Currently reading: VW board backs CEO’s reforms; retains Lamborghini and Ducati
Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess has board’s backing in pivot towards increasing electrification; halo brands remain
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2 mins read
14 December 2020

The Volkswagen Group board has backed the electrification reforms of CEO Herbert Diess, settling a potential boardroom bust-up at Europe’s largest car maker. The announcement also confirms that Lamborghini and Ducati will remain within the group. Both brands had been at risk of being sold off.

There is no word on the fate of Bugatti, which has been linked to a potential sale to electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac.

Further restructuring means that Bentley will, from 1 March 2021, sit under Audi. The British manufacturer is in the process of switching to electrification and Audi’s Project Artemis is a key aspect of this.

Prior to the board’s announcement, Diess had effectively forced a vote of confidence in himself in order to extend his contract beyond 2023 and push through the Together 2025+ strategy. Although there was no announcement about Diess’s contract, VW did concede some key points to Diess, such as confirming Arno Antlitz as the new chief financial officer. Diess was keen to get Antlitz into position, replacing previous CFO Frank Witter.

In addition, the board “unanimously resolved to give its full support to the strategy [of Together 2025+] in particular the orientation of the company towards electromobility and digitalisation,” according to a statement from VW.

A round of cost cutting is also part of the measures announced, with material costs being reduced by 7% over the next two years. The separation of the procurement and component departments is confirmed and VW’s HQ at Wolfsburg will become the electric factory hub for the brand.

As a result, VW’s flagship electric car will be built at Wolfsburg. There is no word in the announcement as to what sort of car that could be, but development and production will be similar to the principles of Audi’s Artemis Project, in the hope of increasing efficiencies during the R&D stages.

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wmb 15 December 2020

I an effort to save cost, I don't see why Lamborghini does come under the control of Porche. Now that Audi is managing Bentley, it would seem that this would be a natural fit Porche to take our the Italian brand. Out side of the Urus and Cayenne, none of their other vehicles over lap or compete one to the other. Lambo at one point, wanted to save cost by having the previous flagship and their entry level supercars share their platform. Audi put and end to that, because the entry level vehicle had to share its bones with the R8! This would not be an issue with Porsche leadership and Lamborghini could still have the freedom it plug into its Italian heritage, while benefiting from the management of one of the world's greatest automotive engineering organizations. 

Saucerer 15 December 2020

Audi always appear to be sort of semi-automous in the VW Group, often resulting in other brands coming under its ownership rather directly under the VW Group. Is this because it's seen as the groups premium maintream brand or does the company have some sort of independence or is given a freer rein compared to other VW Group brands?

BlahBlah43 15 December 2020
I'm sure his new salary in the contract that he gave himself had no cost cutting in it.