Martin Winterkorn, the embattled chief executive of Volkswagen, has announced that he is to resign following the scandal surrounding the emissions of its diesel cars.
In a statement issued by the company Winterkorn said he was "shocked by the events of the past few days."
"Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group."
A successor will be determined at Friday's supervisory board meeting. However, rumors earlier suggested he might be replaced by Porsche President and CEO Matthias Muller, Audi chief Rupert Stadler and VW brand head Herbert Diess, although Volkswagen has denied this.