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2015-10-28 08:06

LEGAL MATTERS FIRST: Volkswagen, currently battling an emissions-rigging scandal will not appoint a new head of its North American business as it deems legal matters pertaining to the scandal as top priority. Image: AFP/ William West

Hamburg, Germany - Volkswagen has shelved plans to reorganise the management of its North American business and will not address its future strategy there until it has reached legal agreements over its rigging of emissions tests, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Decentralisation policy

Volkswagen had picked group veteran Winfried Vahland as its top executive for North America as it pushed a decentralisation policy - before the diesel emissions scandal erupted - but the former Skoda boss quit VW just a few weeks late.

The sources said the carmaker had no plans to appoint a new head for North America until it had survived the legal assault in the United States by coming to agreements with plaintiffs and regulators, adding that this could take months.

Read: Toyota overtakes VW in global vehicle sales race

A source close to the matter said: "What matters more than anything else right now is to sort out this disaster."

The carmaker could go as far as to stop selling VW brand diesel models in the United States, should it incur heavy regulatory and financial penalties, another source said. VW brand's diesel models accounted for 22% of 2014s 366 970 US deliveries.

A spokesman at VW's Wolfsburg headquarters declined to comment on the company's US plans.

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