Volkswagen's new CEO is 'the cost killer'

Volkswagen has embarked on a major corporate overhaul aimed at making the automaker more efficient and focused....

Posted: Apr 13, 2018 1:00 PM
Updated: Apr 13, 2018 1:00 PM

Volkswagen has embarked on a major corporate overhaul aimed at making the automaker more efficient and focused.

It thinks Herbert Diess is the right executive for the job.

The world's largest automaker announced Thursday that Diess, 59, had been chosen to replace outgoing boss Matthias Mueller in a surprise leadership shift.

Diess brings an outsider's perspective to the job, having joined Volkswagen in July 2015 after spending nearly two decades at rival German automaker BMW. It was there that Diess reportedly earned the nickname "Kostenkiller" -- or the cost killer -- for his ability to slash spending.

The German-born Austrian may also help Volkswagen move beyond its diesel scandal, having joined the company only a few months before news of its emissions cheating burst into the open.

He acknowledged at a press conference on Friday that the company had "lost a great deal of trust" and that it would take years to restore public confidence.

Since joining the company, Diess has worked to revive the Volkswagen brand, launching a multi-year strategy to restructure the automaker's namesake division, increase its profitability and cut emissions.

He also set a goal to sell 1 million VW-branded electric cars by 2025 and make Volkswagen "the leading manufacturer of electric cars."

Diess appears to have an appetite for change, having warned employees in 2016 that "in its current form, our company is not sustainable."

He set out his goals for the entire group on Thursday: "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," he said in a statement.

At the press conference on Friday, he said Volkswagen would be open to forming new partnerships with other companies to hasten the development of fuel cells and autonomous cars.

He also outlined a new management structure for the firm that will see executives manage multiple brands at the same time. The company's brands, which include Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Lamborghini, will be grouped into the broad categories of "volume," "premium" and "super premium."

Diess said the change would allow managers to make quicker decisions on pricing, marketing and sales.

Volkswagen will also have a separate China division, with Diess saying that managing the company's largest market from Germany was not the right choice.

"China is of tremendous importance for the group for revenue and earnings. China will be leading when it comes to electric cars," he said.

The new CEO considers Tesla to be a major threat, even though it sells just tens of thousands of cars per year compared to Volkswagen Group's 10.7 million.

"In the old world of automotive industry, our main competitors are Toyota, Hyundai, and the French manufacturers. In the new world, it's Tesla," he said last year.

He has also previously been vocal about his desire to increase the number of female managers at the company.

Diess studied vehicle technology and mechanical engineering in his youth and earned a doctorate in assembly automation.

West Lafayette
78° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 80°
Kokomo
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Rensselaer
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Williamsport
Broken Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 83°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
Frankfort
Overcast
80° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 83°
Delphi
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
Monticello
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
Logansport
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49575

Reported Deaths: 2739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11812690
Lake5337247
Elkhart343257
Allen2867133
St. Joseph202569
Cass16439
Hamilton1629101
Hendricks1439100
Johnson1306118
Porter78038
Tippecanoe7439
Clark67144
Madison66864
Vanderburgh6296
LaPorte59727
Bartholomew59245
Howard58258
Kosciusko5654
Marshall5217
Noble49128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4773
Delaware46052
Boone45944
Hancock45736
Shelby43425
Floyd39144
Morgan32831
Monroe31528
Grant30226
Montgomery29720
Henry29316
Dubois2906
Clinton2882
White26810
Decatur25532
Lawrence25125
Dearborn24723
Vigo2408
Warrick23229
Harrison21722
Greene19132
Miami1892
Jennings17912
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess15017
Wayne1496
Perry1409
Orange13623
Steuben1332
Franklin1278
Jasper1252
Ripley1247
Wabash1152
Carroll1122
Fayette1037
Gibson1032
Newton9910
Whitley995
Starke963
Huntington822
Randolph804
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox650
Clay644
Rush603
Owen511
Adams491
Posey490
Benton480
Spencer461
Sullivan451
Brown421
Blackford392
Fountain332
Crawford320
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio210
Vermillion170
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events