Volkswagen appoints Ralf Brandstatter brand chief exec

Brandstatter makes the leap to CEO from operations chief. (Twitter pic/Volkswagen Group)

BERLIN: German auto giant Volkswagen said Monday that operations chief Ralf Brandstatter would become the new boss and drive its development towards electric vehicles.

Brandstatter will replace Herbert Diess on July 1, and will pursue the development of the brand as CEO, a company statement said.

Diess will focus on his other post as chief executive officer of the entire VW group, which owns a dozen brands of vehicles, including Audi, Bentley and Porsche.

VW, which is trying to overcome a disastrous emissions-cheating scandal, is now betting on “zero-emission mobility”, in large part via the development of electric vehicles.

German media said the announcement came after weeks of tension at VW, where Diess was reportedly the target of criticism stemming from software problems that had plagued the new electric model ID.3.