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Industryweek 9472 Winterkorn

VW CEO Loses 'Confidence of Major Shareholders'

Sept. 22, 2015
Martin Winterkorn earlier Tuesday offered his "deepest apologies" for the scandal, which threatens to tarnish Germany's pristine industrial reputation.

Senior members of Volkswagen's supervisory board met late Tuesday, the German news agency DPA said, as the automaker is rocked by a pollution-cheating scandal that is threatening to topple its CEO.

No information has emerged about any decisions taken at the meeting which is "expected to continue on Wednesday," said the agency, quoting participants.

It was not immediately possible to reach Volkswagen to confirm the report.

The Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung earlier reported that senior members of the supervisory board would meet Tuesday evening at Braunschweig airport near the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg.

The group's CEO Martin "Winterkorn has lost the confidence of the major shareholders," it said.

Winterkorn earlier Tuesday offered his "deepest apologies" for the scandal which threatens to tarnish Germany's pristine industrial reputation.

"I am infinitely sorry that we have disappointed people's trust. I offer my deepest apologies to our customers, the authorities and to the public at large for our misconduct," the 68-year-old executive said in a video statement, promising to be "ruthless" in getting to the bottom of the scandal.

Industry experts believe Winterkorn's job is on the line.

According to U.S. authorities, VW admitted that it had equipped about 482,000 cars in the United States with sophisticated software that covertly turns off pollution controls when the car is being driven and turns them on only when it detects that the car is undergoing an emissions test. 

But VW's revelation Tuesday that 11 million diesel cars worldwide are equipped with the device led to a 20% fall in its share price on the Frankfurt market.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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