UPDATE 1-VW denies Qatar talks sought to curb labour role

BERLIN Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) has denied a report saying its chief executive and chairman were urged on Sunday by its third-largest shareholder to decrease the influence of VW’s strong unions as it battles to overcome its emissions scandal.

CEO Matthias Mueller and Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch met with leaders of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) in Doha on Sunday to talk about the state of investigations into its cheating of emissions tests, as nicely as VW’s new organization structure and future company focus, two individuals familiar with the matter stated.

Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper, without having citing sources, said earlier the QIA would use the meeting to demand a scaling back of the role of VW’s works council.

The council, whose representatives hold as a lot of seats on the company’s 20-member supervisory board as shareholders, has long wielded a excellent influence at the German organization and has headed off price cuts in the previous.

“Co-determination (joint decision-generating by corporate and labor representatives) and the (role of the) functions council have been not on the agenda of the talks,” stated a VW spokesman, who earlier described Mueller’s visit to Qatar as communicating with “an essential companion.”

The QIA, which holds a 17 percent stake in Europe’s largest automaker, declined to comment, as did VW’s performs council.

The emissions scandal has wiped billions off VW’s stock industry worth and Mueller has stated the firm will have to make massive cuts to meet a bill which analysts say could top 40 billion euros ($ 44 billion) for fines, lawsuits and vehicle refits.

VW’s supervisory board, which contains two members from the QIA, will hold an out-of-sequence meeting on Dec. 9 to go over the state of investigations as well as luxury division Audi, exactly where three. liter V6 diesel engines had been also equipped with illegal emissions-handle computer software.

Mueller, who is due to publish intermediate outcomes from VW’s probe into the scandal on Dec. ten, has been pushing a corporate overhaul at VW since taking workplace on Sept. 25.

He is aiming to cede far more energy from VW’s Wolfsburg corporate headquarters to brands and regional divisions, desires to establish a much less authoritarian style of management and expand the carmaker’s electric car offerings.

The QIA also wanted to demand a multi-billion campaign to promote electric autos in the United States to regain ground in the world’s second-greatest auto market, Bild am Sonntag stated.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer Extra reporting by Tom Finn Editing by Mark Potter)