A rare Volkswagen mediation committee, consisting of several high-ranking officials will convene soon to discuss the future of VW AG CEO Herbert Diess, whose future at the company is in jeopardy after conflicts with labor representatives have reignited.
Tensions between Volkswagen management and labor unions have flared up once again after Diess stated that 30,000 jobs could be lost in the transition to electrification if things do not accelerate. This essentially raised concerns from labor representatives who were irate when Diess made the claim. Volkswagen had 665,000 employees in 2020.
Sources told Reuters that a meeting would take place, but the exact date and time could not be confirmed. “Constructive and confidential discussions are currently being held. Possible results will be communicated in due time,” one source said.
Diess has been one of Volkswagen’s key figures in the transition to electrification. The CEO has implemented an at any cost mentality to ditch combustion engine vehicles and move toward electric powertrains to compete with Tesla, the undisputed leader in electric vehicles. Diess has been close with Tesla frontman Elon Musk for some time and has regularly stated that Tesla is the benchmark for electrification. Musk has even spoken to VW executives via webcam during a company meeting.
Diess’ enthusiastic plans to transition Volkswagen from a carmaker with a controversial past due to the Dieselgate Scandal to an EV leader have resulted in the company being the most popular EV manufacturer in several European markets in October, including Norway, the country with the highest concentration of electric powertrains. Volkswagen is the second-most popular EV manufacturer in Norway in 2021, trailing Tesla by just under 4,000 units, according to EU-EVs.com.
Diess is under contract at Volkswagen until October 2025 and was extended during early Summer.
Volkswagen recently reported EV delivery totals in Q3 2021 that doubled the same period in 2020, led by the ID.4 all-electric crossover.
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