Herbert Diess is no longer the boss of Volkswagen as of this Thursday, September 1. His replacement, Oliver Blume, has just taken up his new duties. The change at the head of the German brand had been expected since the end of July, after Herbert Diess remained four years as chairman of the management board. A position far from being the simplest, especially with a brand recovering from the Diesel gate to enter the frantic race for electric.
One would have thought that Oliver Blume would end up leaving his functions at Porsche to concentrate solely on Volkswagen and on the group. But so far, no such announcement has been made. Porsche plans to go public independently of Volkswagen, which could therefore lead to a dissociation between the two directorates, but for now, the time is still to deploy a common strategy on the electric.
Electricity, but not only. Porsche is working and spending a lot of money to develop a synthetic fuel. Project close to the heart of Oliver Blume. An alternative to hydrogen or hybrid, whose production should reach full speed in 2026, or rather a “sensible supplement”, said the man quoted by AFP. “Volkswagen will move away from the purely electric strategy a little bit”says Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, director of the Center Automotive Research.
The objectives of the new boss
If this is the case, one of the main missions of the new CEO will be to get the message across to the institutions of the European Union, rather the type to want to ban outright any alternative to electricity from here. 2035.
The objective will also be to continue developing the range by properly orchestrating the company with its suppliers. The shortage of components and the war in Ukraine have seriously weakened the sector and its production capacities. Rising prices haven’t helped either. Demand could fall in view of inflation.
According to Ferdinand Dudenhofer, “there will be changes, but in a relatively gentle way”, he told AFP. That said, “Oliver Blume is not someone who fights wars”, he added. There will be “great continuity”, predicted internally the financial director Arno Antlitz. The new boss has been in place at Porsche since 2015 and saw the launch of the Taycan, the brand’s first 100% electric model with expected success (more sales than the Porsche 911).
In the meantime, Herbert Diess has not yet indicated what he intends to do next, but he is sure that the man will need a little calm after the difficulties faced with the necessary recovery of the brand. According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen’s supervisory board voted to remove Herbert Diess from his post due to strategic errors, difficult communication with the various working groups and several conflicts.