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VW CEO Winterkorn Steps Down Despite Being "Unaware Of Any Wrongdoing"

Despite saying that press reports of the CEO leaving were "utterly ridiculous", he just did...

  • *VW CEO WINTERKORN STEPPING DOWN OVER WIDENING DIESEL SCANDAL
  • *VW'S WINTERKORN SAYS UNAWARE OF ANY WRONGDOING ON MY PART
  • *VOLKSWAGEN BOARD SEES FURTHER PERSONNEL CHANGES IN NEXT DAYS  
  • *VOLKSWAGEN BOARD SAYS ALL INVOLVED IN CHEAT TO FACE CONSEQUENCE  

One can only wonder what his "retirement" package will be.

Full Statement by Prof. Dr. Winterkorn

"I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.

 

Volkswagen needs a fresh start - also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.

 

I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is and will always be my life.

 

The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis."

As a reminder, here is why Volkswagen, Germany's biggest company and the largest automaker, is important:

  • German automobile manufacturers produced almost 13 million vehicles in 2013 – equivalent to more than 17 percent of total global production.  Twenty-one of the world’s 100 top automotive suppliers are German companies.
  • The automotive industry is the largest industry sector in Germany. In 2014, the auto sector listed a turnover of EUR 384 billion, around 20 percent of total German industry revenue. Source: VDA 2015
  • The auto industry is the largest industrial sector in Germany, contributing about 2.7% to gross domestic product.
  • Some 20% of Germany's exports are made up of vehicles and parts.
  • Germany is Europe’s number one automotive market; accounting for over 30 percent of all passenger cars manufactured (5.6 million) and almost 20 percent of all new car registrations (3.04 million). Source: ACEA 2015
  • Germany is home to 43 automobile assembly and engine production plants with a capacity of over one third of total automobile production in Europe. Source: ACEA 2015
  • One in every five cars worldwide carries a German brand. Source: VDA 2015
  • In 2014, automotive industry R&D expenditure reached EUR 17.6 billion, equivalent to one third of Germany’s total R&D expenditure. Source: VDA 2015
  • 21 of the world’s top 100 automotive suppliers are German companies. Source: PWC 2013
  • Around 77 percent of cars produced in Germany in 2014 were ultimately destined for international markets – a new record. Source: VDA 2015
  • R&D personnel within the German automobile industry reached a level of just over 93,000 in 2014. Around 775,000 are employed in the industry as a whole. Source: VDA 2015
  • The Volkswagen group accounts for roughly one in 10 vehicles sold globally.
  • Most German auto sales came from the Volkswagen group, which reported just over 202 billion euros in revenue in 2014.
  • Roughly 70% of Volkswagen vehicles are sold outside German borders.
  • Volkswagen employs nearly 600,000 people around the world, and more than a third of the 775,000 people who work in the auto industry in Germany.

Meanwhile, back in the best democracy money can buy, where failure is rewarded with bailouts and where criminal death cover-ups cost less than $1 billion to settle, Mary Barra is still running GM.