OREANDA-NEWS. September 15, 2016. In a joint appearance at today's works meeting at the Wolfsburg plant, Board members from the Group and the Volkswagen brand together with the Works Council explained the steps needed to secure the future of the Volkswagen brand to the workforce, focusing on the pact for the future. In his speech, Matthias M?ller, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, underscored that the Group had already made substantial progress towards becoming a future-driven company, and emphasized the special importance of the brand: "If the Volkswagen brand is not strong and successful, the Group cannot be strong and successful." Works Council Chairman Bernd Osterloh underlined that working in collaboration with the Board of Management, the pact for the future had taken great steps forward in recent weeks.

"I am impressed by just how much identification and commitment the workforce brings to the company and how our employees give their all to make sure our customers get the best cars. That, too, is what Volkswagen is made of", M?ller said, and appealed for the support of over 20,000 employees present at the works meeting: "The Volkswagen brand is the heart of this Group, and that heart must beat strongly once more. The Volkswagen brand, Wolfsburg and this workforce have the potential to achieve that. Now is the time to come together and agree on solutions."

Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the General Works Council, said: "Working in collaboration with the Board of Management, the pact for the future has taken great steps forward in recent weeks. The way our plants are to be integrated in the future e-mobility value chain is taking shape in the working groups. There is no question that the Group headquarters in Wolfsburg is to become Volkswagen's Silicon Valley. At the same time we are jointly taking steps to ensure a sustainable increase in the competitiveness of our plants. It is clear we will be harnessing the generation of baby boomers for the transformation of the Volkswagen brand. And older colleagues can look forward to their well-deserved retirement with an easy heart. The jobs of the permanent workforce are secure. In the next four to six weeks we will be entering the home stretch for concluding a collective bargaining agreement for the future with Volkswagen. Economic viability and jobs must rank as equal objectives. We will measure the Board by that."

With the pact for the future, which is to be concluded before the end of this year, the Volkswagen brand will be laying the foundation for its investments in major fields of future importance and safeguarding its competitiveness over the long term. The brand CEO Dr. Herbert Diess, Board member for Human Resources Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, and Works Council Chairman Bernd Osterloh explained the pact to employees during a talk session.

Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, said: "I am optimistic we can conclude negotiations on the pact for the future in the next few weeks. We need to clarify the specifics quickly and reach a common understanding. That will include targeted investments and decisions about new products. Our strategic goal is nothing less than market leadership in e-mobility. To achieve that, Volkswagen must return to competitiveness and profitability."

Volkswagen Board Member for Human Resources Dr. Karlheinz Blessing said during the talk session: "The Volkswagen brand is facing far-reaching change. However, digitalization and e-mobility also present a great opportunity, and one that we want to seize. We can only do that if there is a significant improvement in the brand's productivity. We have set ourselves a tough fitness program. Qualification, new tasks, new ways of working – all of that lies ahead. It also includes reducing manpower, for instance by partial early retirement. We will be addressing all of this together. The pact for the future lays the basic foundation."

Integrity campaign rollout – start in Wolfsburg
In her speech, Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, Group Board Member for Integrity and Legal Affairs, encouraged employees to take an open approach to critical issues as the integrity campaign was rolled out. "Behaving with integrity is the foundation for every modern, transparent and successful company. Clear, convincing values that give orientation to all employees at Volkswagen are the prerequisite for business success and a good future", Hohmann-Dennhardt said. "Our pilot campaign which kicks off at the Wolfsburg plant heightens understanding and awareness of integrity and values-based actions and calls on us to engage in shaping the new corporate culture."