GERMANY: Volkswagen denies report that Bernhard hire is imminent
Volkswagen AG on Monday denied a report that it was about to hire former DaimlerChrysler executive Wolfgang Bernhard to run its Volkswagen division, according to Reuters.
"This is nonsense," VW spokesman Dirk Grosse-Leege told the news agency in response to a report in motor industry newspaper Automotive News report that cited VW sources. The paper had reported that Bernhard's salary demands were the only item left to negotiate and that the former Chrysler chief operating officer would start at VW in January if he could agree terms with Europe's biggest carmaker.
Reuters noted that Volkswagen AG chief executive Bernd Pischetsrieder has also been running the company's Volkswagen division, which groups the VW, Skoda, Bentley and Bugatti brands.
The news agency noted that the DaimlerChrysler board abruptly bumped Bernhard, 43, from the job heading its prestigious Mercedes Car Group just days before he was supposed to start in May, and he left the company in July.
Since then, market talk reportedly has also linked him to a possible senior job at General Motors.
Sources familiar with Volkswagen's thinking have told Reuters VW is interested in Bernhard - an aggressive cost-cutter who helped get Chrysler back on its feet - but that nothing concrete was in the works.