Sep 02, 2015 06:00 PM EDT

Volkswagen Aims Number One Spot In Three Years, Extends Winterkorn’s Contract; Potential 2018 CEO Candidates Named?

By Alex Cruz

Volkswagen AG, which aims to be the number one car maker in three years' time, made an announcement that the company decided to propose a contract that will extend the term of Martin Winterkorn as CEO until Dec. 31, 2018, Nasdaq reported.

Volkswagen said in a statement that supervisory board will be casting the votes on Sept. 25. The current contract of Winterkorn with the company will expire in Dec. 2016, according to Bloomerg's report.

"We will work with Professor Martin Winterkorn go on to success at the forefront of recent years and meet the objectives of the 2018 strategy consistently," the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, Berthold Huber, said.

The leadership of Winterkorn brought Volkswagen close to Toyota Motor Corp. as the largest global automobile maker. VW, whose cars and trucks' sales summed up to 5.04 million over the last six months, has reportedly exceeded Toyota's sales delivery of 5.02 million.

Despite the extension plans which will stabilize the everyday management process, Volkswagen will still need to find a long-term leader to assume the post as Winterkorn will be too old for the position when the contract expires.

A London-based Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said that possible candidates had been given the opportunity to make their mark. There's also a higher probability that Volkswagen will hire an external chairman.

A number of potential candidates were named, and they are Herbert Diess, head of the car brand, Rupert Stadler, running the Audi division and Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch. However, there is no official statement from the company yet.

Earlier in April, Winterkorn and Ferdinand Piech, former Chairman of Volkswagen, reportedly had conflicts. Piech resigned amidst some disparities over the company's direction and strategy, as per the report of The Economic Times.

Volkswagen's headquarters is located in Wolfsburg, Germany. The company has 12 brands from seven European countries, and they are Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN.

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