Dr. Herbert Diess appointed as new Volkswagen CEO

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Even with the diesel emission burden to bear and faced with various accusations in the matter from all sides, Müller successfully managed to lead the VW boat through rough waters.

This post will replace the Hg Diss, who was Chairman of the Volkswagen brand.

Dressed in a dark blue suit and a burgundy tie, Diess and chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch were the only executives to field questions about the carmaker, even though VW announced a raft of new appointments on Thursday.

The company said in a statement that it would group all its brands and management functions into six broad business areas plus China.

VW Group's brands, which include Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Skoda (not in SA), and others will be put into three groups - Volume, Premium, and Super Premium.

He will head up the management board that reports to the group's board of directors and take charge of vehicle development and research as well as vehicle-related information technology.

Replacing Müller will be Herbert Diess, head of the Volkswagen brand.

"Bundling brands in groups greatly helps to increase synergies", said Bankhaus Metzler analyst Juergen Pieper. "Matthias Müller has laid the groundwork for our transformation", said new CEO Diess.

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"My most important task will now be to join with our management team and our Group workforce in consistently pursuing and pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility".

"In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalisation of the automobile and transportation, as well as new mobility services".

Mueller held the top job for more than 2½ years after succeeding CEO Martin Winterkorn, who was ousted days after the company's diesel pollution scandal, was exposed in September 2015.

The carmaker remains mired in legal woes overseas and in its home market, where it also faces possible diesel bans in some smog-clogged inner cities, a prospect that has already depressed resale prices to the chagrin of millions of owners of diesel vehicles.

Diess promised to push on with "cultural change" in the company that suffered its deepest crisis when it had to admit in 2015 that it installed software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to cheat on emissions test.

As of February, VW had spent more than $7.4 billion in buying back about 350,000 vehicles.

Separately, VW said works council executive Gunnar Kilian, a close aide to labor boss Bernd Osterloh, will replace group human resources chief Karlheinz Blessing who will stay at VW as an adviser.

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