October 10, 2018 10:13 CET
BERLIN — Audi’s interim CEO, Bram Schot, laid claim to the top job for the long term amid uncertainty when Markus Duesmann, who has been seen as CEO-designate, can join Audi parent Volkswagen Group from BMW.
“I would be available as Audi chief in the long run and would like that very much,” Schot was quoted as saying in an interview with German business monthly Manager Magazin published on Wednesday.
Schot was promoted from Audi’s sales chief to interim CEO on June 19, shortly after Rupert Stadler, the automaker’s former chief, was detained by German authorities in relation to an investigation into Volkswagen Group’s diesel-manipulation scandal. VW Group terminated Stadler’s contract earlier this month.
In July, VW Group recruited Duesmann, a BMW engine development and purchasing expert. He has been seen as a potential successor to Stadler, as VW looks to shake off its diesel scandal.
But Duesmann’s current BMW term runs until September next year and he is contractually banned from working for a competitor such VW for one year thereafter. An earlier release would be subject to negotiations with BMW.
Manager Magazin quoted unspecified sources as saying BMW was not willing to make concessions.
Schot also said in the interview that Audi’s supervisory board had not imposed any restrictions on him and that he was making decisions for the company for the short, medium and long term.
The feedback he receives from co-workers is positive, the magazine quoted Schot as saying, adding: “They don’t give me the feeling that I am seen as an interim solution.”
Audi created so-called “defeat” devices that cut emissions in 1999, years before they were used in up to 11 million VW Group diesel cars sold worldwide, German press reports have said.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report
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