VW's Board Will Meet This Tuesday to Discuss if Herbert Diess Should Stay or Go

Herbert Diess 6 photos
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Herbert DiessHerbert DiessHerbert DiessHerbert DiessHerbert Diess
We have no idea if “The Clash” wrote “Should I Stay or Should I Go” due to the band’s name, but the fact is that Herbert Diess must be asking himself precisely that hours before the Volkswagen group board of directors meets on November 23. The main discussion topic will be whether he is the man to keep guiding the company despite the clashes with union representatives or if he should go.
According to Reuters, Diess should be kept in his job for the time being despite being criticized by his management style, but this is not the first time board members have discussed his position. In a previous meeting, Ralf Brandstätter became the Volkswagen brand’s CEO, a position that Diess accumulated with that of Volkswagen Group’s CEO.

In the meeting on November 23, Brandstätter should be named a board member, taking responsibility for the Volkswagen brand in front of the board from Diess’ hands. When the time comes for Diess to step down or be fired, Brandstätter seems to be a strong candidate to replace him.

Union representatives are among Diess’ primary opponents. He already had issues with Bernd Osterloh, the former union’s board member at the Volkswagen Group. When Osterloh left, Daniela Cavallo replaced him, and it seems things did not improve, especially after Diess allegedly warned that Volkswagen could lose 30,000 jobs if it did not catch up with what Tesla is doing in Grünheide.

The truth is that Tesla is doing nothing there apart from building a factory that is still waiting for its final permit. What the Volkswagen Group CEO seems to fear is Tesla’s use of mega castings, which still depend on mass production of the 4680 cells. Without them, the cars will lack the central casting that would form the German Model Y’s underpinnings.

At BMW’s Q3 2021 earnings call, Oliver Zipse already said his company would not pursue massive castings as a manufacturing solution. He reputes them as “too expensive” to repair and that “partially lower manufacturing cost is overcompensated by casting costs.” It will take some time to verify if Tesla vehicles with these large castings will beat the competition as much as Diess thinks they will or whether they will be a big problem for customers that get involved in crashes.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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