VW CEO Winterkorn likely to stay until end of 2018 | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 02.09.2015
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VW CEO Winterkorn likely to stay until end of 2018

Directors at Germany's Volkswagen have thrown their weight behind extending the contract of CEO Martin Winterkorn. Hoping for more successful years, they said he should not leave the post before the end of 2018.

German carmaker Volkswagen said Wednesday that key members of its supervisory board hoped to extend the contract of CEO Martin Winterkorn until the end of 2018.

The six-member steering committee voted anonymously in favor of offering a new contract until December 31, 2018, the group said in a statement. The proposal looks set to be approved by the full board during a meeting scheduled for September 25.

"We will continue along the road of success of the past years with Martin Winterkorn at the head," Supervisory Board Chairman Berthold Huber said.

Big challenges ahead

Winterkorn has been at the helm of the company since 2007. Earlier this year, he emerged as the winner of a headline-making leadership battle with VW patriarch Ferdinand Piech over the carmaker's difficulties in making substantial inroads into the US market and the waning attractiveness of the group's core VW brand.

Volkswagen also faces slackening demand in China, a key source of profits. In addition, it's been buffeted by headwinds in economically troubled Brazil and China.

Nonetheless, the company is profitable and recently achieved its goal of blowing past Toyota to become the world's largest automaker in terms of sales.

VW is currently implementing a new modular assembly technique that will enable it to cut costs and implement more flexible manufacturing.

hg/sgb (dpa, AP, AFP)