Head of the Volkswagen brand Wolfgang Bernhard is leaving Europe’s biggest carmaker as part of a management restructure.
Volkswagen’s new chief executive, former Audi boss Martin Winterkorn, will take on Bernhard’s brand role when he leaves at the end of the month.
Speculation has been mounting about Bernhard’s position as chairman of the VW brand group in recent weeks and it intensified when he failed to attend this week’s Detroit Motor Show. The rumours started when his ally Bernd Pischetsrieder was replaced by Winterkorn at the end of last year. Bernard is now being linked with a return to his former employer DaimlerChrysler.
His departure comes as part of a major shake-up of Volkswagen’s structure. The current system of splitting the carmaker’s seven marques between a VW brand group and an Audi one will be scrapped and all seven will report results separately.