FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen (19459004) VOWG_p.DE Top Employee Representative has supported the reorganization of the company, signaling that new CEO Herbert Diess is less resistant to his efforts to transform Europe's largest automaker could be considered in its previous role.
This was later appointed Thursday as the successor of the departed CEO Matthias Mueller in the context of an overhaul, which envisages the streamlining of the VW vehicle brands in three groups and at the same time prepares the truck business for a possible listing.
"We are convinced that with Diess we have the right man on board," said Works Council Chairman Bernd Osterloh on Friday in a letter to the employees.
Osterloh comments come after repeated arguments over Diess & # 39; pursuit of cost reduction and profit increase at the core brand VW, where Diess got the reins only three months before the outbreak of the diesel gate scandal.
The chief of work had accused Diess of betraying workers and using the emissions scandal as a pretext for cutting jobs.
"At that time we were not on the same page," said Osterloh in his letter. "But this problem was known to have been dispelled long ago."
Osterloh and Diess reached an agreement on cost savings and downsizing through natural fluctuation in November 2016, and Osterloh said Friday job security and profitability were now equally important in the company.
The planned group revision is the largest new edition of Volkswagen, since it was under the former managing director Ferdinand Piech, a grandson of VW Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche, a multi-brand conglomerate.
Osterloh said employee representatives also support Volkswagen's decision to prepare its truck and bus division for "capital market viability" by making it a public company.
"The works councils of Scania and MAN are supporting this next step because they are continuing their work so far," he said.
Volkswagen shares rose 0.8% to € 178.04 at 0800 GMT, while the STOXX 600 automotive index .SXAP gained 0.5%.
Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by David Goodman