LAST_UPDATEFri, 23 Mar 2018 10pm

VW Boss Gets €10m Pay As 2017 Pre-Tax Profits Double

Volkswagen has rewarded chief executive Mathias Mueller with benefits topping €10m for 2017, under the group's new pay scheme.

The 40% pay rise was awarded amid record earnings for Europe's largest car maker.

VW introduced new pay rules last year, after investors condemned big bonuses paid to executives despite the dieselgate scandal that rocked the company's reputation.

The car giant admitted fitting software designed to cheat emissions testing to 11 million vehicles in 2015 and was forced to pay out more than €20bn in fines.

In 2016, Mueller earned €7.3m under a pay system that allowed bonuses based partly on VW’s performance over the previous two years.

Under new rules, the supervisory board put new limits on remuneration for senior executives.

The record package was disclosed as the company continues to deal with the fall-out from the diesel scandal.

It said in January that it would investigate claims that VW was part of a German car maker consortium that exposed monkeys to diesel fumes during engine tests in the US in 2014.

Volkswagen’s 2017 annual pre-tax earnings were almost double the previous year’s at €13.9bn. Sales revenue was €230.7bn up 6.2% from €217.3bn in 2016.

Mr Mueller said the car maker had "an excellent year" in 2017 and was committed to addressing concerns about diesel pollution, adding that 160,000 older diesels had been taken off the road through trade-in incentives.

VW also decided to update software on four million cars to reduce emissions.

Speaking in Berlin, where protesters demonstrated outside the venue, Mr Mueller gave an upbeat view after last year's record sales of 10.7 million vehicles.

"We are on the offensive and we're going to stay that way," he said.

The company also announced it had chosen partners to supply up to €20bn worth of batteries and related technology for its electric vehicle programme.

VW said it has secured suppliers for Europe and China where it sells 80% of its vehicles, and will choose a North American supplier soon.

-Sky News