A Volkswagen's supervisory board committee has reportedly met and avoided discussing Herbert Diess's contract extension, after the VW Group CEO brought it forward amid tensions within the supervisory board over the company's strategic direction.

In asking to remain in post beyond 2023, Diess has effectively forced a vote of confidence in his leadership and his reform efforts – and especially cost cuts – which are reportedly opposed by labour head, Bernd Osterloh. Diess also voiced frustration in a column in the Handelsblatt newspaper last week and criticised factions within Wolfsburg that he said stand in the way of overhauling the company.

However, Reuters reports that the committee meeting yesterday that was charged with looking at the agenda item avoided discussing it. Reuters cited a source familiar with the discussions who told the news agency that "the executive committee will not be pressured into a decision, there is no rush."

Reuters reported that a spokesman for Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the company which holds a majority voting stake in Volkswagen, voiced support for Diess ahead of the meeting.

VW Group watchers will sense familiar talk of internal discord over reform (cost-cutting) efforts. The company has been long seen as cost heavy, but structurally ill-equipped to tackle high costs in Germany due to an ownership structure that includes local politicians, as well as the Porsche and Piech families with their often shifting allegiances.

See also: VW Group infighting – CEO puts job on line