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VW CEO receives board backing for his aggressive electrification plan

Herbert Diess, the head of the Volkswagen group, forced a vote of confidence over his leadership at Volkswagen after facing some pushbacks due to his more aggressive stance on electric vehicles.

Now Volkswagen’s board confirmed that it is backing him and his team over the aggressive electrification plan.

Diess came to Volkswagen from BMW in 2015 amid the Dieselgate scandal and started a wide-ranging effort to reform the company.

A lot of the effort revolves around the automaker’s electrification plan, and when it comes to electric vehicles, Diess has been open about the fact that he believes “it is going to be a race with Tesla.”

There have been rumblings about internal pushback over Diess’ electrification plans.

Earlier this month, the executive decided to push for a vote of confidence from Volkswagen’s board through an early extension of his contract, which was not due until 2023.

This week, the board announced it is backing Diess and his plan:

During its meeting today, the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG dealt extensively with the Together 2025+ strategy and, in connection with this, a realignment of personnel. The Board unanimously resolved to give its full support to the strategy, in particular the orientation of the company towards electromobility and digitalisation.

The Supervisory Board issued the following statement regarding the decision:

“Herbert Diess has had a major impact on Volkswagen since 2015. Without his commitment, the transformation of the company would not have been so consistent and successful. The Supervisory Board values the determination and persistence that Herbert Diess has exhibited in pressing forward not only with technological changes and the contribution to the achievement of climate goals, but also with the financial results of the company. In the upcoming years, the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG will implement the strategy with Herbert Diess at the top. The Chairman of the Board of Management and his new Board of Management team have the Supervisory Board’s full support not only when it comes to the new orientation towards electromobility and digitalisation, but also the increase of efficiency and profitability in all brands and parts of the Group. In this connection, it remains our joint objective to combine the transformation with a high level of qualification and future opportunities for the employees of the Group and – taking into account existing programmes – to organise the necessary reduction of staff, including in particular the demographic change, by means of the tried and tested personnel tools.”

Diess also commented:

“Together we are rigorously pressing forward with the largest transformation in the history of Volkswagen. In the upcoming years, we will continue to invest in electromobility, digitalisation and battery technology and, at the same time, substantially reduce fixed costs and material costs throughout the Group in all brands and regions in order to ensure Volkswagen’s future viability”

As part of the meeting, Volkswagen also voted to retain control of Lamborghini and Ducati while Bentley will be under Audi’s management.

Electrek’s Take

This is great news.

Now, if there were any managers and execs at VW that were just hoping that Diess and his plan would go away, they will have to get on board or go away because he is here to stay.

Hopefully, we are going to see a broader support for electric vehicles at VW from the top down now.

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