Munich / Wolfsburg (dpa) - The head of the VW truck division Traton, Andreas Renschler, leaves the board of directors of the subsidiary and the group in mid-July. The supervisory board and the manager had agreed on this, Traton announced in the evening in Munich.
The separation took place “by mutual agreement”, it said. As of July 15, Renschler will also no longer belong to the management of the mother Volkswagen.
There had already been reports of friction at the top of Traton - but Renschler's withdrawal within a week of the formal announcement is surprising. The Traton boss is now to be replaced by Matthias Gründler. He was previously CFO and resigned in 2018.
In addition, MAN boss Joachim Drees is to be replaced. For him, the previous head of production for the VW core brand, Andreas Tostmann, is said to be moving from Wolfsburg to Munich. MAN Human Resources Manager Carsten Intra should also leave the company, and Gründler, as the new chairman, is to take on some of his tasks. According to MAN, Renschler said he would also resign from the truck and bus manufacturer as Chairman of the Supervisory Board in the middle of this month.
Traton is part of the VW Group, the largest car group in the world, heavy commercial vehicles. These include the brands MAN and MAN Latin America as well as the Swedish manufacturer Scania. In the end there should have been differences of opinion. According to reports, Renschler is aiming for a more centralized list of developments - at the expense of the individual brands. In the commercial vehicle industry, research on new, low-CO2 or even CO2-free drives consumes a lot of money, as do new construction kits for leaner, more uniform production.
Last year, VW's truck subsidiaries were able to expand their business. Both MAN and Scania increased sales, operating profit and return. However, the corona crisis is putting massive pressure on costs in the current year. There were production interruptions, and the economic downturn has traditionally hit the global commercial vehicle division hard.
In the United States, where Daimler has had a clear lead up to now, Traton wants to strengthen itself with the truck manufacturer Navistar. However, the latter continued to write in the red in the second business quarter. Ex-Daimler manager Renschler put $ 35 a share on the table for the remaining shares in Navistar at the end of January, for a total of $ 2.9 billion. In September 2016, the heavy-duty VW commercial vehicle division entered to get a foot in the door on the important North American truck market.
There were also discrepancies in the relationship between management and the works council in spring. At the beginning of April, the Traton works council chief denied Renschler's statements about ongoing talks about a “fundamental realignment” of the Munich truck manufacturer.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200707-99-709813 / 2