Attention, suppliers: Volkswagen's Wolfgang Bernhard is sharpening his cost-cutting knives. The automaker lost $1.24 billion in North America last year, in part because of the rising value of the euro vs. the dollar.
Bernhard, who soon will head the carmaker's Volkswagen, Bentley, Skoda and Bugatti brands, says VW's earnings are being dragged down by high costs. Quality also can be improved, he says.
But in his quest to cut costs, Bernhard says he won't abandon his product-guy roots. He played a key role in developing the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum while at the Chrysler group.
In the latest issue of Autogramm, VW's in-house newspaper, he says, "You cannot save your way to prosperity. At the end of the day it all depends on having the right products."
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