VW and Jaguar plan major overhauls

VW and Jaguar plan major overhauls

Volkswagen’s (VW) new chief executive Herbert Diess said he will consider asset sales and seeks to turn the multi-brand conglomerate into a slimmed down company with strong brands.

Speaking at his first news conference as chief executive at VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Mr Diess said he would look at the different assets in VW’s portfolio, which includes Renk and MAN Diesel, and review whether keeping them makes sense.

“We will review all options,” said Mr Diess, adding that this could include investing in the businesses or pursuing a sale.

Shares in VW remained largely unchanged.

It comes as Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover will cut around 1,000 jobs and production at two of its English factories due to a fall in sales caused by uncertainty around Brexit and confusion over diesel policy, a source said.

Output will be cut at its central English Solihull and Castle Bromwich plants, affecting some 1,000 agency workers. A spokesman at Jaguar Land Rover declined to comment on the number of jobs which would be lost but the firm said it would be making changes to its output plans. 

Major players in the motor industry have had to rethink strategies after a crackdown across the EU and US following VW’s emissions scandal.

VW’s new boss was announced after its directors ousted Matthias Mueller and deliberated ways to reform an empire which has motorbike, bus, truck and passenger car brands including Ducati, Bentley, Porsche, Audi, Scania and Skoda. The carmaker also said it will reorganise its 12 brands by creating six new vehicle divisions.

A renowned cost-cutter, Mr Diess took over from Mr Mueller after the latter’s attempts to reshape the automotive group foundered amid labour opposition, including his plans to sell motorbike brand Ducati.

Mr Mueller had taken on the job days after the Dieselgate scandal broke in September 2015.

In January, Jaguar said it would temporarily reduce production at its other British plant of Halewood later this year in response to weakening demand due to Brexit and tax hikes on diesel cars but did not detail any job losses.

Jaguar sales are down 26% so far this year whilst Land Rover demand dropped 20% in its home market as buyers shun diesel, concerned over planned tax rises and possible bans and restrictions in several countries.

British new car registrations have been falling for a year which the car industry body has partly blamed on weakening consumer confidence in the wake of the Brexit vote, after record demand in 2015 and 2016.

Reuters

More in this Section

Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin hits out at corporate governance rulesWetherspoons boss Tim Martin hits out at corporate governance rules

DCC shares fall 6% on profit declineDCC shares fall 6% on profit decline

Regulator: Banks still failing customersRegulator: Banks still failing customers

Sterling inches lower as Tory vote boost fadesSterling inches lower as Tory vote boost fades


Lifestyle

The Cosmetify Index reveals the cosmetics companies that are generating the most buzz online – and Dubai-based Huda Kattan has the top spot.Huda Beauty tops the 10 ‘most popular’ beauty brands this year

Read the script of Kya deLongchamps’ kitchen-sink drama to set the scene to make an informed choice when selecting this home essentialTake the plunge: Read this checklist before you splash out on your new kitchen sink

SOMETIMES, the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes, we just want to sit at home eating a bag of jelly beans, while thinking about more jelly beans. Life is only as significant or special as we make it.GameTech: Death Stranding is a divisive, beautiful journey packaged in a cool world

Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll tells Richard Purden about the mad times when five Manc-Irish lads became one of the biggest rock bands in the worldNot looking back in anger: Former Oasis drummer looks back at the mad times of one of the biggest rock bands in the world

More From The Irish Examiner