Volkswagen's new CEO is 'the cost killer'

Matthias Muller in the 911 Speedster

The boss of the VW Group, Matthias Muller, has stepped down from his role as Chairman of the Group's Board of Management, the company has confirmed.

Diess, known as a very good cost manager, would be the best solution as a successor for the next five years, he said. Additionally, Porsche sports auto division head Oliver Blume is being promoted to the top management body of the entire group.

He set out his goals for the entire group on Thursday: "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", he said in a statement.

Diess made the disclosure at his first news conference as chief executive at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, on Friday.

This post will replace the Hg Diss, who was Chairman of the Volkswagen brand.

The volume business will include the VW brand, Seat and Skoda, as well as light commercial vehicles.

Diess appears to have an appetite for change, having warned employees in 2016 that "in its current form, our company is not sustainable".

Human resources head Karlheinz Blessing is being replaced by Gunnar Kilian, until now an official with the company's works council - or employee representatives - and Porsche sports vehicle division head Oliver Blume is being promoted to the top management body of the entire group, Volkswagen said. In 2015, Volkswagen admitted it had used special devices created to skew results on US emissions tests.

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Mueller, 64, has already steered the mammoth carmaker into a massive restructuring, aiming to offer electric versions of many of its models and slim down its operations over the coming decade.

Notwithstanding, in May 2017 prosecutors in Stuttgart said they were exploring Mr. Mueller over doubts he may have thought about the diesel tricking before it ended up open.

Shares in Volkswagen closed almost two percent higher to 176.60 euros ahead of the closely-watched board meeting, outperforming the Dax index of leading shares that was up almost one percent.

Mueller held the top job for more than 2½ years after succeeding CEO Martin Winterkorn, who was ousted days after the company's diesel pollution scandal, was exposed in September 2015.

Diess was regarded as a potential future CEO when he joined Volkswagen in July 2015 after serving as head of vehicle development for BMW.

Suspicions of emissions cheating have also spread to other carmakers, shattering diesel's image as a clean engine and prompting several smog-clogged German cities to mull diesel driving bans.

Since then, Diess has worked to cut costs and increase profits at the core Volkswagen brand. The last resigned after "diesel scandal".

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