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Volkswagen corporate culture set for major shake up

2016-12-15 11:14

CULTURE SHOCK : Volkswagen personnel chief Karlheinz Blessing said the firm will adopt English as its main language in the future. Image: AFP / Paul J Richards

Frankfurt - Volkswagen says it's going to speak more English and help more women reach for top positions as it shakes up its corporate culture in the wake of a diesel emissions scandal.

Personnel chief Karlheinz Blessing says that diversity and international experience would help build a culture of "discussion" and "entrepreneurial thinking."

English to be future group language

He said in a statement Wednesday (December 14) that "in the future, English is to be the group language."

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The company says that means English would replace German at management conferences with dozens of people by 2021, not in informal management conversations or among workers on the assembly line.

Some observers have blamed an insular and top-down management culture for the scandal in which it rigged cars with software to make them pass government tests on emissions.

More on the Volkswagen emissions scandal 

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