As Volkswagen AG plots a course toward its goal of becoming the world’s biggest automaker by 2018, it’s increasingly clear that the path to global dominance runs through places like Lanzhou, in western China.
MAN SE denied a Bild newspaper report that Volkswagen AG’s production chief Jochem Heizmann will become the truckmaker’s chief executive officer, said MAN spokesman Dominique Nadelhofer. Speculation about a CEO change is “completely unfounded,” Nadelhofer told Bloomberg News.
Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn appointed a new trucks chief, added a top executive for China and replaced three Audi board members as part of a shakeup to push forward with his growth plans.
Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest automaker, plans to expand its model line-up 29 percent by 2015 in China, a market the manufacturer sees as crucial in its drive to take the industry’s global top spot in five years.
Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG posted record 2012 sales fueled by demand in China. This year, that growth is at risk as the government in Beijing steps up scrutiny of the automakers and media outlets question their quality.