Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller has told the weekly WirtschafstWoche that the company is no longer seeking the title of the world’s biggest carmaker. That is an accomplishment held by Toyota, one of the company’s biggest rivals. Mueller took the reins of the company in late September of 2015. He was previously the CEO of Porsche AG. His rise to the top position in the mother company comes at a time that the car giant is going through some tough times in light of the Dieselgate controversy. VW was forced to admit in September that it had installed pollution-cheating software in 11 million diesel engines across the world. Volkswagen has since takent a beating with declining sales in the wake of the crisis, which Mueller was brought in to address.
It’s a tough job for sure, but Mueller has already departed from some of the goals and campaigns of his predecessor, Martin Winterkorn. Winterkorn was fond of stating the goal of becoming the world’s biggest manufacturer, through the growth from all 12 of its different brands. That goal was slated to be achieved by the year 2018, but possibly as soon as the end of 2015.
“For me, this obsession with unit sales and the ambition to constantly reach new records makes no sense,” CEO Matthias Mueller said in an interview. He adds, “It makes no difference to me whether we’re number one, number two or number three in terms of volume of sales.” VW still wants to remain a leader in the sector. “But our definition will be different,” he said “I’m not going declare sheer size as an end in itself.”
It would seem the company was operating at a frenetic pace prior to Mueller’s change of direction. This new focus comes at a critical time for the company and the CEO’s moves to clean up the culture couldn’t be any clearer.