Volkswagen CEO Müller announces group strategy

By CARSIFU | 4 November 2015

WOLFSBURG: Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (AG) chairman of the board of management Matthias Müller has announced five key steps to realign the Group.

“We have to look beyond the current situation and create the conditions for Volkswagen’s successful further development”, said Müller who also presented a five-point plan to help the company remain as one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers in the future.

In addition, Müller is also confident that they will emerge stronger from the current situation before announcing that the cornerstones of the Group’s Strategy 2025 will be presented next year.

The Volkswagen CEO explained that his top priority is to support the customers that have been affected by the diesel issue and is working intensively to develop effective technical solutions.

“Our customers are at the core of everything that our 600,000 employees worldwide do”, he said.

In contact with the Kraftfahrtbundesamt (KBA – German Federal Motor Transport Authority) the implementation is set to begin in January 2016.

The second priority, according to Müller, is to systematically drive forward and complete the investigation into what happened and was adamant that those responsible must face severe consequences

He also indicated the company’s resolution to be extremely thorough in its analysis to uncovering the truth and learn from it.

And for this purpose, audit firm Deloitte has been engaged in addition to the steps already announced.

The third priority is to introduce new structures in the Volkswagen Group, where management will be decentralized to a greater extent in the future with more independence for the brands and regions.

According to Müller, the Board of Management will focus on addressing cross-brand strategies, leveraging synergies and ensuring that Group resources are used effectively.

“We will review in detail our current portfolio of more than 300 models and examine the contribution that each one makes to our earnings,” he said.

As his fourth priority, Müller is driving forward a realignment of the Group’s culture and management behavior, stating that qualities such as the pursuit of perfection, the employees’ commitment and social responsibility in the Volkswagen Group must be retained.

However, he also believes that changes are necessary in how Volkswagen communicates and how it handles its mistakes by indicating a need for a culture that’s open and cooperative.

Furthermore, he called on everybody at the company 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.”

According to Müller, the point is not to sell 100,000 more or fewer vehicles than a major competitor, but address the real issue of 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.