CEO Admits VW Still Has a Tough Year Ahead Share Comments Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s CEO admitted today in a statement that despite a steady 2016, the road ahead will still be rough. “2017 will be a good, but demanding year,” said Diess in a statemen, adding that VW would have to continue with its plan of cutting costs and trying to regain customer trust. “First and foremost, we must implement the ‘Zukunftspakt’ swiftly and systematically.” Despite that, Diess said that 2017 would be a good year. “I am optimistic about 2017,” said Diess. “We have drawn up a concrete and bold plan with our new strategy and the ‘Zukunftspakt’. A plan to return our brand to profitability and make it fit for the future.” The comments come on the heels of a difficult start to the year. Despite Volkswagen Group sales rising in Europe and the Americas, a slump in China meant that overall sales dipped by 4% in January. Volkswagen repeatedly said, though, that the Chinese slump was temporary and extraordinary. Rising sales in the US, meanwhile, show that the company’s plan to regain trust in the market most heavily affected by the dieselgate scandal, is on track.