On Tuesday, Volkswagen said that as many as 11 million cars were affected and possibly subject to a global recall. VW’s supervisory board would offcially present the new man at the helm after a meeting on Friday.
Audi research head Ulrich Hackenberg; Porsche engine chief Wolfgang Hatz; and VW brand development chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser were the other executives expected to be let go.
The top job at VW suddenly became available this week when chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigned after the company admitted that it deceived United States regulators about how much its diesel cars pollute.
Mueller, a company veteran for four decades, enjoys the support of the family that controls VW as well as the automaker’s influential labor leaders, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
“The only thing is that Skoda is a brand that also used those engines, so it’s not clear if it’s credible that he didn’t know about this”, Gommel said.
Winterkorn stepped down after it was revealed the company had manipulated emissions tests in the US, resulting in a worldwide scandal.
The scandal at VW is putting diesel emissions across the industry under scrutiny.
Possible successors to Winterkorn also included Herbert Diess, a former BMW executive who took over the newly created post of VW brand chief this year, a person familiar with the matter said. They are among VW’s highest-ranking engineers.
Though Winterkorn oversaw a doubling in sales and a near tripling in profit in his eight year rein, he faced criticism for the company’s underperformance in the United States and for a micro-managing style that critics say delayed model launches and hampered its ability to adapt to local markets.
Labour representatives, occupying half of the 20 board seats, would “only accept a personality with great technical and entrepreneurial expertise as well as great social competence”, VW works council chief Bernd Osterloh said in a letter to employees published on Thursday. “It goes without saying that we will take full responsibility and cover costs for the necessary arrangements and measures”.