Volkswagen Group is undertaking a major restructuring, part of which sees Dr. Herbert Diess replace Matthias Mueller as group chairman.
The change in leadership is only part of a larger restructuring effort. Mueller was brought in as the fire fighter to tackle the fall out of the company’s diesel emissions scandal. Under Mueller’s tenure, the Group recovered sales, profitability despite facing over $30bn in fines and endless lawsuits.
That’s not all. The meeting also sees restructuring of the business in a major way. Under the new arrangement, the new set up will consist of six business units (three of which will be brand units) along with a group dedicated to China.
Brands are being subdivided into four separate groups: Volume, premium and super premium. The volume group will consist of Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat. Premium will incorporate Audi, Lamborghini and Ducati. Super premium comprises Bentley, Bugatti and Porsche.
The fourth group refers to commercial vehicles produced under the MAN, Scania and Volkswagen brands.
“In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services,” Diess said.
In the day-to-day operations, each individual holding company will permit semi-autonomous operation of the brands under its umbrella. This means increased interdependence should allow each business unit to respond more quickly and efficiently to larger market changes, rather than forcing each brand to develop independent strategies as market conditions remain uncertain.