Board Meets

VW CEO to Plot Way Forward

matthias_mueller_volkswagen_Julian Stratenschulte_dpa
Matthias Müller, VW's chief executive officer, faces a grilling by his supervisors on Wednesday.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    VW needs to convince customers and investors how it can repair manipulated diesel engines and pay for the billions in costs associated with it.

  • Facts


    • Volkswagen has admitted to manipulating 11 million diesel cars, which made the cars less polluting during test drives.
    • Volkswagen has rigged emissions testing on another 800,000 cars that concerned carbon dioxide testing, possibly including gasoline engines.
    • The company has so far set aside €6.7 billion in provisions to deal with the scandal and expects the CO2 problem to cost another €2 billion, or $2.2 billion.
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Matthias Müller, the 62-year-old chief executive of Volkswagen Group, has been in crisis mode ever since taking the reins from Martin Winterkorn in September. Just days after the German carmaker acknowledged it had manipulated diesel emissions in about 11 million cars worldwide, the former Porsche boss took over from Mr. Winterkorn, who was forced to resign.

Mr. Müller is meeting on Wednesday with VW’s non-executive supervisory board to discuss the future of Europe’s largest carmaker. On Thursday, he will hold a press conference and reveal how he plans to deal with “Dieselgate” and reorganize the group.

The supervisory board, led by chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch, his former chief financial officer, is closely scrutinizing Mr. Müller’s steps.

The chief executive’s position has been significantly weakened by accusations that VW mismanaged the aftermath of the crisis. The biggest examples include revelations last month that some cars with larger diesel engines also contain illegal software – a U-turn from an earlier denial by VW – and suspicions that even some gasoline-powered cars may be affected.

Under German law, the supervisory board, made up of representatives from major shareholders and labor groups, has the power to hire and fire executive board members and sign off on key strategic decisions.

Mr. Müller will be able to take some good news with him to the board. The carmaker on Wednesday said an internal review found none of its cars had been “unlawfully” manipulated to reduce the value of their carbon-dioxide emissions, though a small number of cars did record “slight deviations” between testing and driving.

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