New streamlined structure for VW

Volkswagen's product lineup includes at least 11 separate product lines which include: Volkswagen (brand), Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Skoda, Lamborghini, SEAT, Scania, MAN Trucks and VW Vans (VW Commercial), and Ducati, among others - have been reorganized into three new groups, Volume, Premium and Super Premium.

"In order to sustainably implement the new structure, there will be a number of changes on the board of management".

The ousting of Volkswagen Group's head executive Matthias Müller, rumore in media ever since the beginning of the week, has been confirmed on Thursday by the German company.

The appointment of Diess comes as VW investors are demanding for increased profitability.

VW additionally reported that works board official Gunnar Kilian would supplant Karlheinz Blessing as HR boss. Blume will retain his role as CEO of Porsche.

More details are expected to be revealed at a press conference at VW's Wolfsburg headquarters Friday at 10:30 am (0830 GMT).

He replaces Matthias Muller who recently stepped down from the post.

"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.

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Mueller, 64, has already steered the mammoth carmaker into a massive restructuring, aiming to offer electric versions of many of its models and slim down its operations over the coming decade.

Mueller followed a course toward a new era of multibillion-dollar investments in electric cars and SUVs, which surprised industry observers who identified VW with its diesel roots and small cars.

"The most important part of getting the crisis under control is over now, so it's right for VW to look in a new direction", analyst Juergen Pieper of Metzler bank said.

"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", Diess said in a statement.

Shares in Volkswagen climbed 1.7% to ß176.06 (R2 603) in late morning trade in Frankfurt, vastly outperforming the Dax index of leading shares that was up just 0.1%.

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.

The supervisory board approved sweeping corporate changes, including the promotion of VW-brand head Diess to the group's top post, at a four-hour meeting Thursday evening.

Diess appeared to be on his way out at VW after a public clash with Osterloh who then accused him publicly of breaking promises and unduly pushing cost cuts.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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