VW Chief Winterkorn Says $27 Million Paycheck Unliketly

Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn, the highest-paid top manager among Germany’s biggest companies, expects to earn less as the carmaker considers limiting compensation packages.

Compensation amounting to 20 million euros ($27 million) would be difficult to explain, and it would be understandable for the supervisory board to change terms of executives’ pay, Der Spiegel magazine cited Winterkorn as saying an interview. Michael Brendel, a spokesman at Wolfsburg, Germany-based VW, confirmed the comments.

Winterkorn earned 17.5 million euros in 2011, the most of any CEO of companies on Germany’s benchmark DAX Index. The IG Metall labor union called in March for limits on top managers’ pay packages, and Bernd Osterloh, the top labor representative at VW, said last year that the supervisory board is considering revising criteria for salary and benefits.

Winterkorn reiterated that VW, Europe’s biggest carmaker, is considering producing a budget-priced vehicle, costing 6,000 euros to 7,000 euros, that it would build with one of its Chinese partners starting in 2015, Spiegel reported.

Working to bring down costs on the vehicle without losing Volkswagen’s quality standards will be very demanding, Winterkorn said at the Detroit motor show last month.

Volkswagen aims to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions across its fleet to 95 grams per kilometer by 2020 to comply with possible European Union environmental standards, Winterkorn said, according to Spiegel. That would equal fuel consumption of about four liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers.