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Found 111 results

  1. William Maley

    Hiroto Saikawa To Step Down As Nissan CEO

    Saying he wants to give a fresh start for the Nissan-Renault alliance, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has announced that he'll be stepping down as CEO in the coming months. In the meantime, Saikawa will be focusing on "reforming the poor governance" that weakened the Japanese automaker before leaving. Saikawa has been leading the charge of ousting former Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn, a bit surprising since Saikawa was a protege of Ghosn. As we reported a month ago in the rumorpile , the relationship between Saikawa and Ghosn has been strained due to the two clashing on various issues. There was talk about Ghosn ousting Saikawa during a board meeting in November, but that would not happen as Ghosn would be arrested before it. Saikawa's reign as Nissan CEO has been problematic with a number of vehicles being recalled in Japan due to improper inspections and declining sales in the U.S. Source: Bloomberg
  2. Saying he wants to give a fresh start for the Nissan-Renault alliance, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has announced that he'll be stepping down as CEO in the coming months. In the meantime, Saikawa will be focusing on "reforming the poor governance" that weakened the Japanese automaker before leaving. Saikawa has been leading the charge of ousting former Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn, a bit surprising since Saikawa was a protege of Ghosn. As we reported a month ago in the rumorpile , the relationship between Saikawa and Ghosn has been strained due to the two clashing on various issues. There was talk about Ghosn ousting Saikawa during a board meeting in November, but that would not happen as Ghosn would be arrested before it. Saikawa's reign as Nissan CEO has been problematic with a number of vehicles being recalled in Japan due to improper inspections and declining sales in the U.S. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  3. Ask Peter Welch, the CEO of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) what worries him the most, he'll admit that it is average consumers getting priced out of new cars. He admitted this yesterday at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. Welch said that the latest figures he has seen - through October of last year - reveal the average retail price of a new car climbing to a new high of $35,366. The average monthly payment is hovering at $538, and interest rates have climbed to an average of 5.76 percent (new) and 9 percent (used). Longer loan terms are becoming common, with the average length standing at 64.3 months. "You know, people buying $55,000 pickup trucks with $1,000-a-month payments — I've never seen it. A lot of people don't think that's sustainable," said Welch. "That is going to put a giant dent in the SAARs and it almost makes me wonder if at some point we're going to see another Henry Ford," offering new and more affordable vehicles. Aside from more people buying more expensive trucks and utility vehicles, Welch said other reasons for the increases in prices come down to new fuel economy standards and safety equipment. He sees new car prices rising towards $40,000 with $800 monthly payments. On a slightly positive note, NADA predicts that 16.8 million light vehicles will be sold in 2019. While down from 17.3 million in 2018, Welch notes there are some positive economic indicators "such as high employment rates, a solid GDP and a healthy economy overall." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  4. Ask Peter Welch, the CEO of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) what worries him the most, he'll admit that it is average consumers getting priced out of new cars. He admitted this yesterday at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. Welch said that the latest figures he has seen - through October of last year - reveal the average retail price of a new car climbing to a new high of $35,366. The average monthly payment is hovering at $538, and interest rates have climbed to an average of 5.76 percent (new) and 9 percent (used). Longer loan terms are becoming common, with the average length standing at 64.3 months. "You know, people buying $55,000 pickup trucks with $1,000-a-month payments — I've never seen it. A lot of people don't think that's sustainable," said Welch. "That is going to put a giant dent in the SAARs and it almost makes me wonder if at some point we're going to see another Henry Ford," offering new and more affordable vehicles. Aside from more people buying more expensive trucks and utility vehicles, Welch said other reasons for the increases in prices come down to new fuel economy standards and safety equipment. He sees new car prices rising towards $40,000 with $800 monthly payments. On a slightly positive note, NADA predicts that 16.8 million light vehicles will be sold in 2019. While down from 17.3 million in 2018, Welch notes there are some positive economic indicators "such as high employment rates, a solid GDP and a healthy economy overall." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  5. It is no secret that Bentley is working on an electric vehicle. What has been unclear is when said vehicle is expected to launch. Recently, Automotive News Europe had a sit-down with Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark where he revealed that electric cars are seen "as another growth opportunity in a five- to 10-year period." Why the long period? "The problem is, with the size of our vehicles and the frontal area we push through, current battery-power density limits the size of the car with a credible driving range. The Jaguar I-Pace is the perfect-size car for the battery technology, but it’s too small for us. It’s all driven by power density of the battery, but there’s nothing industrialized in the supply chain before 2023-2024-2025. Only then does it open up the size of the vehicle and the category you can make a credible battery-powered car," said Hallmark. Hallmark wouldn't say what Bentley's full-electric vehicle would look like, but past rumors point to the possibility of the Mulsanne replacement of going full EV. Bentley knows that it needs an EV sooner or later. Hallmark said 40 percent of Bentley customers would consider buying an electric vehicle. Also, a set of possible Bentley customers, "the upper liberals and the post-moderns" are trending towards Porsche and Tesla models. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) View full article
  6. It is no secret that Bentley is working on an electric vehicle. What has been unclear is when said vehicle is expected to launch. Recently, Automotive News Europe had a sit-down with Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark where he revealed that electric cars are seen "as another growth opportunity in a five- to 10-year period." Why the long period? "The problem is, with the size of our vehicles and the frontal area we push through, current battery-power density limits the size of the car with a credible driving range. The Jaguar I-Pace is the perfect-size car for the battery technology, but it’s too small for us. It’s all driven by power density of the battery, but there’s nothing industrialized in the supply chain before 2023-2024-2025. Only then does it open up the size of the vehicle and the category you can make a credible battery-powered car," said Hallmark. Hallmark wouldn't say what Bentley's full-electric vehicle would look like, but past rumors point to the possibility of the Mulsanne replacement of going full EV. Bentley knows that it needs an EV sooner or later. Hallmark said 40 percent of Bentley customers would consider buying an electric vehicle. Also, a set of possible Bentley customers, "the upper liberals and the post-moderns" are trending towards Porsche and Tesla models. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  7. The past couple of years has seen a lot of talk about consumers are turning away from cars towards trucks and utility vehicles. U.S. automakers have responded to this trend by announcing cuts to their car lineup - General Motors being the latest one. But other automakers are being more cautious. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America told a gathering at the Detroit Economic Club last week that car sales are reaching the point of bottoming out - just under 30 percent in November sales. Unlike the American brands, Lentz isn't giving up on cars as they represent more than 4 million compact, midsize, and near-luxury cars sold to buyers. "There’s no way I’m going to walk away from that. We are always going to have a bias toward passenger cars,” said Lentz. The Associated Press reports that sales of passenger cars "are on pace to be 800,000 vehicles below 2017, while truck and SUV sales should increase by the same amount." Source: Associated Press View full article
  8. The past couple of years has seen a lot of talk about consumers are turning away from cars towards trucks and utility vehicles. U.S. automakers have responded to this trend by announcing cuts to their car lineup - General Motors being the latest one. But other automakers are being more cautious. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America told a gathering at the Detroit Economic Club last week that car sales are reaching the point of bottoming out - just under 30 percent in November sales. Unlike the American brands, Lentz isn't giving up on cars as they represent more than 4 million compact, midsize, and near-luxury cars sold to buyers. "There’s no way I’m going to walk away from that. We are always going to have a bias toward passenger cars,” said Lentz. The Associated Press reports that sales of passenger cars "are on pace to be 800,000 vehicles below 2017, while truck and SUV sales should increase by the same amount." Source: Associated Press
  9. Scott Keogh, Audi of America's president will soon have a new job come November 1st. He will become CEO of Volkswagen Group's North American operations, taking over Hinrich Woebcken who held the position since April 2016. This is a big deal since Keogh will be the first American to hold the top position for Volkswagen's North America branch in 25 years. Keogh has an impressive track record at Audi when he joined in 2006 as their chief marking officer. He would play a key role in boosting the awareness of the brand. In 2012, he was named president and would preside over one of the longest sales streaks that continues to this day. His new assignment is going to be tough. As Automotive News points out, Volkswagen dealers have the " lowest profit margins of any brand in the U.S." A number of Volkswagen dealers also struggle with customer service. Keogh has worked on both at Audi, helping dealers improve profits and boosting customer satisfaction - vaulting itself into the top three. “Hinrich J. Woebcken has brought the Volkswagen brand back on track for success in the U.S. and the North American region. Considering the challenging conditions, these achievements deserve my dedicated recognition. After the successful comeback of the Volkswagen brand, Scott Keogh, who led Audi to excellence in the U.S., will build upon the momentum and implement the next stage in the growth strategy as we continue to develop Volkswagen into a more relevant player in North America,“ said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG in a statement. Woebcken will be sticking around Volkswagen as an adviser. Keogh's replacement at Audi will be Mark Del Rosso, currently the head of Bentley's Aamerican division. Source: Volkswagen, Automotive News (Subscription Required) SCOTT KEOGH NAMED HEAD OF VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA Hinrich J. Woebcken remains available to the company as an adviser Mark Del Rosso, head of Bentley Motors Inc., Americas, named president of Audi of America HERNDON, Va. (October 10, 2018) – Scott Keogh, head of Audi of America, was named president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America as well as head of the Volkswagen brand for the North American region. Keogh, who joined Audi in 2006, will succeed Hinrich J. Woebcken, who led the successful transformation of Volkswagen in North America. Woebcken will remain with the company as an adviser. Keogh’s successor is Mark Del Rosso, president and CEO of Bentley Motors, Inc., Americas, and former chief operating officer of Audi of America. Keogh and Woebcken's new roles are effective Nov. 1. Del Rosso joins Audi Dec. 1. A replacement for Del Rosso will be named later. Keogh, 49, joined Audi as chief marketing officer, where he led the revival of the Audi brand with innovative marketing tactics that lead to record awareness and brand strength. In 2012, he was appointed president, building on the momentum to help reach record customer satisfaction levels and double sales from 2010 to 2015. Woebcken, 58, an industrial engineer by training, was named CEO of the newly created North America region of the Volkswagen brand in January 2016 and then president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. He began his career with Krauss-Maffei in 1985. After holding positions in sales and marketing, he became managing director responsible for sales, marketing and after-sales with Dürr AG in 1997, before joining BMW as head of technical purchasing in 2004. Before joining VW, he was BMW's senior vice president, driving dynamics, and a member of the board of management at Knorr-Bremse AG. He will continue to be available to the company in the North American region as senior executive strategy adviser. “Hinrich J. Woebcken has brought the Volkswagen brand back on track for success in the U.S. and the North American region. Considering the challenging conditions, these achievements deserve my dedicated recognition," said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. "After the successful comeback of the Volkswagen brand, Scott Keogh, who led Audi to excellence in the U.S., will build upon the momentum and implement the next stage in the growth strategy as we continue to develop Volkswagen into a more relevant player in North America.“ Del Rosso, 54, is a graduate of the University of Southern California and an experienced marketing and sales executive with extensive expertise in the premium sector. He started his career with Toyota Motor Sales in 1991, holding various senior corporate and regional positions throughout the U.S. for Lexus and Toyota. In 2008, he became executive vice president, COO of Audi of America and was appointed president and CEO of Bentley Motors, Inc., Americas in 2017. View full article
  10. Scott Keogh, Audi of America's president will soon have a new job come November 1st. He will become CEO of Volkswagen Group's North American operations, taking over Hinrich Woebcken who held the position since April 2016. This is a big deal since Keogh will be the first American to hold the top position for Volkswagen's North America branch in 25 years. Keogh has an impressive track record at Audi when he joined in 2006 as their chief marking officer. He would play a key role in boosting the awareness of the brand. In 2012, he was named president and would preside over one of the longest sales streaks that continues to this day. His new assignment is going to be tough. As Automotive News points out, Volkswagen dealers have the " lowest profit margins of any brand in the U.S." A number of Volkswagen dealers also struggle with customer service. Keogh has worked on both at Audi, helping dealers improve profits and boosting customer satisfaction - vaulting itself into the top three. “Hinrich J. Woebcken has brought the Volkswagen brand back on track for success in the U.S. and the North American region. Considering the challenging conditions, these achievements deserve my dedicated recognition. After the successful comeback of the Volkswagen brand, Scott Keogh, who led Audi to excellence in the U.S., will build upon the momentum and implement the next stage in the growth strategy as we continue to develop Volkswagen into a more relevant player in North America,“ said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG in a statement. Woebcken will be sticking around Volkswagen as an adviser. Keogh's replacement at Audi will be Mark Del Rosso, currently the head of Bentley's Aamerican division. Source: Volkswagen, Automotive News (Subscription Required) SCOTT KEOGH NAMED HEAD OF VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA Hinrich J. Woebcken remains available to the company as an adviser Mark Del Rosso, head of Bentley Motors Inc., Americas, named president of Audi of America HERNDON, Va. (October 10, 2018) – Scott Keogh, head of Audi of America, was named president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America as well as head of the Volkswagen brand for the North American region. Keogh, who joined Audi in 2006, will succeed Hinrich J. Woebcken, who led the successful transformation of Volkswagen in North America. Woebcken will remain with the company as an adviser. Keogh’s successor is Mark Del Rosso, president and CEO of Bentley Motors, Inc., Americas, and former chief operating officer of Audi of America. Keogh and Woebcken's new roles are effective Nov. 1. Del Rosso joins Audi Dec. 1. A replacement for Del Rosso will be named later. Keogh, 49, joined Audi as chief marketing officer, where he led the revival of the Audi brand with innovative marketing tactics that lead to record awareness and brand strength. In 2012, he was appointed president, building on the momentum to help reach record customer satisfaction levels and double sales from 2010 to 2015. Woebcken, 58, an industrial engineer by training, was named CEO of the newly created North America region of the Volkswagen brand in January 2016 and then president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. He began his career with Krauss-Maffei in 1985. After holding positions in sales and marketing, he became managing director responsible for sales, marketing and after-sales with Dürr AG in 1997, before joining BMW as head of technical purchasing in 2004. Before joining VW, he was BMW's senior vice president, driving dynamics, and a member of the board of management at Knorr-Bremse AG. He will continue to be available to the company in the North American region as senior executive strategy adviser. “Hinrich J. Woebcken has brought the Volkswagen brand back on track for success in the U.S. and the North American region. Considering the challenging conditions, these achievements deserve my dedicated recognition," said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. "After the successful comeback of the Volkswagen brand, Scott Keogh, who led Audi to excellence in the U.S., will build upon the momentum and implement the next stage in the growth strategy as we continue to develop Volkswagen into a more relevant player in North America.“ Del Rosso, 54, is a graduate of the University of Southern California and an experienced marketing and sales executive with extensive expertise in the premium sector. He started his career with Toyota Motor Sales in 1991, holding various senior corporate and regional positions throughout the U.S. for Lexus and Toyota. In 2008, he became executive vice president, COO of Audi of America and was appointed president and CEO of Bentley Motors, Inc., Americas in 2017.
  11. Late Thursday afternoon saw a massive bombshell dropped; the SEC sued Elon Musk over securities fraud over his August tweet that he was considering taking Tesla private and having the "Funding secured." But a new report from CNBC said there was a possible settlement between the two where Musk would not have to admit guilt. However, Musk pulled the plug on the deal at the last minute. According to sources, this is what the proposed deal looked like, Tesla and Musk would had to pay a fine Musk would not have to admit guilt or deny culpability Barred Musk as being the chairman for two years Require Tesla to find two new independent directors However, Musk refused this deal "because he felt that by settling he would not be truthful to himself, and he wouldn't have been able to live with the idea that he agreed to accept a settlement and any blemish associated with that, the sources said." This move puts Tesla and Musk in a very difficult spot. The company's stock fell 13.9 percent on Friday - the worst since November 2013. There are also questions as to whether or not Elon Musk will stay on as CEO or if this mess will force him to leave. Choosing to fight the SEC means it could take years for an outcome to be reached according to Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Bernstein Research. "In the absence of a settlement, the mere possibility that Musk could be removed as CEO (or entirely from Telsa) is likely to cast an overhang on the stock, and make it extremely difficult for the company to raise capital (either private or public)," Sacconaghi said. What will be Tesla's defense to the SEC's charge? The Wall Street Journal learned from a source that Musk believed "he had a verbal agreement in place with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund to help finance a plan to take the auto maker private." Musk believes that the SEC isn't "taking into account that Middle Eastern businesses routinely operate using verbal agreements in principle." Source: CNBC, Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  12. Late Thursday afternoon saw a massive bombshell dropped; the SEC sued Elon Musk over securities fraud over his August tweet that he was considering taking Tesla private and having the "Funding secured." But a new report from CNBC said there was a possible settlement between the two where Musk would not have to admit guilt. However, Musk pulled the plug on the deal at the last minute. According to sources, this is what the proposed deal looked like, Tesla and Musk would had to pay a fine Musk would not have to admit guilt or deny culpability Barred Musk as being the chairman for two years Require Tesla to find two new independent directors However, Musk refused this deal "because he felt that by settling he would not be truthful to himself, and he wouldn't have been able to live with the idea that he agreed to accept a settlement and any blemish associated with that, the sources said." This move puts Tesla and Musk in a very difficult spot. The company's stock fell 13.9 percent on Friday - the worst since November 2013. There are also questions as to whether or not Elon Musk will stay on as CEO or if this mess will force him to leave. Choosing to fight the SEC means it could take years for an outcome to be reached according to Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Bernstein Research. "In the absence of a settlement, the mere possibility that Musk could be removed as CEO (or entirely from Telsa) is likely to cast an overhang on the stock, and make it extremely difficult for the company to raise capital (either private or public)," Sacconaghi said. What will be Tesla's defense to the SEC's charge? The Wall Street Journal learned from a source that Musk believed "he had a verbal agreement in place with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund to help finance a plan to take the auto maker private." Musk believes that the SEC isn't "taking into account that Middle Eastern businesses routinely operate using verbal agreements in principle." Source: CNBC, Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  13. Today, the supervisory board of the Volkswagen Group was planning to make a decision as to the future of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. Since June, Stadler has been in jail over concerns of evidence tampering with the diesel emission scandal. But a decision could not be reached and the decision has been postponed. Sources tell Automotive News that representatives for Stadler and Volkswagen's board were unable to to negotiate a solution that would see Stadler step down as Audi CEO. No reason was given as to why an agreement could not be reached. Bram Schot, Audi sales executive has been acting as interim CEO. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  14. Today, the supervisory board of the Volkswagen Group was planning to make a decision as to the future of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. Since June, Stadler has been in jail over concerns of evidence tampering with the diesel emission scandal. But a decision could not be reached and the decision has been postponed. Sources tell Automotive News that representatives for Stadler and Volkswagen's board were unable to to negotiate a solution that would see Stadler step down as Audi CEO. No reason was given as to why an agreement could not be reached. Bram Schot, Audi sales executive has been acting as interim CEO. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  15. William Maley

    Ferrari's New CEO Reveals Plans Through 2022

    Ferrari held their annual Capital Markets Day where the company provided details about their plans through 2022. CEO Louis Camilleri revealed a roadmap that is similar to what former CEO Sergio Marchionne presented previously. 15 new models are expected to launch by 2022 and that will include a new SUV called Purosangue. However, Camilleri has pushed back the launch from 2020 to 2022 to "get it perfect." There will also be a new mid-engine model that may serve as Ferrari's performance flagship as it is said to be quicker than the La Ferrari. Ferrari is also expanding its hybrid offerings, planning to offer 60 percent of its total production with a hybrid engine by 2022. This will include a new V6 with turbocharging. Camilleri has also pulled back on Marchionne's earnings target of 2 billion euros to a range of 1.8 to 2 billion by 2022. "This is an ambitious plan, but a doable one based on a concrete, detailed framework," said Camilleri. Source: Bloomberg
  16. Ferrari held their annual Capital Markets Day where the company provided details about their plans through 2022. CEO Louis Camilleri revealed a roadmap that is similar to what former CEO Sergio Marchionne presented previously. 15 new models are expected to launch by 2022 and that will include a new SUV called Purosangue. However, Camilleri has pushed back the launch from 2020 to 2022 to "get it perfect." There will also be a new mid-engine model that may serve as Ferrari's performance flagship as it is said to be quicker than the La Ferrari. Ferrari is also expanding its hybrid offerings, planning to offer 60 percent of its total production with a hybrid engine by 2022. This will include a new V6 with turbocharging. Camilleri has also pulled back on Marchionne's earnings target of 2 billion euros to a range of 1.8 to 2 billion by 2022. "This is an ambitious plan, but a doable one based on a concrete, detailed framework," said Camilleri. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  17. Mike Manley has been chosen as the replacement for the seriously ill Sergio Marchionne as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO today. A source tells Automotive News Europe that the decision was made during an emergency meeting of FCA's board of directors today. "With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (“FCA”) (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours," FCA said in a statement released a few moments ago. "As a consequence, Mr. Marchionne will be unable to return to work." As we reported earlier this morning, Marchionne has been dealing “massive” and serious complications after surgery to his shoulder. Marchionne was planning to announce his successor next April during the company's announcement of 2018 financial results. Manley joined DiamlerChrysler in 2000 as the director of network development for the UK branch. He would hold various positions at DiamlerChrysler and Chrysler before being named CEO of Jeep in 2009. Under his leadership, Jeep has expanded into other markets and sales have quadrupled. He would also be named CEO of Ram Trucks in 2015. Manley prevailed over two other FCA veterans: CFO Richard Palmer and COO of Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, Alfredo Altavilla. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FCA Announcement July 21, 2018 , London - With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (“FCA”) (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours. As a consequence, Mr. Marchionne will be unable to return to work. The Board of Directors of FCA, meeting today, firstly expressed its closeness to Sergio Marchionne and his family and underlined the extraordinary contribution, both human and professional, that he has made to the Company in these years. The Board resolved to accelerate the CEO transition process that has been proceeding over the past months and named Mike Manley as CEO. The Board will therefore propose to the next Shareholder Meeting, to be called in the coming days, that he be elected to the Board and serve as an executive director of the Company. In the meantime, in order to provide for his full authority and operational continuity for the company, the Board has with immediate effect granted Mr. Manley all the powers of CEO. He will also assume responsibility for the NAFTA region. Mr. Manley and his management team will proceed with the implementation of the 2018 – 2022 Business Plan as presented on June 1 of this year, a plan that will further assure FCA’s strong and independent future. View full article
  18. Mike Manley has been chosen as the replacement for the seriously ill Sergio Marchionne as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO today. A source tells Automotive News Europe that the decision was made during an emergency meeting of FCA's board of directors today. "With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (“FCA”) (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours," FCA said in a statement released a few moments ago. "As a consequence, Mr. Marchionne will be unable to return to work." As we reported earlier this morning, Marchionne has been dealing “massive” and serious complications after surgery to his shoulder. Marchionne was planning to announce his successor next April during the company's announcement of 2018 financial results. Manley joined DiamlerChrysler in 2000 as the director of network development for the UK branch. He would hold various positions at DiamlerChrysler and Chrysler before being named CEO of Jeep in 2009. Under his leadership, Jeep has expanded into other markets and sales have quadrupled. He would also be named CEO of Ram Trucks in 2015. Manley prevailed over two other FCA veterans: CFO Richard Palmer and COO of Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, Alfredo Altavilla. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FCA Announcement July 21, 2018 , London - With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (“FCA”) (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours. As a consequence, Mr. Marchionne will be unable to return to work. The Board of Directors of FCA, meeting today, firstly expressed its closeness to Sergio Marchionne and his family and underlined the extraordinary contribution, both human and professional, that he has made to the Company in these years. The Board resolved to accelerate the CEO transition process that has been proceeding over the past months and named Mike Manley as CEO. The Board will therefore propose to the next Shareholder Meeting, to be called in the coming days, that he be elected to the Board and serve as an executive director of the Company. In the meantime, in order to provide for his full authority and operational continuity for the company, the Board has with immediate effect granted Mr. Manley all the powers of CEO. He will also assume responsibility for the NAFTA region. Mr. Manley and his management team will proceed with the implementation of the 2018 – 2022 Business Plan as presented on June 1 of this year, a plan that will further assure FCA’s strong and independent future.
  19. Earlier this month, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was taken into custody by German prosecutors over concerns about evidence tampering. He is expected to be in jail for another week as investigators will conduct interviews about the diesel emission scandal. Whether or not he is released on bail remains to be seen, but sources tell Automotive News Europe that Stadler will likely not return as Audi's CEO. "The expectation is that Stadler cannot return to his post. You have to be careful, because it's not so easy due to German labor laws, but he needs to concentrate on his legal defense right now and clearing his name," said a source close to Volkswagen Group's supervisory board. The board has been protecting Stadler for some time, but a change in think on the board now see him as 'damaged goods'. According to sources, the last thing Audi needs is a CEO that is implicated in the diesel emission scandal returning to said position. It is hoped that when Stadler is released, he will step down as CEO. It would avoid the embarrassment of the company having to fire him. Who could take Stadler's place? Some believe it could be Bram Schot, Audi's sales chief who was named interim CEO. Sources reveal that Schot isn't acting like a caretaker CEO. A key example was the decision to cancel the media launch of the e-tron in Brussels in August, to the U.S. on a yet to be revealed date. "If Bram Schot does his job well, he has a chance to be the permanent successor. He has all the abilities he needs to act and Schot isn't postponing anything, he's making decisions -- de facto he's the CEO," said a source. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  20. Earlier this month, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was taken into custody by German prosecutors over concerns about evidence tampering. He is expected to be in jail for another week as investigators will conduct interviews about the diesel emission scandal. Whether or not he is released on bail remains to be seen, but sources tell Automotive News Europe that Stadler will likely not return as Audi's CEO. "The expectation is that Stadler cannot return to his post. You have to be careful, because it's not so easy due to German labor laws, but he needs to concentrate on his legal defense right now and clearing his name," said a source close to Volkswagen Group's supervisory board. The board has been protecting Stadler for some time, but a change in think on the board now see him as 'damaged goods'. According to sources, the last thing Audi needs is a CEO that is implicated in the diesel emission scandal returning to said position. It is hoped that when Stadler is released, he will step down as CEO. It would avoid the embarrassment of the company having to fire him. Who could take Stadler's place? Some believe it could be Bram Schot, Audi's sales chief who was named interim CEO. Sources reveal that Schot isn't acting like a caretaker CEO. A key example was the decision to cancel the media launch of the e-tron in Brussels in August, to the U.S. on a yet to be revealed date. "If Bram Schot does his job well, he has a chance to be the permanent successor. He has all the abilities he needs to act and Schot isn't postponing anything, he's making decisions -- de facto he's the CEO," said a source. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  21. Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has been indicted for his involvement in the diesel emission scandal. The indictment, which was filed under seal at the U.S. District Court in Detroit back in March, was unsealed yesterday. U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in court filings the reason for unsealing is "because there is no longer a belief that unsealing these documents will compromise an ongoing investigation." Winterkorn has been charged with four felony counts, including wire fraud and violating the clean air act. In the indictment, it is alleged that Winterkorn was told about the efforts to manipulate U.S. emission tests with their TDI vehicles in May 2014 and July 2015. Winterkorn has previously stated that he only found out about the cheating in August 2015. The indictment also mentions a meeting that took place on July 27, 2015 at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg headquarters. It is reported that a Powerpoint presentation was shown to various executives, including Winterkorn, that laid out the process of deception that Volkswagen was doing to regulators. Allegedly at the meeting, Volkswagen employees recommended that the company work on getting the approval of 2016 model year diesel vehicles without revealing the existence of the cheat software. Various executives including Winterkorn agreed to the plan. "If you try to deceive the United States, then you will pay a heavy price," said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement. So, when should expect Winterkorn to appear in a U.S. courtroom? The answer is never and Automotive News explains why, Emphasis mine. A source told Reuters that Winterkorn is in Germany and will be staying there. He is likely aware of what happened Oliver Schmidt, who pleaded guilty for his participation in the scandal. Schmidt was arrested in late 2016 when he was traveling in the U.S. German prosecutors will continue their investigation into Winterkorn's involvement in the diesel emission scandal. "Our investigation strategy does not change just because the Americans have filed charges against Winterkorn," said a spokesman for the Lower Saxony prosecutors' office. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2, Reuters
  22. Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has been indicted for his involvement in the diesel emission scandal. The indictment, which was filed under seal at the U.S. District Court in Detroit back in March, was unsealed yesterday. U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in court filings the reason for unsealing is "because there is no longer a belief that unsealing these documents will compromise an ongoing investigation." Winterkorn has been charged with four felony counts, including wire fraud and violating the clean air act. In the indictment, it is alleged that Winterkorn was told about the efforts to manipulate U.S. emission tests with their TDI vehicles in May 2014 and July 2015. Winterkorn has previously stated that he only found out about the cheating in August 2015. The indictment also mentions a meeting that took place on July 27, 2015 at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg headquarters. It is reported that a Powerpoint presentation was shown to various executives, including Winterkorn, that laid out the process of deception that Volkswagen was doing to regulators. Allegedly at the meeting, Volkswagen employees recommended that the company work on getting the approval of 2016 model year diesel vehicles without revealing the existence of the cheat software. Various executives including Winterkorn agreed to the plan. "If you try to deceive the United States, then you will pay a heavy price," said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement. So, when should expect Winterkorn to appear in a U.S. courtroom? The answer is never and Automotive News explains why, Emphasis mine. A source told Reuters that Winterkorn is in Germany and will be staying there. He is likely aware of what happened Oliver Schmidt, who pleaded guilty for his participation in the scandal. Schmidt was arrested in late 2016 when he was traveling in the U.S. German prosecutors will continue their investigation into Winterkorn's involvement in the diesel emission scandal. "Our investigation strategy does not change just because the Americans have filed charges against Winterkorn," said a spokesman for the Lower Saxony prosecutors' office. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2, Reuters View full article
  23. Yesterday, Volkswagen's supervisory board showed current CEO Matthias Müller the door and announced that Dr. Herbert Diess, the current head of the Volkswagen brand will take his place. This confirms reports earlier this week about a change in leadership. In a statement, Volkswagen said the decision of Müller's departure was “mutual” and will be effective immediately. “Matthias Müller has done outstanding work for the Volkswagen Group. He assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Management in the fall of 2015 when the Company faced the greatest challenge in its history. Not only did he safely navigate Volkswagen through that time; together with his team, he also fundamentally realigned the Group’s strategy, initiated cultural change and, with great personal commitment, made sure that the Volkswagen Group not just stayed on track but is now more robust than ever before. For that, he is due the thanks of the entire Company,” said Hans Dieter Pötsch, chairman of the supervisory board. Diess' rise to CEO is surprising considering he joined Volkswagen from BMW in 2015 - just a few months before the diesel emission scandal came to light. He has made great strides in improving Volkswagen's tendency to spend money like its going out of style. This was important during the aftermath of diesel emission scandal. “The Volkswagen Group is a union of strong brands with great potential. Matthias Müller has laid the groundwork for our transformation. My most important task will now be to join with our management team and our Group workforce in consistently pursuing and pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility. 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 digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services,” Diess said in a statement. This wasn't the only change made by Volkswagen's supervisory board yesterday. The company will reorganize their passenger car brands into three groups. Volume: Seat, Skoda, and Volkswagen Premium: Audi Super Premium: Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche Volkswagen's truck division will go into their own separate unit. Diess is also planning a review of all the companies under the Volkswagen group umbrella (Ducati motorcycles and Renk, a transmission maker) to see whether it makes sense to keep them. "We've lost a great deal of trust with customers. It will be a long, rough road to gain it back," said Diess. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2, Reuters, Volkswagen EXTENSIVE REVISION OF VOLKSWAGEN GROUP MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE DECIDED Apr 12, 2018 Board of Management and Supervisory Board pave the way for more efficient Group management Group will be organized into six business areas and the China region Dr. Herbert Diess follows Matthias Müller as Chairman of the Group’s Board of Management Supervisory Board thanks Matthias Müller for outstanding service New head of Human Resources and Organization – Gunnar Kilian to follow Karlheinz Blessing Dr. Garcia Sanz leaves the Company at his own request Porsche CEO Oliver Blume appointed to Group Board of Management WOLFSBURG, April 12, 2018 – The Board of Management and Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft have resolved to extensively revise the Group’s management structure. Volkswagen is thus systematically continuing to transform its business and establishing even more efficient Group management in a phase of highly dynamic change in the Company and the entire automotive industry. In order to sustainably implement the new structure, there will be a number of changes on the Board of Management. Matthias Müller steps down as Chairman of the Board of Management by mutual agreement, effective immediately. At its meeting on Thursday, the Supervisory Board appointed Dr. Herbert Diess as his successor. Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Pötsch expressly thanked Müller for his dedication: “Matthias Müller has done outstanding work for the Volkswagen Group. He assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Management in the fall of 2015 when the Company faced the greatest challenge in its history. Not only did he safely navigate Volkswagen through that time; together with his team, he also fundamentally realigned the Group’s strategy, initiated cultural change and, with great personal commitment, made sure that the Volkswagen Group not just stayed on track but is now more robust than ever before. For that, he is due the thanks of the entire Company.” The introduction of the brand groups Volume, Premium and Super Premium, along with the planned preparation for capital market readiness of Truck & Bus, create the basis for a more subsidiary leadership of the Group. The Chairmen of the Board of Management responsible for the brand groups will be taking on additional Group management roles. Following this reorganization, Herbert Diess will be responsible for Group Development and Research, Rupert Stadler for Group Sales, and Oliver Blume for Group Production. Additional Group functions will be allocated according to the same principle. Due to the special significance of vehicle connectivity, Vehicle IT will be led by Herbert Diess himself; Company IT will be headed by Frank Witter. Procurement and Components are to be combined into one unit going forward. The new structure streamlines Group management, systematically leverages synergies in the individual operating units and speeds up decision-making. “The Volkswagen Group’s goal is and remains to align the Company and its brands with future needs, to safeguard its position among the leaders of the international automotive industry with innovativeness and profitability and to be instrumental in shaping tomorrow’s personal mobility with the strength of our Group brands. Herbert Diess is the right manager to do that. In realigning the Volkswagen brand, he has demonstrated to impressive effect the speed and rigor with which he can implement radical transformation processes. This accomplishment makes him predestined to fully implement our Strategy 2025 in the decisive years that are now to follow,” Pötsch says. “The Volkswagen Group is a union of strong brands with great potential. Matthias Müller has laid the groundwork for our transformation. My most important task will now be to join with our management team and our Group workforce in consistently pursuing and pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility. 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 digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services,” Diess says. At its meeting today, the Supervisory Board also decided on two new appointments to the Group Board of Management. Dr. Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Board of Management at Porsche, will belong to the Group’s top governing body going forward. In addition, Gunnar Kilian, who until now has served as Secretary-General of the Volkswagen Group Works Council, has been appointed the new member of the Group Board of Management for Human Resources. He takes over the post from Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, who served in the role from the beginning of 2016. Dr. Blessing will be leaving the Board of Management by mutual agreement, but remains available to the Company in a consultative capacity for the remaining duration of his employment contract. Pötsch thanked Blessing for his service: “Dr. Blessing has been instrumental in realigning the Group during the past two years. He also contributed with great dedication to the evolution of the VW brand as part of the Volkswagen brand’s Future Pact. Dr. Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, head of Procurement, leaves the Company at his own request. “During the past two decades, Dr. Garcia Sanz has built up a cutting-edge Procurement department. His leadership of the diesel task force was instrumental in overcoming the diesel crisis. As Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the SEAT brand, he also made a significant contribution to reinforcing the brand,” said Pötsch in gratitude. Ralf Brandstätter, Board of Management member responsible for Procurement for the VW brand, will take on this additional role provisionally.
  24. Yesterday, Volkswagen's supervisory board showed current CEO Matthias Müller the door and announced that Dr. Herbert Diess, the current head of the Volkswagen brand will take his place. This confirms reports earlier this week about a change in leadership. In a statement, Volkswagen said the decision of Müller's departure was “mutual” and will be effective immediately. “Matthias Müller has done outstanding work for the Volkswagen Group. He assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Management in the fall of 2015 when the Company faced the greatest challenge in its history. Not only did he safely navigate Volkswagen through that time; together with his team, he also fundamentally realigned the Group’s strategy, initiated cultural change and, with great personal commitment, made sure that the Volkswagen Group not just stayed on track but is now more robust than ever before. For that, he is due the thanks of the entire Company,” said Hans Dieter Pötsch, chairman of the supervisory board. Diess' rise to CEO is surprising considering he joined Volkswagen from BMW in 2015 - just a few months before the diesel emission scandal came to light. He has made great strides in improving Volkswagen's tendency to spend money like its going out of style. This was important during the aftermath of diesel emission scandal. “The Volkswagen Group is a union of strong brands with great potential. Matthias Müller has laid the groundwork for our transformation. My most important task will now be to join with our management team and our Group workforce in consistently pursuing and pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility. 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 digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services,” Diess said in a statement. This wasn't the only change made by Volkswagen's supervisory board yesterday. The company will reorganize their passenger car brands into three groups. Volume: Seat, Skoda, and Volkswagen Premium: Audi Super Premium: Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche Volkswagen's truck division will go into their own separate unit. Diess is also planning a review of all the companies under the Volkswagen group umbrella (Ducati motorcycles and Renk, a transmission maker) to see whether it makes sense to keep them. "We've lost a great deal of trust with customers. It will be a long, rough road to gain it back," said Diess. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2, Reuters, Volkswagen EXTENSIVE REVISION OF VOLKSWAGEN GROUP MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE DECIDED Apr 12, 2018 Board of Management and Supervisory Board pave the way for more efficient Group management Group will be organized into six business areas and the China region Dr. Herbert Diess follows Matthias Müller as Chairman of the Group’s Board of Management Supervisory Board thanks Matthias Müller for outstanding service New head of Human Resources and Organization – Gunnar Kilian to follow Karlheinz Blessing Dr. Garcia Sanz leaves the Company at his own request Porsche CEO Oliver Blume appointed to Group Board of Management WOLFSBURG, April 12, 2018 – The Board of Management and Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft have resolved to extensively revise the Group’s management structure. Volkswagen is thus systematically continuing to transform its business and establishing even more efficient Group management in a phase of highly dynamic change in the Company and the entire automotive industry. In order to sustainably implement the new structure, there will be a number of changes on the Board of Management. Matthias Müller steps down as Chairman of the Board of Management by mutual agreement, effective immediately. At its meeting on Thursday, the Supervisory Board appointed Dr. Herbert Diess as his successor. Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Pötsch expressly thanked Müller for his dedication: “Matthias Müller has done outstanding work for the Volkswagen Group. He assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Management in the fall of 2015 when the Company faced the greatest challenge in its history. Not only did he safely navigate Volkswagen through that time; together with his team, he also fundamentally realigned the Group’s strategy, initiated cultural change and, with great personal commitment, made sure that the Volkswagen Group not just stayed on track but is now more robust than ever before. For that, he is due the thanks of the entire Company.” The introduction of the brand groups Volume, Premium and Super Premium, along with the planned preparation for capital market readiness of Truck & Bus, create the basis for a more subsidiary leadership of the Group. The Chairmen of the Board of Management responsible for the brand groups will be taking on additional Group management roles. Following this reorganization, Herbert Diess will be responsible for Group Development and Research, Rupert Stadler for Group Sales, and Oliver Blume for Group Production. Additional Group functions will be allocated according to the same principle. Due to the special significance of vehicle connectivity, Vehicle IT will be led by Herbert Diess himself; Company IT will be headed by Frank Witter. Procurement and Components are to be combined into one unit going forward. The new structure streamlines Group management, systematically leverages synergies in the individual operating units and speeds up decision-making. “The Volkswagen Group’s goal is and remains to align the Company and its brands with future needs, to safeguard its position among the leaders of the international automotive industry with innovativeness and profitability and to be instrumental in shaping tomorrow’s personal mobility with the strength of our Group brands. Herbert Diess is the right manager to do that. In realigning the Volkswagen brand, he has demonstrated to impressive effect the speed and rigor with which he can implement radical transformation processes. This accomplishment makes him predestined to fully implement our Strategy 2025 in the decisive years that are now to follow,” Pötsch says. “The Volkswagen Group is a union of strong brands with great potential. Matthias Müller has laid the groundwork for our transformation. My most important task will now be to join with our management team and our Group workforce in consistently pursuing and pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility. 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 digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services,” Diess says. At its meeting today, the Supervisory Board also decided on two new appointments to the Group Board of Management. Dr. Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Board of Management at Porsche, will belong to the Group’s top governing body going forward. In addition, Gunnar Kilian, who until now has served as Secretary-General of the Volkswagen Group Works Council, has been appointed the new member of the Group Board of Management for Human Resources. He takes over the post from Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, who served in the role from the beginning of 2016. Dr. Blessing will be leaving the Board of Management by mutual agreement, but remains available to the Company in a consultative capacity for the remaining duration of his employment contract. Pötsch thanked Blessing for his service: “Dr. Blessing has been instrumental in realigning the Group during the past two years. He also contributed with great dedication to the evolution of the VW brand as part of the Volkswagen brand’s Future Pact. Dr. Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, head of Procurement, leaves the Company at his own request. “During the past two decades, Dr. Garcia Sanz has built up a cutting-edge Procurement department. His leadership of the diesel task force was instrumental in overcoming the diesel crisis. As Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the SEAT brand, he also made a significant contribution to reinforcing the brand,” said Pötsch in gratitude. Ralf Brandstätter, Board of Management member responsible for Procurement for the VW brand, will take on this additional role provisionally. View full article
  25. The past few years at Volkswagen haven't been smooth sailing with the diesel scandal coming to light with various executives being fired or stepping down, sales taking a nosedive, and various fines. Matthias Müller who has been Volkswagen AG CEO since the scandal broke has been trying his best to get the company back on track. But that might not be enough for him to keep his job. Bloomberg and German paper Handelsblatt have learned from sources that Müller will be stepping down as CEO on Friday. Possibly taking his place is Herbert Diess, head of the Volkswagen brand. According to Reuters, the decision will take place during a meeting of Volkswagen's supervisory board. "Volkswagen is considering a further development of the management structure of the group which would also be associated with personnel changes in the board of management," said Volkswagen in a statement. Reportedly, the Porsche and Piech families - the biggest shareholders of Volkswagen - were in agreement to replace Müller. We'll keep you posted if any new developments pop up. Source: Bloomberg, Handelsblatt Global, Reuters

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