Volkswagen's supervisory board will hold an extroardinary meeting on Wednesday and its current chief financial officer Hans Dieter Poetsch is expected to be appointed as the head of the board at the meeting. Poetsch, 64, was initially due to be named to the supervisory board at an extraordinary general meeting scheduled on 9 November.
The scandal-hit carmaker was however forced to postpone the scheduled shareholders' meeting as the company felt it would not be ready to provide answers to questions by shareholders. The investigation by law firm Jones Day is expected to take several months and as such, details of the probe would not be ready in time for the meeting when the board faces its shareolders.
Reuters reported that in addition to appointing Poetsch at the extraordinary supervisory board meeting, the 20-member controlling panel will also discuss the latest findings of its internal investigation. The company's internal probe has already led to more than 10 suspensions of senior managers, a source close to the board said.
The company took out full page advertisements in the Bild am Sonntag and Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspapers with the message: "We will do everything possible to win back your trust." The messages replaced an advert celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Germany reunification, the agency said.
Europe's biggest carmaker has admitted to cheating diesel emissions tests by installing a software that detects when the vehicle is being tested. A total of 11 million vehicles worldwide are affected.
Bild am Sonntag reported that several VW engineers have admitted to installing the cheat software in 2008 when Ulrich Hackenberg , the suspended head of research and development at Audi, was still the head of technical development at the VW brand division. VW had declined to comment, Reuters said.
Newly appointed chief executive Mattias Mueller will be meeting about 20,000 workers at a closed-door factory event on Tuesday, in which he is expected to explain how he plans to navigate the company out of its current problems. That may the least of his problems. By Wednesday, VW will have to spell out to Germany's watchdog, the KBA when and how its cars will comply with emissions standards.
At an internal company meeting at the VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Poetsch is reported to have described the current situation at the company as an "existence-threatening crisis for the company," according to Welt am Sonntag. Poetsch also said that he believed the company could overcome the crisis, according to the newspaper. VW has declined to comment on the report, Business Insider reports.
The newspaper also said that the company's planned €100bn investment through to 2018 is under review for cuts but the carmaker also declined to comment on this. The supervisory board is thought to be looking at ways to make savings in a desperate bid to avoid a downgrade in its credit ratings which would inevitably lead to higher borrowing costs.
The company sources however said the cost cutting does not involve asset sales. Some analysts have suggested that the carmaker should consider selling its trucks business or other brands like Bugatti, Ducati or Lamborghini. A survey by the German market research company Puls revealed that 41% of consumers see the VW brand damaged in the long term, while 11% say they no longer want to buy a VW.