"Now we have to deliver.": Blume relies on e-mobility at Volkswagen

According to one or the other, things did not always go smoothly under his predecessor Herbert Diess.

"Now we have to deliver.": Blume relies on e-mobility at Volkswagen

According to one or the other, things did not always go smoothly under his predecessor Herbert Diess. The expectations of the new Volkswagen boss Oliver Blume are therefore high, there are a number of changes pending - including the further expansion of e-mobility.

The new Volkswagen boss Oliver Blume wants to join forces at Europe's largest car manufacturer and stay on course with the expansion of electromobility. Blume, who manages the Wolfsburg multi-brand group in a personal union with the stock market candidate Porsche, announced a ten-point program on his first official working day to tackle the company's major construction sites.

"The focus is on Volkswagen's financial solidity, the further development of products, software and technologies, regions such as China and North America as well as sustainability and the capital market," said the 54-year-old, according to excerpts from his speech manuscript, in front of around 500 top managers gathered in Lisbon of the group. As expected, the Executive Board will be reduced by three to nine posts and will focus more on strategic issues.

Blume paid tribute to his predecessor Herbert Diess, who is stepping down after four years at the top of the group. He did a very good job strategically and technologically. "Now we have to deliver." In his speech, Blume distanced himself from the management style of his predecessor, who was often at odds with the works council and, according to critics, only insufficiently involved management in his decisions. The new CEO emphasized that a strategy is only successful if it is implemented in day-to-day business. Teamwork is of great importance.

Blume also made it clear that he wants to focus the individual brands of the group more on return targets. He told the "Handelsblatt" that the ten-point plan includes robust, consistent financial planning with tight return, cash flow and break-even targets. The focus on the cash inflow has already increased in the group. "But we can do even better."

This suggests that the austerity course under Blume could be tightened. Each brand will have clear goals. In the first two weeks he will spend a day at Audi, Seat and Skoda to discuss them with the management. "Entrepreneurship in the brands is important to me. If the goals are set, then we start together." The possible IPO of Porsche would be a great lever to attract fresh money for the group, said Blume the newspaper.

According to insiders, the VW supervisory board will decide next week whether to send the earnings pearl to the trading floor. This is followed by a period of up to four weeks in which the company may approach investors and analysts to promote the share placement. Just in time for the change in management, the Supervisory Board decided to reduce the Executive Board by three positions to nine, as suggested by Blume. The CEO should therefore focus on strategy, quality, design and the out of step software subsidiary Cariad.

His core team includes Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz, Human Resources and Truck Director Gunnar Kilian, Chief Legal Officer Manfred Döss, Thomas Schäfer, who heads the important volume brand group with VW, Skoda and Seat, and Markus Duesmann, who heads the premium group with Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and the motorcycle manufacturer Ducati. The top management level also includes China boss Ralf Brandstätter, CTO Thomas Schmall and IT boss Hauke ​​Stars.

In order to manage the high workload as head of the group and Porsche, Blume should be supported by CFO Antlitz at Volkswagen and Lutz Meschke at Porsche. Blume is to remain head of the sports car manufacturer belonging to Volkswagen even after Porsche's planned IPO, which has caused some investors to frown. In corporate management, the manager relies more on teamwork and cohesion than Diess, who is leaving after a good four years and will continue to advise Volkswagen.

The new CEO wants to advance the transformation of Volkswagen into a leading provider of electric cars and mobility services initiated by his predecessor, but he is setting different priorities. "The future belongs to e-mobility," said Blume. "We will maintain the current pace and, where possible, increase it." However, Blume had already said that in addition to expanding electromobility, he is also focusing on the development of synthetic fuels such as eFuels. Diess had rejected eFuels because of their poor energy efficiency and criticized the high power consumption during production.

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