Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker, over the weekend said that it was parting ways with its top production manager, Michael Macht, following complaints about repeated breakdowns at the automaker’s main factory in Wolfsburg.
In a statement, Volkswagen said Mr. Macht, a 53-year-old board member responsible for production, would leave the company “in mutual agreement.’’ The Volkswagen chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, thanked the departing executive for his “service.’’
The high-level departure came less than a month after Volkswagen’s rank-and-file, at a companywide workers meeting, complained about a spate of technical breakdowns that interrupted auto assembly in Wolfsburg.
At the meeting, Bernd Osterloh, the head of Volkswagen’s workers council, said employees would “not be held responsible for the defective processes and technical problems in production.’’ At the meeting, Mr. Winterkorn, the Volkswagen chief executive, did not rise to defend his manager, but also joined in the criticism of problems with a new production line.
“The planning of these facilities is often too big, too complex and too expensive,’’ he told about 20,000 workers who attended the meeting in Wolfsburg.