VW America CEO Out, Will Pursue Other Opportunities

Michael Horn, the chief executive officer and president of Volkswagen Group of America, has departed the company through mutual agreement. The departure is effective immediately. The man that will now walk in his shoes is Hinrich J. Woebcken, chairman of Volkswagen Group of America.
Michael Horn 1 photo
Photo: VW America
Horn joined the German manufacturer in 1990 and held positions such as head of sales for Europe and global head of sales at Volkswagen. Upon his departure, the 54-year-old auto exec has been praised by Herbert Dies, the CEO of the Volkswagen brand.

“During his time in the U.S., Michael Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand,” declared Dies.

It isn’t known where Horn will go now, though the company says he will “pursue other opportunities.” My opinion is that Michael Horn called it quits because the Dieselgate scandal continues to burden Volkswagen in North America. Volkswagen has yet to come to an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department on repairs or buybacks for the 580,000 affected diesel vehicles.

Truth be told, there’s no such thing as an immediate resolution to the Dieselgate fiasco. It’s mismanaged in Germany, the home of Volkswagen, and it is even more mismanaged in the United States. A change in upper management spells more mismanagement in my book. As if the situation weren’t gloomy enough for the German company, the California Air Resources Board believes Volkswagen might not be able to offer a compliant fix for its 2.0 TDI turbo diesel engines.

District Court Judge Charles Breyer has given Volkswagen Group of America until March 24 to propose a fix. There’s no information on what is going to happen if Volkswagen misses the deadline. For the similarly faulty 3.0 TDI V6 engines, the company is working closely with U.S. regulators to evaluate a possible repair.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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