Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has heralded “painful” cutbacks including steps to cease making non-profitable models and trim R&D costs at the VW brand where car sales in November suffered their biggest monthly drop this year.
 VW will replace its head of product management, Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert, who oversees strategy affecting more than 100 models across the multi-brand group, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday on condition they not be identified because the matter is confidential.
 Germany’s Manager Magazin reported Wolpert’s pending dismissal on Wednesday, citing unidentified members of top management. VW declined to comment.
 A former top-level manager at Porsche, Wolpert has been at the helm of product management at the VW group since October 2010. He replaced Matthias Mueller who quit Wolfsburg-based VW to become CEO of Stuttgart-based Porsche.