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Ex-VW head Winterkorn resigns from Porsche Holding

Martin Winterkorn, who already stepped down as CEO of VW, has relinquished his position at its largest shareholder. He will be replaced by Hans Dieter Poetsch in November. Former Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn announced on Saturday that he was resigning from his position as chair of Porsche Holding Company. The embattled ex-CEO had already stepped down from VW at the end of September following revelations that the firm had cheated on emissions tests. Replacing the 68-year-old Winterkorn on November 1 will be Hans Dieter Poetsch, who is the new chairman of VW's supervisory board, in which Porsche Holding has the largest stake. On September 18, the US Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen of having installed software on some of its vehicles that enabled them to circumvent air pollution standards, tarnishing the company's sterling reputation and embroiling it a scandal whose reverberations are still being felt. It was soon discovered that about 11 million vehicles had been affected worldwide. Potential fallout for employees On Saturday, VW's works council, the representative body for employees, told German news agency DPA that the firm would likely be forced to cut back on contracted workers as financial uncertainty loomed. "As the works council, we will support all possibilities to secure the jobs of our colleagues with temporary contracts," said a council spokesman. "We know that the board of directors is discussing other possibilities." Volkswagen employs around 600,000 workers globally, thousands of them on temporary contracts, according to the most recent figures.

Martin Winterkorn, who already stepped down as CEO of VW, has relinquished his position at its largest shareholder. He will be replaced by Hans Dieter Poetsch in November. Former Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn announced on Saturday that he was resigning from his position as chair of Porsche Holding Company. The embattled ex-CEO had already stepped down from VW at the ... Read More »

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigns

Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has stepped down as a result of revelations last week that the German carmaker had manipulated diesel car emission tests in the US. No successor has yet been named. Martin Winterkorn's resignation came after a protracted meeting of VW's presidium of major shareholders ahead of a regular supervisory board meeting on Friday. The 68-year-old executive said he was stepping down "in the interests of the company" as it grappled with the aftermath of the falsified emissions tests scandal that had rocked the German carmaker. He said in a statement that "Volkswagen needs a fresh start, also in terms of personnel," adding that he would clear the way for this fresh start with his resignation. "I'm shocked by the events of the past few days, "Winterkorn said. "Above all, I'm stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group." Successor to be named on Friday? Supervisory board chief Berthold Huber told reporters in Wolfsburg that no decision had yet been reached on Winterkorn's successor, adding that more details would be announced after the board's meeting on Friday. Huber emphasized that Winterkorn had had no knowledge personally of the emission test manipulations in the US, but said he respected his move to take responsibility for the scandal. Given Winterkorn's engineering background, observers had doubted that he could be unaware of the use of so-called "defeat devices." US authorities are planning criminal investigations after discovering that VW programmed computers in its cars to detect when they were being tested and alter the running of diesel engines to conceal the true level of emissions.

Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has stepped down as a result of revelations last week that the German carmaker had manipulated diesel car emission tests in the US. No successor has yet been named. Martin Winterkorn’s resignation came after a protracted meeting of VW’s presidium of major shareholders ahead of a regular supervisory board meeting on Friday. The 68-year-old executive ... Read More »

VW CEO under pressure as stock crashes

Shares in German carmaker Volkswagen have nosedived after it admitted to rigging US emissions tests. VW has halted all sales of diesel vehicles there and calls are mounting for CEO Winterkorn to resign. Shares in German auto giant Volkswagen (VW) fell more than 20 percent in morning trading at the Frankfurt stock exchange on Monday in reaction to revelations that some of its diesel cars in the United States had been fitted with software that gave false emissions data. In a statement on Sunday, the carmaker had said that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had "detected manipulations that violate American environmental standards" while testing VW diesel cars. Chief executive Martin Winterkorn issued an apology and said he had ordered an external investigation into the matter. "The board of management takes these findings very seriously. I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public," Winterkorn said. Sales stop Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group has ordered its dealers in the United States to halt all sales of the latest diesel models of its Volkswagen and Audi brands. The EPA said on Friday the software in these models deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions. Cynthia Giles, an enforcement officer at the EPA, said the cars in question "contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test". On the road, the cars were emitting as much as 40 times the level of pollutants allowed under clean air rules, Giles added. Volkswagen could face civil penalties of $37,500 (33,100 euros) for each vehicle not in compliance with federal clean air rules. Some 482,000 four-cylinder VW and Audi diesel cars sold since 2008 are involved in the allegations. If each car involved is found to be in noncompliance, the penalty could amount to $18 billion, an EPA official confirmed during a telephone conference on Friday. VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said the German carmaker would fully cooperate with US regulators, and added that the company would "not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules of law." Calls for the CEO to resign According to Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, automobile expert with Germany's Duisburg-Essen University, the chief executive is part of VW's problem and not the solution. He assumes Winterkorn must have known about the manipulations. "This component has received official clearance for all markets from the VW Development Department. The head of this department is Martin Winterkorn," Dudenhöffer told DW. "VW's board of directors needs to go on the offensive during a meeting scheduled for Friday to stem the fallout of the scandal. But this can only be achieved without CEO Winterkorn, I believe," he added. Bärbel Höhn, the head of the German parliament's environment commission, also said she thinks the deceptive software device couldn't have been installed without the CEO's approval. Höhn, a member of the environmentalist Greens Party, added she wouldn't be surprised if other carmakers are also found to have resorted to manipulations to meet tightened emissions standards in the United States and Europe.

Shares in German carmaker Volkswagen have nosedived after it admitted to rigging US emissions tests. VW has halted all sales of diesel vehicles there and calls are mounting for CEO Winterkorn to resign. Shares in German auto giant Volkswagen (VW) fell more than 20 percent in morning trading at the Frankfurt stock exchange on Monday in reaction to revelations that ... Read More »

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