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Volkswagen Plans to Extend CEO Through 2018

Sept. 2, 2015
Just months after a bitter power struggle with the company patriarch, Martin Winterkorn appears to be on his way to at least a full decade atop VW.

FRANKFURT, Germany — Volkswagen announced Wednesday that key members of its supervisory board want to extend the contract of CEO Martin Winterkorn until 2018. 

The six-member steering committee "voted unanimously" to propose to the 20-strong supervisory board at its meeting on September 25 that Winterkorn be offered "a new contract until December 31, 2018," the group said in a statement. 

The steering committee comprises six of the most influential members of VW's supervisory board, including the head of the general works committee, the leader of the mighty IG Metall metalworkers' union and the head of the regional state of Lower Saxony, where the carmaker is based.

"We will continue along the road of success of the past years with Martin Winterkorn at the head," supervisory board chief Berthold Huber said.

Winterkorn, 68, has been CEO since 2007, but was involved earlier this year in an ugly leadership battle with then-supervisory board chief and VW patriarch Ferdinand Piech. 

Piech installed Winterkorn as CEO in 2007. But he appeared to have become irked by his former protege's difficulties in making substantial inroads into the U.S. market, as well as VW's over-dependence on the Chinese market and the waning attractiveness of its core Volkswagen brand. 

At the end of a bitter and very public battle, 78-year-old Piech finally resigned in April. 

In related news, new car registrations in Germany rose in August, according to data compiled by the federal transport office KBA and released by the VDIK carmakers' federation. 

A total of 226,300 new cars were registered last month, an increase of 6.2% compared with the figure for the same month last year. Compared to the first eight months of 2014, sales were up by 5.6% to 2.135 million vehicles, the data showed. 

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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