The Volkswagen Group wants to elect a new boss for the premium subsidiary Audi in the coming weeks. The topic should be treated at the next meeting of the Supervisory Board on 15 November, according to SPIEGEL information from group circles. Whether an official decision will be made that day is still open, but very likely. The pressure to act is great, they say.
For the post, the former BMW CEO Markus Duesmann, 50, has been planned for some time. As of April 1, 2020, he will move to Audi's top position. Volkswagen does not want to comment on the personality.
Sven Simon / imago images
Markus Duesmann on an archive photo
Duesmann is to implement profound reforms in the flagging premium brand. The engine expert is the preferred candidate of VW boss Herbert Diess. Only with one engineer at the helm, is the conviction in the VW Group that Audi could regain its former innovative strength and thus meet the slogan "Vorsprung durch Technik" again. The current Audi boss Bram Schot is a salesman whose predecessor Rupert Stadler was a financier.
Current Audi CEO could stay on the board
The owner families Porsche and Piëch have been calling internally for a while, Audi must be set up more economically. The company is paying too much attention to the capacity utilization of its plants in Germany instead of looking at actual demand. The overproduction of Audi models means that dealers often have to grant discounts.
The works council and Audi management are currently negotiating to reduce the capacities of the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants by 100,000 cars each year. In return, the employee representatives demand an extension of the employment guarantee, which is currently valid until 2025. An agreement could be reached already in the coming week, insiders report.
Whether the replacement of the Audi top next Friday is already decided, also depends on whether the VW group until then with the previous incumbent Schot agreed. For discussion is that Schot, although the chief post at Audi, but remains a member of the VW Group Board. In addition to the sales department, which he already holds today, he could additionally take over the China business there. But also a departure from the group is conceivable.
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