The boss of Volkswagen Group has outlined the five steps the company will take to put the emissions issue behind it and create the conditions for its “successful further development”.
One is to focus on quality, not just volume or return on sales.
Matthias Müller (pictured), chairman of the management board, presented the plan that he intends to use so that Volkswagen “remains one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers”.
Müller is confident that “Volkswagen will emerge from the current situation stronger than before”.
He announced that the cornerstones of the group’s ‘Strategy 2025’ will be presented next year.
The Volkswagen CEO explained that his top priority is to support the customers affected by the diesel issue.
“Our customers are at the core of everything that our 600,000 employees worldwide do,” he said.
According to Müller, Volkswagen is working intensively to develop effective technical solutions.
In contact with the Kraftfahrtbundesamt (KBA – German Federal Motor Transport Authority) the implementation is set to begin in January 2016.
Müller’s second priority: “Systematically drive forward” and complete the investigation into what happened.
“We must uncover the truth and learn from it”, he said, adding that Volkswagen is being extremely thorough in its analysis with help from auditors Deloitte.
Müller said those responsible for what has happened must face “severe consequences”.
The third priority: Introduce new structures in the Volkswagen Group
“The key point is that group management will be decentralised to a greater extent in the future,” he said, with more independence for the brands and regions.
Müller said the board of management will focus on addressing cross-brand strategies, “leveraging synergies” and ensuring group resources are used effectively.
“We will review in detail our current portfolio of more than 300 models and examine the contribution that each one makes to our earnings.”
The fourth priority: A realignment of the group’s culture and management behaviour
In pursuit of perfection, the employees’ commitment and social responsibility in the Volkswagen Group must be retained, Müller said.
However, he believes that changes are necessary in how Volkswagen communicates and how it handles its mistakes.
“We need a culture of openness and cooperation.”
Müller also called on everybody at Volkswagen to display more courage, greater creativity and a more entrepreneurial spirit in their dealings with one another.
The fifth priority: move from a focus on returns and volume to qualitative growth
“Many people outside of Volkswagen, but also some of us, did not understand that our ‘Strategy 2018’ is about much more than production numbers.
“A lot of things were subordinated to the desire to be ‘faster, higher, larger’, especially return on sales.”
According to Müller, the point is not to sell 100,000 more or fewer vehicles than a major competitor.
Instead, the real issue is “qualitative growth”.
Müller announced that the cornerstones of the group’s ‘Strategy 2025’ will unveiled mid-way through next year.