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    Michael Horn Steps Down As President and CEO of Volkswagen USA


    • Michael Horn Departs Volkswagen of America


    Just moments ago, Volkswagen announced that CEO and President of Volkswagen of America, Michael Horn has stepped down effective immediately. In a statement released by the company, the departure was reached "through mutual agreement."

     

    Hinrich J. Woebcken - recently announced as the head of Volkswagen's North American operations - will act as the interim CEO and President.

     

    Volkswagen would like to thank Horn for his contributions to the company during his tenure in the United States. “I want personally to say ‘thank you’ to Michael Horn for the great work he has done for the brand and with the dealers in the United States. During his time in the U.S., Michael Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen brand in a statement.

     

    Horn joined Volkswagen back in 1990 and was named CEO and President of Volkswagen of America in 2014. His departure comes about six months after the EPA revealed the company used illegal software in their diesel vehicles to cheat emission tests.

     

    This news is a blow to Volkswagen's U.S. dealers who respected Horn as he was very upfront and worked on improving profits.

     

    “The [VW] National Dealer Advisory Council wants to acknowledge Michael for his leadership and strength through the continued mismanagement of the diesel scandal that has plagued our sales and reputation more than any other global market,” Volkswagen's dealer council said in a statement to Automotive News.

     

    The council also blasted Volkswagen's handling of the emission scandal and are very concerned about this change in leadership.

     

    "There is no sense of a resolution to the diesel scandal. We are troubled watching the mismanagement of this scandal from Germany, and how it may impact the ultimate decisions by the authorities in the United States. This change in management can only serve to put the company at more risk, not less.”

     

    Source: Volkswagen, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP CHANGE

     

    Herndon, VA (March 9, 2016) – Volkswagen Group of America today announced the departure of Michael Horn, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. Through mutual agreement with Volkswagen AG, Horn will be leaving to pursue other opportunities effective immediately. On an interim basis, Hinrich J. Woebcken, who was recently announced as the new Head of the North American Region and Chairman of Volkswagen Group of America, will assume the role of president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.

     

    Volkswagen would like to thank Horn for his contributions to the company during his tenure in the United States. “I want personally to say ‘thank you’ to Michael Horn for the great work he has done for the brand and with the dealers in the United States,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen brand. “During his time in the U.S., Michael Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand,” he added.

     

    Michael Horn (54) assumed the role as president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America in January 2014 and has over twenty five years of experience with the Volkswagen Group. Prior to his current role, Horn served as the Global Head of After Sales at Volkswagen AG (VW). Horn joined Volkswagen in 1990 and has held many roles of increasing responsibility within the brand over his tenure, including Head of Volkswagen sales North West Europe, Head of sales and marketing luxury class vehicles, and Head of sales for Europe.

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    So this begs to be asked, was he aware of the fraud? Did he have a hand in the mess that is now in front of the world?

     

    There has to be a reason for his immediate quiting.

     

    This is interesting and seems to have raised plenty of questions on what is VW hiding still?

     

    Gut tells me VW will be buying back plenty of auto's for the crusher.

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    It's a untenable situation. There was an article how this problem may never be fully solved.

     

    It's just the scale of cheating, that's problem.

     

    Also, their profits have been overstated for like the better part of the decade because of this. 

     

    They deserve to get their butts kicked over this. And I quite like every other product they make that doesn't have a diesel engine. 

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    So this begs to be asked, was he aware of the fraud? Did he have a hand in the mess that is now in front of the world?

     

    There has to be a reason for his immediate quiting.

     

    This is interesting and seems to have raised plenty of questions on what is VW hiding still?

     

    Gut tells me VW will be buying back plenty of auto's for the crusher.

     

    I don't think Horn was aware of the cheating. I'm sure he knew about the EPA investigation but didn't know why. 

     

    My gut tells me Horn was tired of dealing with this mess and being painted as a fiend in this mess. 

    This is not good news for Volkswagen's dealers. I just updated the story with some quotes from Volkswagen's dealer council. They loved Horn because I think he understood what they were going through and wanted to help. You need someone like Horn to make your dealers feel at ease and give them hope that they will be able to weather the storm. 

     

    With him gone, I wouldn't be surprised if some drastic measures are taken (dealers closing up shop or switching to another brand).

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