Volkswagen names new chief executive

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI rendering

In the release, the German automaker said it would reorganize its management structure into six areas and china.

The incoming group boss also said that the company's labor council, which represents the interest of the company's workers, was "fully committed" to the structural and operational changes. Luxury group Audi will be placed in a separate premium division and high-end brands Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini in a super-premium group.

Speaking at his first news conference as chief executive at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Diess said he would look at the different assets in VW's portfolio, which include Renk and MAN Diesel, and review whether keeping them makes sense.

"The creation of brand groups has been under consideration for a while", he said about the biggest overhaul since VW became a multi-brand conglomerate under former CEO Ferdinand Piech, a grandson of VW Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche.

"We believe we can not control and manage this century, but our group activities will be co-ordinated and our political relationships will be well maintained", said Diess, when asked how the company plans to stay ahead of a constantly evolving auto industry.

Senior works council members past year had their salaries cut and bonuses suspended after public prosecutors investigated alleged overpayments at the carmaker, a move that labour leaders are blaming on Blessing, one source said.

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Analysts cheered Mr Diess' appointment.

Mueller had "signaled he was open to play a part in the changes" in conversations with supervisory board chief Hans Dieter Poetsch, the company said.

Also, Oliver Blume, chairman of the board at Porsche, has been appointed to the group board, and Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, head of procurement, has left the company at his own request.

He was installed after Mueller's attempts to reshape the automotive group foundered amid labour opposition, including his plans to sell motorbike brand Ducati.

The move is the biggest shake up of the German vehicle giant since the Dieselgate scandal back in 2015. Diess came to Volkswagen only two years ago from competitor BMW and takes over with a mandate to press changes in the company's insular management culture.

Mueller, who formerly headed Porsche, took over as CEO unexpectedly in September 2015 when Martin Winterkorn resigned over the company's scandal over cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests.

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