It should be clear that Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess does not make friends with his diesel customers with the demand for a higher diesel fuel price. In Wolfsburg, there is hidden criticism "that our boss is acting as a socialist planned economy".
In the discussion it becomes clear that the schizophrenic balancing act between making money with combustion engines and expensive e-mobilization is almost tearing the company apart strategically. While Diess is the tightening of the CO2- believes that limit values are feasible for Volkswagen, entire armies of engine developers see not only their performance discredited, but also the "politically enforced path to electromobility poses a great risk because it ignores basic market laws and the wishes of customers".
The VW boss thinks stricter limit values are feasible
Diess had hoped that the federal government would give its battery course massive support, it is said. "This shows that the government is already withdrawing, as the promotion of hydrogen technology proves." Diess wrongly relied on the Chancellor, who had long since dropped the auto industry.
The World on Sunday said Diess: “If we as a society are ready to accept that the transformation to a CO2-neutral mobility should run faster, that would be for Volkswagen to create. "And further:" You have to discuss whether it would be feasible for the entire industry - with the suppliers and the politicians. " but obviously not to his colleagues in the auto industry. We're used to going it alone by VW. To pretend that stricter limit values can be created so easily is dishonest, no, even blatantly wrong. "
VW boss Diess sees his battery strategy at risk from the currently low diesel fuel price. There is no doubt among experts that e-mobility would not establish itself on the market without massive financial support from the state. A marketing expert from Stuttgart said: “Here the market economy is being levered out and controlled by the state, as was a matter of course in the GDR in the past. There were almost only stinking two-stroke Trabants that you had to wait 15 years for. ”E-mobility will not be able to penetrate the market in the next two to three years. The fact remains that there are still high hurdles to overcome. “Ranges and charging times have improved, but it is still a long way from being able to determine whether the contents of the battery will reach the destination without palpitations. That is why the plug-in hybrids will win more and more, because they can go an unlimited amount of time, receive support and because a combustion engine is working in the background, ”says an expert.
"Herbert Diess never arrived in Wolfsburg"
For Herbert Diess this means that he has to fight on several fronts. It also has to assert itself within the group every day. Against works council boss Bernd Osterloh, against critics of his electric strategy, against potential successors who scratch their feet, want to do everything differently, but would never admit to striving for a successor. The new Audi boss Markus Duesmann is also on the potential successor list. His vita clearly identifies him as a “combustion fan”. Anyone who designs a 12-cylinder at Mercedes-Benz, was head of diesel engine development there and developed Formula 1 engines at Mercedes and BMW, is not so easy to switch to electric motors. Duesmann is nevertheless in the process of promoting e-mobility in the group, but his reservations about a radical e-orientation can be seen in the fact that he wanted to build vehicle platforms that also allow combustion engines. Duesmann also repeatedly points out the risks of focusing on battery cars. It remains exciting and it will be interesting to see what the VW supervisory board will decide these days. Certainly not the extension of Herbert Diess' contract.
Insiders even doubt that Diess will finish his contract, which runs until 2023. There is no doubt about this, Diess himself wants to continue and receives (cautious) support from the influential Porsche supervisory board chairman Wolfgang Porsche. "Mr. Diess has changed the group and is not finished yet." Manager Magazin sees a Volkswagen boss on call. Born in Munich, Herbert Diess never arrived in Wolfsburg and will remain an outsider. And outsiders would only have a limited time at Volkswagen.