Diess’s farewell to Volkswagen and the imprint he left on the car

Herbert Diess He goes away. His last day of work at Volkswagen has arrived. The now former number one of the German giant takes his leave with a long post on LinkedIn in which he retraces the 7 years lived on the Wolfsburg command bridge.

And he is keen to specify that, to quote his own words, at the time of his arrival VW was perceived by some as an “autocratic cheater” (Diess arrived immediately after the Dieselgate, ed), while now it is universally considered a “world leader on the theme of clean mobility“. Not a small transformation.

The summer farewell

His farewell to the group was announced on 22 July. Arrived sudden but not entirely unexpected, also given the frictions that even in the past have animated the relationship with families Piech e Porschewhich have the majority of votes on the board of directors and 31.4% of the ownership.

Regarding this, the very day of the announcement of the change at the top, with Diess who would pass the baton to the CEO of Porsche Oliver Blume, Reuters brought back the thought of some people close to the question that it was the Piechs and Porsches who felt the need for a change.

Oliver Blume, Volkswagen’s new CEO

Among the reasons that are thought to have led to the decision, the problems related to the development of the new generation software by Cariad, a Volkswagen company focused on the digital aspects of electric cars (and not only), or the commercial results not satisfactory enough in China.

“A clear direction”

Real reasons, differences of opinion, personal friction? It matters little. Diess greeted everyone without taking off any pebbles from her shoes, without prejudice to the aforementioned claim on the footprint she feels she has left in Wolfsburg. In her post on LinkedIn the manager mainly thanked colleagues and shareholders: “Today is my last day as Volkswagen CEO and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you again. These have been the seven most rewarding years of my career ”.

Then, he continues: “I am grateful to all stakeholders and all employees for having had the opportunity to lead the company through partially troubled waters but with a clear direction: we shape mobility for generations to come. It has been a pleasure to work with some of the best professionals in our sector and beyond ”.

The VW metamorphosis

After 15 years at BMW, Diess joined Volkswagen in 2015, initially heading the brand VW Passanger Cars. After 2 years and 4 months, in April 2018, he became CEO of the entire group, following on from Matthias Muller, who had the task of quickly replacing Martin Winterkorn at the outbreak of the emissions scandal.

Diess took Muller’s baton and accelerated on the transition, pushing hard on the electric. Under his leadership the group gave birth to MEB platform and related models of the ID family, from ID.3 to the latest born ID.Buzz.

Diess has never shown doubts about the way forward to guarantee the group the competitiveness that the history of the car requires, starting that process of profound corporate reorganization that in his intentions will lead Volkswagen “from being a car manufacturer to becoming a company providing services related to mobility “.

A future to write

Herbert Diess, who will turn 64 in less than 2 months, certainly has no urgency to find a new job. But we are already talking about his future. A man with so much experience will certainly not want to step aside at a key moment for the automotive industry, unless his contract includes, as often happens, particular non-compete clauses.

herbert diess elon musk vw id3

This is Musk

Without prejudice to this last point, it is undeniable that among the most fascinating hypotheses is the one that would link the name of the German manager to that of Elon Musk. The two esteem each other and Diess has often quoted Tesla as an example from which everyone should learn something. But nothing concrete has been leaked regarding this scenario.

In a rapidly evolving sector, no one would be surprised to see Diess become the spearhead of some Chinese house ready to launch on European markets. BYD, NIO or Xpeng, just to name a few, have ambitious expansionist strategies towards the Old Continent and Diess, between skills and knowledge, could help speed up the plans. Even in this sense, however, it is for the moment only a “fantasy market”.

What will really happen? For now the only sure thing is that Diess will be officially out of Volkswagen from tomorrow. What his future will be remains to be seen, but certainly the imprint he left in Wolfsburg, and on the entire European automotive sector, will still remain clearly visible.


Source: Motor1.com Italia – News by it.motor1.com.

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