Works council president wants bigger role in VW Group restructuring

Wolfsburg. Klaus Volkert, president of the Volkswagen Group's joint works council, has demanded stronger involvement in the reorganization that VW chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder has initiated. "This Group is badly in need of new structures," Volkert told Automobilwoche.

"However, we will have to take care that the interests of the workers are not overridden..."

Volkert, who is also a member of VW's supervisory board, was wary of excessive savings plans as a response to the manufacturer's continuing difficult market conditions: "We must not save ourselves to extinction," he said.

The redistribution of areas of competence that the supervisory board recently decided on, is at best "an initial step in the right direction," Volkert said.

Under pressure from Pischetsrieder, the board had approved the dissolution of the Group's sales and marketing division. "Now the Regional Princes (Fifes) have lost their responsibility for volume and results," Volkert said, "and the competence of the VW and Audi brand clusters will grow accordingly."

Specifically, Volkert said he is prepared to take his share of responsibility for what he considers long-overdue changes within sales and distribution. But he said he would stress to Pischetsrieder that workers' representatives will have to be better informed and will have to be involved in planning.

Volkert also sees a strong need for action to foster closer links between the brand groups.

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