Charged EVs | Will Herbert Diess’s departure injury Volkswagen’s EV technique?


Volkswagen Group Chief Government Herbert Diess will go away the corporate, to get replaced by Porsche Chief Government and former VW head Oliver Blume, firstly of September. Diess’s departure follows a vote by VW’s supervisory board, which incorporates representatives of worker organizations and the state of Decrease Saxony, the corporate’s second-largest shareholder. The 20-seat board voted unanimously to switch Diess, sources instructed the Monetary Occasions.

Herr Diess was broadly thought-about the architect of VW’s daring electrification technique. Below his management, the Group turned by far probably the most charged of the legacy automakers. He oversaw the launch of recent native EVs, and dedicated to take a position some €52 billion to restructure the corporate for the approaching electrical period.

Nevertheless, he repeatedly locked horns with VW’s highly effective works council, which represents most of its 300,000 staff in Germany. Staff’ representatives have repeatedly criticized his administration model and communications abilities.

A comment Diess made in 2021 was broadly interpreted as implying that electrification may price as many as 30,000 jobs, inciting outrage from unions. (Nevertheless, the way in which we and others parsed his assertion, he was saying that shifting too slowly on electrification was the menace to jobs.)

Diess’s propensity to emphasize the urgency of “catching up with Tesla” additionally apparently ruffled some highly effective feathers. Amongst different sins, he cited a report that Tesla can construct a Mannequin 3 over 3 times as quick as VW builds an ID.3 at its Zwickau EV plant, and invited the Tesla’s controversial CEO Elon Musk to handle VW execs on a video name.

It’s additionally value mentioning that VW’s inventory value has been on a downward trajectory for the final yr.

VW’s works council chief Daniela Cavallo pressured the significance of guaranteeing that “job safety and profitability stay equally essential company objectives within the coming years. Our focus as an worker group is obvious: all our colleagues have to be concerned. At this time’s selections pay tribute to this.”

Will Diess’s departure trigger VW to place the brakes on electrification? Theoretically, EVs are less complicated to supply than ICE automobiles, and it’s broadly anticipated that the shift to electrical motors will result in job losses, not solely at automakers, however at suppliers (additionally main employers in Germany). Is an unhealthy jobs-versus-climate narrative growing within the German auto trade?

That is still to be seen. Not one of the reviews we’ve learn cited Diess’s electrification plans as a cause for his departure per se. Diess’s successor Oliver Blume just isn’t with out EV cred—he oversaw the event and market launch of the electrical Porsche Taycan.

Supply: Monetary Occasions, Reuters, Electrek


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