Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, says it is doomed unless unionized workers at its expensive German plants accept sharp cuts in costs and jobs, according to a Reuters report.
"There is no alternative for our group," embattled Chief Executive Bernd Pischetsrieder said, sticking to his hard line despite a boardroom split between shareholder representatives and labor leaders who have half the seats.
"Unless in particular the traditional German plants are restructured, no long-term future for the Volkswagen Group would be conceivable, even if all the other parts of the Group reach their earnings targets," finance chief Hans Dieter Poetsch said.
The standoff in Volkswagen's supervisory board has raised questions about whether Pischetsrieder will keep his job beyond next year, but he showed no signs of backing down on a revamp that has made Volkswagen a top restructuring play for investors.
"I would like to lead the company to success together with my colleagues," he told a news conference. He acknowledged he needed staff support but said the debate about his role should be conducted by the supervisory board, not in public.
Pischetsrieder added he was confident Volkswagen would achieve its 5.1 billion euro ($6.10 billion) pretax profit target in 2008. Volkswagen shares reversed early weakness and rose 1.3 percent to 57.74 euros by 1103 GMT, making them the top gainer in the DJ Stoxx European car sector index.