Volkswagen's Herbert Diess to head volume brand division

VW's Herbert Diess and Matthias Müller

Volkswagen New Boss Is Herbert Diess

Mueller, a former chief executive of sportscar-building VW subsidiary Porsche AG, was brought in to replace Martin Winterkorn in 2015 and was contracted to serve until 2020.

Mueller followed a course toward a new era of multibillion-dollar investments in electric cars and SUVs, which surprised industry observers who identified VW with its diesel roots and small cars.

"This is all we could have asked for, and expect the market to take the news positively", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note on Friday.

Volkswagen shares declined 0.5 percent to 175.78 euros as of 11:30 a.m.in Frankfurt, reversing a gain earlier in the day.

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Dressed in a dark blue suit and a burgundy tie, Diess and chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch were the only executives to field questions about the carmaker, even though VW announced a raft of new appointments on Thursday.

Diess is not only to head the management board, the top executive body at German companies that reports to the supervisory board, or board of directors; he is also to be in charge of vehicle development and research, as well as vehicle-related information technology.

The supervisory board approved sweeping corporate changes, including the promotion of VW-brand head Diess to the group's top post, at a four-hour meeting Thursday evening. Frank Witter will head company IT.

As the names suggest, the brands will be divided according to product value, with the likes of Volkswagen, Skoda and SEAT found in the Volume category, while Lamborghini, Porsche and Bentley will make up the Super Premium segment of the business.

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The plans were announced after Volkswagen board of directors ousted Matthias Mueller as CEO and discussed ways to overhaul the company, which spans motorbikes, buses, trucks and passenger vehicle brands including Ducati, Bentley, Porsche, Audi, Scania and Skoda. Whether these businesses will be invested in or sold off remains to be seen, Diess said.

VW Group hopes the new management system will streamline the company, quickening the decision-making process.

Müller led the Volkswagen Group through one of its toughest periods as it faced fire for its emissions cheating scandal. Mueller had taken on the job days after the "Dieselgate" scandal broke in September 2015.

"The new VW boss Diess has a long to-do list", Greens party parliamentary leader Anton Hofreiter told Germany news agency DPA.

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Herbert Diess replaces Matthias Muller who is stepping down as chairman by agreement, effective immediately. Europe's largest automotive group is poised to replace group chief executive Matthias Mueller this week with Diess, a cost-cutter hired in 2015 from BMW as it seeks fresh impetus for its recovery from an emissions scandal.

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