Alexander Koerner,Getty Images
A brand new Volkswagen Passat and Golf 7 car are stored in a tower at the Volkswagen Autostadt complex near the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Workers Tell Volkswagen Leadership to Quit Fighting

April 13, 2015
"We ask that the focus should return to the successful day-to-day running of the company and its 600,000 employees, rather than on debates that fill newspapers," said the head of VW's general works committee Bernd Osterloh.

BERLIN -- Employees at  Volkswagen (IW 1000/6) urged management Monday to settle a bitter power struggle and focus instead on running Europe's biggest carmaker following media reports of strained relations between VW's supervisory board chief and its CEO. 

"We ask that the focus should return to the successful day-to-day running of the company and its 600,000 employees, rather than on debates that fill newspapers," the head of VW's general works committee Bernd Osterloh told the business daily Handelsblatt. 

"We will not participate in any further discussions about people and their positions," Osterloh added.  

VW's supervisory board chief Ferdinand Piech, a member of the powerful Porsche dynasty that is a shareholder in Volkswagen, and one of the most important figures in German business, sparked a ferocious media debate at the weekend by declaring in a magazine interview that he was "distancing himself" from VW's chief executive Martin Winterkorn. 

Until now, Winterkorn was seen as Piech's close ally and heir apparent on the carmaker's supervisory board. 

Piech's comments ignited speculation of a fierce leadership battle that could derail the smooth running of the company.

But VW's other shareholders rallied behind Winterkorn, leaving Piech looking isolated. 

Stefan Weil, the regional premier of the state of Lower Saxony, which holds a stake of 20%, said he saw "no cause for action" in the management of VW and warned that "a public discussion about the leadership of VW (is) damaging" for the carmaker. 

The Porsche family, too, refused to side with Piech.

"The statement from Dr. Piech portrays his private opinion, which is not aligned ... with that of the family," his cousin, Wolfgang Porsche said in a statement. 

The holding company Porsche SE holds just over 50% of VW's share capital. Piech and other branches of the Piech and Porsche families own 14% of Porsche SE. 

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

3D Printing a More Efficient Factory Floor

Nov. 16, 2023
Today’s additive manufacturing platforms make it simple to print a wide range of high-performing industrial parts as soon as possible and right where you need them — unlocking...

The Executive Guide to Best Practices for Ecommerce Integration

Oct. 2, 2023
Get ready to elevate your post-checkout experiences and thrive in today's unpredictable market. Learn why integration and automation are crucial to run operations more smoothly...

Gain a competitive edge with real-world lessons on private 5G networks

Nov. 16, 2023
The use of private networks in manufacturing applications is rapidly growing. In this paper, we present valuable insights and lessons learned from the field with the goal of enhancing...

Digitally Transforming Data and Processes With Product Lifecycle Management

Oct. 29, 2023
Manufacturers face increasing challenges in product development as they strive to consistently deliver improved results. Discover how industry leaders are improving time-to-market...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!