The "people's car" once had fans across the world but its popularity waned in face of competition from other models.
Martin Winterkorn was CEO when Volkswagen fitted 11 million diesel-powered vehicles worldwide with "defeat devices" – software that made them appear to pollute less during lab tests.
German carmaker Volkswagen says it plans to cut thousands of jobs as a part of a restructuring plan.
Mercedes, Germany's trademark car company, wants to develop a self-driving car, increasing fierce competition with firms like Uber, Google, General Motors and Volkswagen.
The German automaker Volkswagen has been cutting costs to fund an ambitious shift to electric cars and automated driving.
Volkswagen has admitted to deliberately cheating diesel emissions tests, sending shockwaves through the automotive industries and causing a sector-wide crackdown on polluting diesel engines.
The curvy-topped sedans, which shook off Nazi origins to become a global auto phenomenon, are being sidelined as Volkswagen emphasises electric cars and larger family-oriented vehicles.
Rupert Stadler along with another suspect are being investigated for suspected fraud, false advertising and their alleged role in helping to bring cars equipped with illegal software on to the European market according to Munich prosecutors.
The country's economy minister has warned that carmakers in Europe's powerhouse economy needed to invest billions in electric car technology to avoid losing out to Asian competitors.
The landmark case could have a huge impact for Germany's auto industry if the court rejects an appeal against implementing bans on diesel cars.
Public criticism of the German auto industry has escalated after reports that diesel exhaust tests were carried out on both monkeys and humans.
Oliver Schmidt, the second and most senior employee of the German automaker to plead guilty in the emissions cheating scandal, is among seven VW executives US prosecutors have charged.
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