VW boss says firm will recover

The newly appointed Volkswagen boss, Matthias Mueller, has said the company will recover from the diesel emissions scandal in two to three years.

In a speech to managers he said the company needed to become leaner and take decisions more rapidly. The comments come as VW said it would recall 8.5 million cars in Europe as a result of the diesel emissions scandal.

The move was prompted by Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), which had earlier told VW to recall 2.4 million cars.

German media sources reported that the KBA had rejected VW’s proposals that car owners could voluntarily bring their cars in for repair.

VW gave no details of the recall and said it would contact individual customers directly. It added that it was working on solutions to fix the recalled cars ‘at full speed’.

Mr Mueller told managers on Thursday, ‘We will significantly streamline structures, processes and (decision-making) bodies. We must become leaner and take decisions more rapidly.’

‘Our competitors are only waiting for us to fall behind on technology matters because we are so preoccupied with ourselves. But we won’t let that happen,’ he added.

VW has set aside €6.5bn ($7.4bn; £4.8bn) to help cover the costs of the scandal, but some experts believe this won’t be enough to cover the total costs.

Shares in the company recovered slightly last week but are still down almost 20% since the scandal broke in the middle of September.