Hallway Radio: More bad news, and Volkswagen’s Mueller is out. Really bad news, and Ghosn is in

Carlos Ghosn TMS - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

The savior?

Nerves are frayed in Wolfsburg, laid bare by the never-ending barrage of bad news. The suffering is getting so huge that cutting Volkswagen’s head off to end the pain becomes a viable option. Should the scandal spread from diesel to a large number of gasoline driven cars, VW’s new CEO Matthias Müller, along with Volkswagen’s complete Board of Management, will be replaced, says the Hallway Radio.

As none of the supervisors raised alarm in the past, members of Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board would be part of the manager mass exodus, says Volkswagen’s rumor mill.

Bona-fide untainted outsiders could give Volkswagen the badly needed fresh start, voices on the hallway radio say. Already, a number of candidates is being bandied about.

  • The Hallway Radio’s hot candidate for the chairmanship of Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board is 66-year-old Wolfgang Reitzle. He was head of BMW’s R&D before becoming CEO of Ford’s ill-fated Premiere Automobile Group. Reitzle is head of the Supervisory Board of the German industrial gas and technology firm Linde, from where Reitzle was campaigning for a network of hydrogen gas stations more than a decade ago.
  • As candidate for the job of CEO of Volkswagen, the Hallway Radio names Elmar Degenhart, currently CEO of the German technology concern Continental AG. The veritable rocket scientist worked for Bosch, Recaro, and Schaeffler, before succeeding Karl-Thomas Neumann as CEO of Conti.
  • Should Degenhart say no, the Hallway Radio recommends bringing Karl-Thomas Neumann back from the cold at Opel. Neumann was CEO of Continental before switching to Volkswagen, where he ran the company’s important China business. When Neumann was removed from the post in 2012, the Hallway Radio suspected that Volkswagen’s mercurial former sales chief Christian Klingler had a hand in the decapitation. In 2013, Neumann became CEO of GM’s European Opel subsidiary. Heading Volkswagen definitely would be the better job.

Then there are voices on the hallway radio pronouncing that these choices would be just more of the same, and that Volkswagen needs a drastic jolt, and a re-boot. As possible captains of das re-boot, the Hallway Radio names Carl-Peter Foster (ex BMW, Opel, Tata) and Bentley’s Michael Speh. In the event of a near-death of Volkswagen, the Hallway Radio recommends calling Carlos Ghosn, head of Renault and Nissan. He would thoroughly clean house, one of the voices on the Hallways Radio said with a tremble, and if he brings Renault and Nissan with him, that World’s Largest Automaker goal could be reached after all.

Standard disclaimer: Hallway radio reports reflect the current buzz of Volkswagen’s internal rumor mill, and as such the reports are not always correct. No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information. However, the radio has a very high batting average, so far, at least.

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