According to German media reports, Volkswagen is preparing a personnel shuffle in its brand management boards. VW Group boss Herbert Diess, who also runs the VW brand, apparently wants to bring Porsche boss Oliver Blume to Wolfsburg.
Rumours have it that Blume is to be appointed chairman of the VW brand board of directors to get the problems with the Golf 8 and ID.3 under control. The German publication Auto Motor und Sport cited company circles as their source, and further speculated that “Diess wants to get himself out of the line of fire because he is currently responsible for the big problems as VW brand boss.”
There have already been numerous reports about the alleged software problems with ID.3, and the market launch of the new Golf is also running anything but smoothly. Retailers are annoyed about having to wait for vehicles and complaining about a lack of support. Currently, only about a third of all new cars are to roll off the production line are free of errors caused by production problems. The remaining vehicles have to be reworked, which is costly.
To top it all off, all Golf 8s must return to the workshops because the emergency call assistant eCall is not working reliably, which only adds to the discontent caused by the PR disaster with the wildly unsuccessful commercial for the new Golf VIII, that garnered VW accusations of racism. This advertising debacle has also had consequences: According to Auto Motor und Sport, the Chief Marketing Officer responsible for the clip Jochen Sengpiehl is facing expulsion.
Currently surrounded by no such controversy, Blume is considered an experienced production manager and the mastermind behind the Porsche current electrical strategy. In addition to the Porsche brand, he also heads the Group’s ‘Sports & Luxury’ brand group. Before he succeeded Matthias Müller at Porsche, he was the VW Board Member for Production in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, Blume’s successor at Porsche has already been considered: Škoda boss Bernhard Maier is said to be under discussion. Maier knows Porsche very well: Before he moved to Mladá Boleslav in 2015, he was, like Blume, a member of the board of management at Porsche – and responsible for sales. At Škoda, Maier has focused on expansion in China, initiated several SUV models and, last but not least, prepared the brand for electrification. With the Enyaq, the first MEB-based electric Škoda is in the pipeline, and relevant models such as the Octavia and Superb are also available as PHEVs. At the same time, the Citigo subcompact is also available as BEV.
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