Martin Winterkorn, chairman of German car maker Volkswagen
Frankfurt - AFP
German auto giant Volkswagen said on Wednesday that key members of its supervisory board want to extend the contract of the carmaker's chief executive Martin Winterkorn until 2018.
The six-member steering committee "voted unanimously" to propose to the 20-strong supervisory board at its meeting on September 25 that Winterkorn be offered "a new contract until December 31, 2018," the group said in a statement.
The steering committee comprises six of the most influential members of VW's supervisory board, including the head of the general works committee, the leader of the mighty IG Metall metalworkers' union and the head of the regional state of Lower Saxony where the carmaker is based.
"We will continue along the road of success of the past years with Martin Winterkorn at the head," said supervisory board chief Berthold Huber.
Winterkorn, 68, has been CEO since 2007, but was earlier this year involved in an ugly leadership battle with then supervisory board chief and VW patriarch Ferdinand Piech.
It was Piech who installed Winterkorn as chief executive in 2007.
But he appeared to have become irked by his former protege's difficulties in making substantial inroads into the US market, as well as VW's over-dependence on the Chinese market and the waning attractiveness of its core Volkswagen brand.
At the end of a bitter and very public battle, 78-year-old Piech finally resigned in April.