Volkswagen has said it will try to find a new chairman quickly and announced a long-planned tie-up of its truck brands. As Sonia Legg reports it's seeking to return the focus to business following the carmaker's shock ousting of former patriarch Ferdinand Piech.
It wasn't the easiest of shareholders meetings but Volkswagen's management team was keen to show a united front. And put the exit of long-standing chairman Ferdinand Piech firmly behind it. A leadership dispute led to Piech's resignation after 13 years in the job. CEO Martin Winterkorn was keen to reassure shareholders. (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOLKSWAGEN CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MARTIN WINTERKORN, SAYING: "Volkswagen is a perfectly healthy, well placed company, a company we can be proud of, a company with very good business results and an outlook into the future which is at least as good." But there are some shareholders who think the 67-year-old should move on too. (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOLKSWAGEN SHAREHOLDER, IMSOLD SCHROEDER, SAYING: "Mr. Winterkorn's contract should not be renewed. I believe that the future holds so many new things. I think somebody a little younger should take over." VW's results last week eased the pressure slightly and a long-planned tie up of the company's truck brands, MAN and Scania, is finally going ahead. But cost cuts in the car division continue as Europe's biggest carmaker tries to revive its fortunes in North America. Shares need reviving too - they rose 1% after the shareholder meeting but they've fallen 7 percent since the crisis broke. ETX Capital's Joe Rundle. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) ETX CAPITAL, HEAD OF TRADING, JOE RUNDLE, SAYING: "Shareholders will welcome a more shareholder-friendly management team. Whether they will be able to create value in the short term I am not sure but I think investors are welcoming a change." There's no news yet on Piech's replacement. But board vacancies left by him and his wife have been filled. Two of his nieces will take over, despite reports that Piech opposed their appointment.