Volkswagen’s new CEO Matthias Muller has said the automaker can shine again in two to three years.
Addressing the company’s top managers on October 15, Matthias Muller said VW 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 automotive watchdog, which had earlier told VW to recall 2.4 million vehicles in the country.
German media reports suggest 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.
Matthias Muller took over as VW’s chief executive last month when the previous head, Martin Winterkorn, stepped down as a result of the scandal.
He told managers on October 15: “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,” Matthias Muller added.
Meanwhile, Italian police have raided VW offices in Verona and Lamborghini offices in Bologna.
Reports suggest Italian prosecutors are investigating alleged commercial fraud.
Last month, authorities in the US discovered some VW diesel cars had been fitted with a device to cheat emissions tests. VW subsequently admitted that up to 11 million cars worldwide could have the device fitted.
Volkswagen has launched a thorough investigation into the scandal, but new chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch has warned that answers would take “some time”.
The company has set aside €6.5 billion ($7.4 billion) to cover the costs of the scandal, but some experts believe the final bill could be much higher.
VW shares recovered slightly last week but are still down almost 20% since the scandal broke in mid-September.
Separately, Winfried Vahland, who was tipped to become VW’s North America boss, has resigned.
VW said Winfried Vahland was leaving because of “differing views on the organization of the new group region”.