Porsche tips VW exec Matthias Mueller as next boss

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German luxury car maker Porsche said on Tuesday that Volkswagen chief production strategist Matthias Mueller would be Porsche's next chief executive, as VW tightens its grip on the company.

VW, the biggest European automaker, already owns half of Porsche, the manufacturer of 911 sports cars, and is in the process of making it the group's 10th brand.

Porsche's current head, Michael Macht, is to take up a new post as a VW board member responsible for group production, a separate VW statement said.

Mueller, 57, is to take over at Porsche on October 1.

Porsche will gain Mueller's "exceptional competence in the operation of independent brands within a global, integrated auto group," Porsche supervisory board president Wolfgang Porsche was quoted as saying.

Presented by German media as close to VW boss Martin Winterkorn, Mueller is a trusted insider who knows how VW operates and is thus well-placed to help Porsche's integration.

The sports car maker is expected to collaborate closely with another high-end VW brand, Audi, where Mueller has also worked in the past.

VW now owns 49.9 percent of Porsche and expects to own all of the carmaker by 2011.

© 2010 AFP

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