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Volkswagen chief to address troops

Recluse: Wolfgang Porsche is the chairman of Porsche Automobil Holdings SE, the company that is the only remnant of Porsche’s failed takeover bid for VW in 2009.

Wolfgang Porsche to talk to Wolfsburg workers as VW idles biggest plant for 14 days

2 Dec 2015

VOLKSWAGEN chiefs tomorrow will address a mass meeting of German workers at the giant Wolfsburg plant that the company is planning to shut for 14 days over Christmas as a response to slowing sales.

Supervisory board members Louise Kiesling, Hans-Michel Piech and Ferdinand Porsche will join Wolfgang Porsche, the chairman of Porsche Automobil Holdings – the company that owns 52 per cent of the VW Group – to address the car-maker’s rank and file.

The Porsche family traditionally maintains a low profile and has not yet commented on the diesel emissions cheat code scandal.

The shop floor rally comes as Volkswagen is set to enforce a compulsory two-week holiday on its 72,000 staff at its biggest plant over Christmas, on the back of softening sales in Europe and a slide in United States numbers.

Wolfsburg churns out more than 2300 cars a day.

The Volkswagen Group of America has reported a 25 per cent downturn in November sales, its second full recording month since the scandal broke and the first where six-cylinder vehicles from both VW and Audi have been put under stop-sale after a second ‘please explain’ from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The sales decline comes despite numerous incentives to both placate existing customers and entice new buyers into the brand.

VW America sold 23,882 cars in November, its second lowest score for 2015 behind January and its biggest one-month slump since the global financial crisis of 2011. Sales of the all-new Passat were off 60 per cent year on year – while Golf fell 64 per cent.

Somewhat ironically, sales of the company’s e-Golf jumped almost 300 per cent, with 472 sold across America in November.

The downturn is being partly blamed on low stock levels of saleable petrol cars, as the company resets factory output to build cars it can actually sell.

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