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"The Volkswagen brand's first-quarter delivery results are very encouraging".

Without citing its sources, Spiegel said Karlheinz Blessing, who was appointed management board member with responsibility for human resources on January 1, 2016, would be replaced by Gunnar Kilian, secretary general of VW's works council. Amid opposition from labour leaders, Mueller failed to sell motorbike maker Ducati a year ago.

Mr Mueller, a former Porsche boss, replaced Martin Winterkorn, who stepped down as the diesel scandal rocked the automotive industry. Diess joined VW from southern-German rival BMW AG in mid 2015 just before the scandal erupted publicly. Previous executives including Bernd Pischetsrieder and Wolfgang Bernhard struggled to push through such reforms.

With Mueller agreeing to go, the controlling Porsche-Piech clan, the state of Lower Saxony and powerful labor leaders settled on Herbert Diess, chief of the Volkswagen brand, as the successor, the people said. Other potential CEO candidates include Volkswagen's trucks chief and Daimler veteran Andreas Renschler.

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Tom Keegan said last week that any request will be "promptly reviewed to determine how best we can assist our federal partners". Apprehensions are nonetheless correctly beneath their historic traits all through the phrases of former presidents George W.

Shares in Volkswagen jumped on the news, and closed up 4.5 percent at 171.58 euros.

Diess is due to outline the group's new leadership structure in front of the supervisory board on Friday, two sources said.

Mueller's likely departure comes two days after Deutsche Bank, another pillar of corporate Germany, dismissed its chief executive, John Cryan, in pursuit of a more rapid turnaround following years of losses.

"Diess will hold both positions, CEO of the company and the VW brand", a source familiar with the talks told Reuters on Wednesday.

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FILE - In this June 1, 2017 file photo Matthias Mueller, CEO of the Volkswagen company, attends a contract signing ceremony as part of a meeting of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and China's Premier Li Keqiang at the chancellery in Berlin.

Despite facing billions in fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits relating to its "dieselgate" scandal, Volkswagen's operating results have been robust, with sales and profit hitting record highs past year.

The company said in its statement on Tuesday that it was considering changes to its complicated management structure.

Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is in discussions with "certain members" of the firm's supervisory board and management board.

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In the background, Toro Rosso-Honda and Haas impressed, while McLaren lost touch with those two teams after a promising start. It meant that he wasn't able to take part in Q2, and at best will now start from 15th place on the grid.

A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment.