to say: We will not be able to be much faster before 2025 because there are not enough batteries. On the other hand, we could still improve between 2025 and 2030. ”

Supervisory Board prefers meeting: Is the power struggle at VW about to be decided?

 Supervisory Board prefers meeting: Is the power struggle at VW about to be decided? Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess is fighting for the early extension of his contract - so far in vain. This Wednesday there could be a showdown in the VW supervisory board. © REUTERS Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess is fighting for the early extension of his contract - so far in vain. In the power struggle between the works council and Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess, the supervisory board wants to meet on Wednesday afternoon to find a compromise.

Open to cooperation with Daimler on the

car operating system Like Volkswagen, Daimler is currently programming its own operating system. "We would be open to cooperation," said Diess: "Just as we are also open to cooperation on our electric car platforms." But first, VW must "get the software for its many brands and models right". Diess expects that, similar to smartphones, only a few operating systems will establish themselves in cars worldwide. Google already offers a car operating system. “We could of course buy the operating system,” said Diess. “The Google system is already working quite well.” However, this would mean that VW would “become dependent on a company with completely different interests in a central area”. He does not consider this to be an option, says Diess: “We will do everything we can to avoid this dependency.”

Volkswagen has no difficulty in getting the software experts it needs: “We have around 500 new IT Specialists hired, ”says Diess. “We also buy entire companies.” By the end of the year, the Group's new software unit, Car.Software.Org, will grow to “almost 6000 employees”.

You can read the full interview with Herbert Diess here.

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