Although Volkswagen management has always maintained that the plot to cheat on diesel emissions tests was limited to a small group of engineers, documents obtained by Handelsblatt show that senior management, including Rupert Stadler, CEO of VW’s luxury car group Audi, was given advance details of the scheme.
Mr. Stadler, 54, was once one of the rising stars of Germany’s auto industry, having been named CEO of the Year in 2011 and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012. But now the pressure on him is mounting: Handelsblatt has learned that in the wake of the dieselgate scandal, Audi’s management board is planning a major restructuring of the company that will include the departure of senior executives in September. While Mr. Stadler is not expected to leave at that time, his future is no longer considered assured.
Following a raid by prosecutors on Audi’s headquarters in the city of Ingolstadt in March, Mr. Stadler acknowledged that the investigation of the firm was far from over.