Newly installed Volkswagen CEO Matthias Muller has outlined five key points that he hopes will guide the European automaker through the aftermath of the dieselgate affair and into the future.
In a statement to the media, Muller stated that the company will come up with a medium term plan, dubbed Strategy 2025, which will replace the current Strategy 2018, developed under the leadership of former CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Muller sheeted some of the company’s current predicament on Strategy 2018, saying: “Many people outside of Volkswagen, but also some of us, did not understand that our Strategy 2018 is about much more than production numbers. A lot of things were subordinated to the desire to be ‘Faster, Higher, Larger’, especially return on sales.”
The new CEO instead plans for the company to focus on “qualitative growth” rather than concentrating on whether it is selling “100,000 more or fewer vehicles than a major competitor”. Strategy 2025 will revealed around the middle of 2016.
Volkswagen’s first priority, though, Muller says, is supporting “customers affected by the diesel issue”. The company is “working intensively to develop effective technical solutions” to make around 11 million vehicle with the EA189 turbo-diesel engine compliant with emissions regulations.
The company will begin recalling vehicles when technical fixes are available. The Australian arms of Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda have setup websites so owners can see if their cars are fitted with an emissions testing defeat device and need to be rectified in the future.
Secondly, Muller wants Volkswagen to “uncover the truth and learn from it”, with auditing firm Deloitte now involved in the company’s internal investigation. Muller insists that “those responsible for what has happened must face severe consequences”.
Concurrent with this, Volkswagen will decentralise and reorganise its internal structures, with greater independence given to both individual brands and regions. To ensure that waste is kept to a minimum, Volkswagen’s board of management “will review in detail our current portfolio of more than 300 models and examine the contribution that each one makes to our earnings”.
Lastly, the company will attempt to change its corporate culture. While the CEO wants to retain “employees’ commitment and social responsibility”, the Muller-led Volkswagen will improve how it “communicates and how it handles its mistakes”.