Volkswagen Said to Hire McKinsey to Address Diesel Cheat Crisis

  • U.S. consultancy tapped for plan to better respond to scandal
  • VW CEO Mueller is drafting road map for carmaker through 2025

VW Sets Aside $18 Billion to Pay for Diesel Scandal

Volkswagen AG has hired McKinsey & Co. to better react to the turmoil caused by its emissions cheating and help draft a strategy to move beyond the scandal, according to people familiar with the matter.

The German carmaker tapped external advisers after recognizing that it struggled to switch into crisis mode following years of rapid growth, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision was confidential. Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller is drafting strategic goals through 2025 that are due to be presented this summer.

McKinsey and other consulting firms have worked for Volkswagen on selected projects in the past, but Europe’s largest automaker has been more resistant than industry peers to get external expertise on board and often preferred to work out solutions internally.

Two years ago an attempt to hire McKinsey to help develop a restructuring plan for the struggling VW brand was shot down by labor chiefs. Bernd Osterloh, Volkswagen’s top worker representative on the supervisory board, balked at an attempt to engage McKinsey without notifying labor unions and accused the consulting firm in a media interview of “stone age thinking” including “nonsensical counting of heads in production.” Osterloh insisted that VW’s workers were better positioned to identify savings, submitting a 400-page folder of suggestions for lowering costs without cutting jobs.

Spokesmen for Volkswagen and McKinsey declined to comment.

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