VW Group CEO Matthias Müller has announced five key steps to realign Europe’s largest carmaker. The five point plan presented by the executive is aimed at maintaining VW as one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers in the future.
“We have to look beyond the current situation and create the conditions for Volkswagen’s successful further development,” Müller said in Wolfsburg on Wednesday, adding that the company “will emerge from the current situation stronger than before.”
The top priority for the company is to support the customers affected by the diesel issue. Müller said that Volkswagen is working intensively to develop “effective technical solutions”. The implementation is set to begin in January 2016, with oversight from the Kraftfahrtbundesamt (KBA – German Federal Motor Transport Authority).
The second priority according to Müller is to “systematically drive forward and complete the investigation into what happened.” The CEO said VW must uncover the truth and learn from it, adding that the company is being extremely thorough in its analysis. VW has hired audit firm Deloitte for this purpose, in addition to the steps already announced. Those responsible for what has happened must face severe consequences, Müller said.
The third priority is to introduce new structures in the Volkswagen Group. “The key point is that Group management will be decentralized to a greater extent in the future,” Müller said, offering brands and regions more independence. “We will review in detail our current portfolio of more than 300 models and examine the contribution that each one makes to our earnings,” the CEO added.
VW CEO’s fourth priority is to drive forward a realignment of the Group’s culture and management behavior. Müller believes that changes are necessary in how Volkswagen communicates and how it handles its mistakes. “We need a culture of openness and cooperation,” the executive noted.
Finally, the fifth priority will be to transform the Group’s Strategy 2018 into a Strategy 2025. According to Müller, the point is not to sell 100,000 more or fewer vehicles than a major competitor. Instead, the real issue is qualitative growth. The CEO announced that the cornerstones of the Group’s Strategy 2025 will be developed over the coming months, and that it would be unveiled mid-way through next year.