On the first day on the job, Oliver Blume informed the public that Volkswagen will quicken its transition to electric vehicles (EVs), but that the company has to find the correct “rhythm” as it makes the necessary changes.
Blume revealed a ten-point strategy during a meeting of senior managers from across the world in Lisbon, concentrating on issues including financial stability, sustainability, the capital market, and growth in China and North America.
“I am a fan of e-mobility and I stand by this path … we will keep the current pace and, where possible, increase it,” Blume said.
Just 3% of Volkswagen’s annual global sales last year were battery electric vehicles, despite the company’s goal of surpassing Tesla as the leading EV manufacturer by 2025.
The goals are announced in advance of a big package of climate regulations that the European Union intends to unveil, which may include a de facto ban on gasoline-powered automobiles beginning in 2035.
Given the fact that Blume is a firm supporter of synthetic fuels, concerns were raised over his appointment at the helm of a company with previous intentions to focus on battery-electric vehicles.
However, the new CEO stated that e-fuels remained “mainly a matter for Porsche” in an interview with the nearby daily Braunschweiger Zeitung.
Blume also tried to ease worries that his dual status as CEO of Porsche and Volkswagen might create issues. Blume was selected in part because he is viewed as a more composed and consensus-driven leader than his predecessor, who was renowned for making drastic changes in strategy.
Additionally, the 54-year-old CEO will assume control of the software unit Cariad, which was established under Diess’ supervision but is significantly behind schedule.
In his conversation with German media, Blume said that its software division should be more open to collaborations since it would be wasteful to invent the wheel if there were already established international standards.
More Streamlined Structure
Volkswagen will be withdrawing two seats from its 12-person management board just one day before a scheduled leadership transition at Europe’s largest automaker, where Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG, will succeed Herbert Diess as CEO of Volkswagen.
The changes would result in the removal of the posts in charge of sales and purchasing, as well as a reduction in the number of members on the management board from twelve to nine overall. This comes in line with a recent report from Reuters that the supervisory board was thinking about reducing the size of the management board to eight or nine people.
Reuters again was the first to report the story, which was then confirmed by Volkswagen.
“The complexity on the Group Board of Management will be reduced and the focus sharpened”, explained the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch, and added:
“Together with an outstanding team on the Board of Management and the Extended Executive Committee, Oliver Blume will ensure that the Volkswagen Group continues to successfully and forcefully meet the challenges of the transformation.”
The 54-year-old Porsche CEO’s selection as Group CEO underlines attempts by Volkswagen’s controlling shareholder families to put things under control following Diess’ chaotic four-year tenure, which caused the board to grow to its present size.
According to Reuters, Blume will also have more involvement in the strategy.
These changes have been made at times when the carmaker is making preliminary moves to list Porsche on the stock market, a move that would further reinforce the families’ dominance. This might result in an announcement of an IPO as early as the first week of September.
Volkswagen is making several changes to the way it operates after the new CEO Oliver Blume started his tenure. Among other things, Blume is also looking to accelerate the transition to EVs.