New Volkswagen NA Boss Quits Before Taking Position

2014-vahlandChairman of Škoda Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland, who was tapped to lead a new North American Volkswagen region, will be leaving the Volkswagen Group, it was announced Wednesday.

Vahland will not be taking the N.A. role which would have given him the responsibility of overseeing the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets.

“Differing views on the organisation of the new Group region have led to this decision,” Å koda said in a release on Wednesday, though the automaker was careful to point out that “this decision is expressly not related to current events on the issue of diesel engines.”

A replacement for Vahland in North America has not yet been announced.

“In the last 25 years, Prof. Vahland made a great contribution to the company. We respect his decision and thank him for his exceptional performance,� said Matthias Müller, newly-minted CEO of Volkswagen Group AG, in a prepared statement.

The recent diesel saga that’s seen nearly 11 million vehicles equipped with a “defeat device” to pass emissions tests has caused an executive shuffle within Volkswagen AG and its brands.

Matthias Müller, who was CEO of Porsche, finds himself heading the overall group, replacing Martin Winterkorn. Volkswagen Group AG appointed Hans Dieter Pötsch as its new chairman on October 7, replacing the departed Ferdinand Piëch, though that was planned before the scandal.

Last week, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn — who would have reported to Vahland had he made the trip across the Atlantic — testified to a congressional committee October 8 that he wasn’t aware of the “defeat devices” until last month.

It’s unclear who will now take the new North American post.