The boss of the US division of German car manufacturing giant Volkswagen Michael Horn resigned “effective immediately” on Wednesday, 9th March, with the company continuing to struggle to deal with the fall out of its emissions cheating scandal.
The news of Horn’s departure comes six months after the scandal was made public, with VW still wrangling with the US government to agree a settlement over damages and fines relating to the matter.
Horn is to be temporarily replaced by Hinrich Woebcken, who recently took over as head of VW for North America. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen, commented: “I want personally to say ‘thank you’ to Michael Horn for the great work he has done for the brand and with the dealers in the United States. During his time in the US, Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand.”
Horn, had been VW’s US president and chief exec since 2014. Announcing his immediate departure from the firm after more than 25 years of employment VW stated that Horn’s resignation had arrived by “mutual agreement” and that he would “pursue other opportunities effective immediately”.
Horn has appeared to struggle with VW’s international handling of the emissions crisis. Speaking to US Congress in October, he claimed no prior knowledge of the ‘cheating’ software.
VW have reportedly allocated €6.7bn to deal with the fixing the affected vehicles globally, but the US lawsuit Volkswagen are facing may reach a total of $20bn. Indeed some commentators have even suggested that the total cost of the debacle could set VW back as much as €78bn.