German businessman Matthias Muller has been named as Volkswagen’s new CEO in the wake of the scandal of rigged emissions tests in diesel cars.
Matthias Muller succeeds Martin Winterkorn who resigned on September 23.
VW admitted cheating emissions tests in the US.
Some VW cars being sold in the US had devices in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results.
Matthias Muller, who has been Porsche AG CEO since 2010, said restoring VW’s reputation was his top priority: “My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group – by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation.”
He also announced sweeping changes to the way the world’s largest carmaker was run, including handing greater autonomy to regional divisions.
Matthias Muller, 62, said he would tighten up procedures at the company: “At no point was the safety of our customers in danger. We will now have even stricter compliance. Our objective is that the people continue to use and drive our vehicles with confidence and pleasure. That’s 80 million people driving our cars worldwide.”
The US’s Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) findings of the scandal cover 482,000 cars in the US only, including the VW-manufactured Audi A3, and the VW brands Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat.
The automaker has admitted that about 11 million cars worldwide are fitted with the so-called “defeat device” – 2.8 million cars in Germany – and further costly recalls and refits are possible.
Half of VW’s sales in Europe – the company’s biggest market – are for diesel cars.
VW shares plunged around 30% in the days after the scandal broke.
Transport authorities in several countries – including the UK and Germany – have announced investigations in to the scandal.