VW shows unity for new brand boss after battle

VEHICLE manufacturing giant Volkswagen (VW) welcomed Herbert Diess as its new brand chief yesterday.

In a special Q&A event held for Volkswagen employees, Diess led the audience to believe that the company’s current chairman Martin Winterkorn had poached him from BMW – in fact, it was the former chairman Ferdinand Piech who was responsible for luring Diess from VW’s competitor in December 2014.

This political gesture of unity with VW’s chairman comes after April’s power struggle between Winterkorn and Piech. A strong critic of Winterkorn, Piech was subsequently ousted, but only after persuading Diess to jump ship to VW.

The German car company’s other brands include Audi, Seat, Porsche, Bugatti, Bentley, Skoda and Lamborghini and have combined unit sales exceeding 10.14m across 2014.

“I highly value Herr Winterkorn. Under his leadership the company and the brand developed greatly,” Diess said.

In a nod to VW’s labour representatives, he also said he would seek to work with the “entire Volkswagen team”, but pledged to continue the cost-cutting drive.