VW Group appoints Herbert Diess as new CEO

Volkswagen New Boss Is Herbert Diess

Mueller's replacement with VW brand chief Diess follows slow progress in reorganizing the group's vehicle brands, a key pillar of "Strategy 2025" to transform the Germany's biggest auto company into a leader in cleaner cars and to move on from its diesel emissions scandal of 2015. He helped steer the company out of its diesel emissions scandal and into a new era of investment in electric cars. Mueller had been tapped as CEO unexpectedly in September 2015 when Martin Winterkorn resigned over the scandal in which the company had rigged carts to cheat on United States emissions tests.

Mueller held the top job for more than 2½ years after succeeding CEO Martin Winterkorn, who was ousted days after the company's diesel pollution scandal, was exposed in September 2015.

"We want to create a slimmed down company with strong brands", Diess said, explaining that Audi would form the group's core brand in the premium segment with a goal of overtaking Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Diess came to VW from an executive position with BMW, and the Associated Press reports his man role since becoming head of the VW brand in 2015 has been negotiating with German worker representatives.

The carmaker remains mired in legal woes overseas and in its home market, where it also faces looming diesel bans in some smog-clogged inner cities that have already depressed resale prices to the chagrin of millions of motorists.

"The new VW boss Diess has a long to-do list", Greens party parliamentary leader Anton Hofreiter told German news agency DPA.

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Notwithstanding, in May 2017 prosecutors in Stuttgart said they were exploring Mr. Mueller over doubts he may have thought about the diesel tricking before it ended up open. "Otherwise, the charge of secrecy and cronyism will keep sticking to VW in future".

And while he brought VW's share price and profits back up to pre-crisis levels, observers say he made little progress in shaking up the firm's famously hierarchical corporate culture, which some critics believe discouraged employees from speaking up about the diesel scam. It is a scandal that continues to plague VW in Europe.

Corporate restructuring sees group separate vehicle brands into new core divisions - volume, premium and super premium. Also, new brand groups - Volume, Premium and Super Premium, will be introduced.

Board chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said Mueller, 64, had done "outstanding work" at a time when the company "faced the greatest challenge in its history".

The carmaker said it will rearrange its 12 marks by making six new vehicle divisions and an uncommon arm dedicated to China, its biggest market.

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