Photo: Bloomberg

INTERNATIONAL – The interim chief executive of VW’s Audi unit, Bram Schot, laid claim to the top job for the long term, amid uncertainty when a prospective new hire from BMW, who has been seen as Audi chief-designate, can join Volkswagen.

“I would be available as Audi chief in the long run and would like that very much,” Schot said in an interview published by Manager Magazin on Wednesday.

The sales executive was promoted to interim chief executive in June after incumbent Rupert Stadler was arrested for his alleged role in bringing diesel cars with devices to cheat emission tests to European markets.

In July, VW recruited BMW engine development and purchasing expert Markus Duesmann, who has been seen as a potential successor to Stadler, as VW looks to shake off the scandal.

But Duesmann’s current BMW term runs until September next year and he is contractually banned from working for a competitor such VW for one year thereafter. An earlier release would be subject to negotiations with BMW.

Manager Magazin quoted unspecified sources as saying BMW was not willing to make concessions.

Schot also said in the interview that Audi’s supervisory board had not imposed any restrictions on him and that he was making decisions for the company for the short, medium and long-term.

The feedback he receives from co-workers is positive, the magazine quoted Schot as saying, adding: “They don’t give me the feeling that I am seen as an interim solution.”