Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, has announced the five key steps to realign the Group following the eruption of the diesel emissions cheating scandal. Müller announced that the cornerstones of the Group’s new Strategy 2025—replacing the current Strategy 2018—will be presented next year. Volkswagen recently brought on board Dr. Thomas Sedran as the new Head of Group Strategy. (Earlier post.)
The Volkswagen CEO said that his top priority is to support the customers affected by the diesel issue. According to Müller, Volkswagen is working intensively to develop effective technical solutions. In contact with the Kraftfahrtbundesamt (KBA – German Federal Motor Transport Authority) implementation of the fixes is set to begin in January 2016.
Müller’s second priority is to systematically drive forward and complete the investigation into what happened. Audit firm Deloitte has been engaged in addition to the steps already announced. According to Müller, those responsible for what has happened must face severe consequences.
Müller's third priority is to introduce new structures in the Volkswagen Group, with more independence for the brands and regions. Müller stated that the Board of Management will focus on addressing cross-brand strategies, leveraging synergies and ensuring that Group resources are used effectively.
As his fourth priority, Müller is driving forward a realignment of the Group’s culture and management behavior. He noted that the pursuit of perfection, the employees’ commitment and social responsibility in the Volkswagen Group must be retained. However, he believes that changes are necessary in how Volkswagen communicates and how it handles its mistakes. Müller also called on everybody at Volkswagen to display more courage, greater creativity and a more entrepreneurial spirit in their dealings with one another.
The Volkswagen CEO announced that the fifth priority will be to transform the Group’s Strategy 2018 into a Strategy 2025.
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.—Matthias Müller
According to Müller, the point is not to sell 100,000 more or fewer vehicles than a major competitor. Instead, the real issue is qualitative growth. Müller announced that the cornerstones of the Group’s Strategy 2025 will be developed over the coming months, and that it would be unveiled mid-way through next year.