Volkswagen's designated North America chief Winfried Vahland will leave the VW group in the wake of a diesel emissions scandal, a person familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.

Vahland is leaving due to differences of opinion over VW's U.S. strategy, the person said, confirming an earlier report by German automobile weekly Auto Bild.

Sources had told Reuters that Vahland, who had also been considered a potential candidate to succeed Winterkorn, was the favourite to get a new management board position to oversee the group's struggling U.S. operations.

Volkswagen was not immediately available to comment.