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VW CEO says overtaking Toyota will be tough

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VW CEO says overtaking Toyota will be tough

Paul McVeigh

Automotive News -- September 27, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn said his target for VW to overtake Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's biggest automaker by 2018 will be tough and he wants to remain in his job to ensure continuity to reach the goal.

"We know how ambitious our goals are," Winterkorn said in an interview published today in the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.

He said VW now faces more challenges as a result of the company's plan to integrate sports car maker Porsche AG and to expand a cooperation with Suzuki Motor Corp., in which VW has a 20 percent stake.

"All this won't happen automatically, " Winterkorn said, adding that he would like to stay on as VW CEO after his contract expires next year to ensure continuity of leadership.

He said he enjoys his role "and would not object to carrying on if the supervisory board should so wish."

Separately, German weekly Focus said VW plans to extend Winterkorn's contract for four more years until the end of 2015. Citing supervisory board circles, the magazine said the board will approve the extension either in November or next February.

Winterkorn, 63, took over as VW group CEO in 2007 from Bernd Pischetsrieder. Winterkorn was previously head of VW premium car subsidiary Audi AG.

Last month, VW labor chief Bernd Osterloh said the board wants to prolong Winterkorn's contract. “Our chief executive officer has advanced the company in every respect,” he told workers at the automaker's headquarters in Wolfsburg.

Osterloh is deputy chair of the supervisory board, half of whose members are union representatives.

German CEO contracts typically run for a five-year period and a decision on an extension taken by the supervisory board about year before the contract's end.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100927/COPY01/309279863/1179#ixzz10mGgL6YP

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