Earlier this week, we speculated that amidst the #Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen’s upper ranks would experience an unprecedented shakeup. The first expected move occurred yesterday, when Mark Winterkorn stepped down as CEO of Volkswagen Group. Now, VW will soon announce a new CEO, while other executives have tendered resignations.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Matthias Müller, the current head of Porsche, is going to be named CEO of Volkswagen Group. Currently, Porsche only has one diesel vehicle, the Cayenne SUV, and it uses a different engine than the one at the center of the scandal.
Meanwhile, reports are confirming that U.S. CEO Michael Horn, and the R&D heads of both Audi and Porsche are also out. According to CNBC, Horn will be dismissed, along with Audi R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg, and Porsche R&D head Wolfgang Hatz. They will be dismissed during the meeting of the supervisory board, which takes place tomorrow.
Some Audi TDI models have been at the center of this diesel fiasco, but the Porsche V6 diesel engine available in the Cayenne has not. The EPA is taking a closer look at the 3.0-liter diesel V6 engine available in the Cayenne and some Audi models, and its fate could soon join its four cylinder brethren. The dismissal of these R&D heads doesn’t bode well for the fate of that engine.
As it stands, VW Group is down several key executives, and a new CEO has a hard road ahead.