Volkswagen is in a real leadership crisis right now, as Rupert Stadler, the CEO of Volkswagen’s luxury arm Audi was arrested on Monday. Munich prosecutors said that R. Stadler was being detained due to fears he might hinder an ongoing investigation into the scandal, and for now he has to be remanded in custody. Stadler was arrested at his home in Ingolstadt, in the early hours on Monday.
Munich prosecutors are investigating whether R. Stadler — once the emission problems had emerged — acted quickly enough to stop the deliveries of manipulated Audi models in Europe.
To go back a little, in September of 2015 VW admitted to using illegal software that basically helped to cheat US emissions tests on diesel engines. This was by far the biggest crisis in the company’s history, which also had serious impact across the whole auto industry.
Although the US filled criminal charges against the formerVW CEO Martin Winterkorn in May, the Munich prosecutors said that R. Stadler’s arrest was not made at the behest of US authorities.
While CEO himself was not available for any comments on this, Audi and VW confirmed the arrest and holds the position that R. Stadler might still be innocent.
However, the arrest definitely raised new tensions on VW’s supervisory board and will be discussed at a supervisory board meeting on Monday.
Newly appointed Volkswagen’s group CEO Herbert Diess was working on introducing a new leadership structure in the company, which also included R. Stadler, in order to speed up a shift towards electric vehicles.