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Volkswagen Matthias Müller Diesel

Volkswagen promises ‘spirit of openness’ as it issues five point plan documenting brand future


By John McCarthy | Media editor

October 28, 2015 | 4 min read

Volkswagen has promised investors that head will roll in wake of the 'diesel' scandal that has resulted in the car marque’s first quarterly loss in 15 years, as it faced analysts for the first time since news of the rigged emissions tests emerged.

The company’s newly instated chief executive Matthias Mueller said that it will be “ruthless” in punishing those involved. “And we will be comprehensive in learning from it so something like this never happens again," he added. It has enlisted Deloitte to root out those responsible.

Mueller wnt on to issue a five point plan documenting the future for the brand, saying that the company has to “look beyond the current situation and create the conditions for Volkswagen’s successful further development”.

He said the group’s top priority will be supporting customers affected by the diesel scandal, adding: “Our customers are at the core of everything that our 600,000 employees worldwide do."

On top of this, mentioned was Müeller's intent to decentralise the management structure - empowering regional heads - accessing VW’s culture in the wake of the scandal, and finally, creating a plan to take the brand up to 2025. This will include a review of the company’s 300 product portfolio.

""As I told my management team, quite frankly, we simply need to get on with it. Things will only change if we as leaders bring a new spirit of openness and cooperation to life," he said.

In the short term future, the company will be "working intensively to develop effective technical solutions” to undo the diesel model emission work around which brought it into disrepute in the first place.

No mention was made of the role marketing would play. The brand has paused all major advertising efforts in recent week as it tries to limit the collateral damage from the scandal. It's limited communication with customers has seen it roll out a print campaign apologising for rigging emissions tests in as many as 11 million of its vehicles worldwide.

Indicative of the scale of the problems it faces, Müeller exited the call early to accompany German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a trade trip to China where he will brief her on how it plans to recover falling sales.

The Group's reported a €2.52bn pre-tax loss for the third quarter of the year, its first quarterly loss in 15 years. However, it remains positive that the plans put in place will see a four per cent rise in sales revenue for the year.

Volkswagen Matthias Müller Diesel

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