VW set to name new Porsche CEO: reports
European auto giant Volkswagen intends to name the top aide of one of its bosses as head of luxury sports car maker Porsche, which VW is in the process of taking over, press reports said Friday.
The head of VW's supervisory board, Ferdinand Piech, has decided to make Matthias Mueller Porsche's chief executive in a move that would cement control over the maker of iconic 911 sports cars, the daily Handelsblatt reported.
Mueller, 56, has worked at VW's luxury car division Audi, is "a close confident of Martin Winterkorn," the VW chief executive, the newspaper said, and knows the workings of Europe's biggest auto manufacturer well.
His nomination should be formally announced in July, Handelsblatt and the Financial Times said, and is part of a broader executive revamp at VW that would also result in an overhaul of the group's truck activities.
Porsche could be tasked meanwhile with developing a mid-engine platform to be used by several of VW's high-end brands, including a mooted new version of the Porsche Boxster.
Handelsblatt reported however that "within Volkswagen, (Audi and Porsche) are battling for control of the luxury sports and saloon (sedan) segment."
Among its 10 brands, VW also counts Bugatti, Lamborghini and Bentley, but they make many fewer automobiles than Audi or Porsche.
A smaller version of Porsche's Cayenne sports utility vehicle is also under development, the reports said.
VW currently owns 49.9 percent of Porsche AG, which oversees the company's auto manufacturing, and plans to buy the rest by the end of 2011.
One of the most profitable car companies in the world, Porsche sold 75,238 cars in its 2008/2009 fiscal year, and Winterkorn wants to double that "in the medium term," the newspapers said.
VW also wants to overtake Toyota as the world's biggest carmaker by 2018.
© 2010 AFP