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VW Group Snags BMW Exec to Lead Passenger Car Division

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/10/2014 Kelly Pleskot

Volkswagen Group has appointed former BMW development chief Herbert Diess to take over the VW passenger car brand starting October 2015.

Research

Diess will lead the single largest division at Volkswagen Group, putting him in a good position to eventually succeed Chairman Martin Winterkorn.

"With Herbert Diess we will be welcoming an outstanding personality and one of the most capable minds in the automotive industry to our Company," Winterkorn said in a statement this week. "At the same time, this step puts the executive management of both the Group and the brand on an even broader footing."

Herbert Diess Meeting With Toyota© Provided by MotorTrend Herbert Diess Meeting With Toyota Snagging Diess is quite a feat, considering he has been working at BMW since 1996. At one point, he was in charge of cutting spending on car components during the recession when he was leader of purchasing. In 2012, he took over as the company's development chief. And this isn't the first time VW has taken an exec away from a major competitor; the company recently hired Daimler's Andreas Renschler to take the helm as leader of its truck division, reports Bloomberg.

Although passenger car sales are up globally, Diess may encounter some challenges in the U.S. where VW has a relatively small market share. Globally, VW passenger car deliveries are up 2 percent this year through November at 5.6 million vehicles, but in the U.S., car sales were down 11 percent with just 332,900 units sold during the same 11 months.

Source: Bloomberg, Volkswagen

Herbert Diess© Provided by MotorTrend Herbert Diess
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