Volkswagen 'stepping up' pace of transformation, says new CEO Herbert Diess

By Johan De Mulder

New Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess says the next few years represent a 'crucial' period in the company's transformation process.

Speaking at the automotive giant's Annual General Meeting in Berlin, Diess - who replaced Matthias Muller as Chief Executive Officer last month - outlined the scale of progress it's going to have to make to lead the industry into the future of mobility.

"The Volkswagen Group is in robust shape in both operational and financial terms," he told shareholders. "Our strategy is gaining traction. We are systematically tackling the major automotive issues of the future. However, the longest part of our journey still lies ahead. The crucial years in our transformation have yet to come.

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"We must act more quickly, systematically and efficiently – in making decisions and in implementing them. In other words, we must transform the Group from a slow and somewhat cumbersome supertanker into a powerful fleet of speedboats."

Diess also shed further light on Volkswagen's new management structure, which consists of brand groups that will be organised by customer segment or price range. The Group expects this to result in greater accountability, speed and synergies.

Last week Volkswagen and Daimler each released their figures for 2018's first quarter, with both automotive giants recording positive growth as reported by Business Chief.

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