Will Volkswagen Hock Its Roundel for $21.5 Billion in Loans?

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber
will volkswagen hock its roundel for 21 5 billion in loans

On Friday, Barclays Plc announced it estimates the near-term costs of Volkswagen’s seemingly ever expanding emissions scandal will be about $27 billion USD (25 billion Euros).

Volkswagen’s automotive group had $29.6 billion in net liquidity at the the end of the third fiscal quarter of this year. About $10.8 billion is allocated to protect the company’s credit ratings. That leaves about $19 billion in cash for the company to work with.

There are fines that will be paid in a number of countries, along with goodwill gestures to owners of affected VW vehicles and incentives needed to sell cars from a tainted brand. Then there will the cost of litigation and any judgments or settlements that come out of those lawsuits.

About the same time as Barclays’ announcement, Automotive News and Bloomberg reported Volkswagen AG will be meeting in Wolfsburg this week with representatives of about a dozen banks to secure as much as $21.5 billion in loans by the end of this year. Those meetings aim to shore up the company’s financing and show the credit markets that VW has enough liquid assets to cover emissions-related costs.

VW declined to give any details about the proposed financing, saying that discussions with bankers are a part of normal operating procedure.

“We have always considered that a well-diversified portfolio of funding tools gives us the necessary flexibility to offer appropriate and competitive financing options for our customers as well as our industrial investment needs,” a Volkswagen representative told Bloomberg. “It is perfectly normal that we are in a constructive ongoing dialog.”

VW may say it’s the effort is standard operating procedure. However, to give you some perspective on a loan that large, just about 9 years ago, in November of 2006, another car company presented a group of banks with a request for a loan package to survive what was seen to be a rough patch ahead. It needed to survive some serious red ink, but even more important, it needed enough funds to develop the new product that would turn the company’s fortunes around. The amount of that loan package was $23.6 billion, the company was Ford Motor Company, and it was important enough to Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Chairman Bill Ford Jr that the collateral for the loan included Ford’s Blue Oval logo, along with the Mustang and F-150 nameplates.

While VW isn’t mortgaging the company the way Ford did (VW today is in much sounder financial shape than FoMoCo was in 2006), its upcoming negotiations with its banks is about more than just a diversified portfolio of funding tools.

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  • ScarecrowRepair ScarecrowRepair on Nov 16, 2015

    I wonder ....... Suppose this diesel emissions scandal spreads to so many diesels that diesel vehicles disappear for all practical purposes. Suppose governments realize this isn't one single automaker they can harass and pick on, but an entire industry, and so they decide to back off the fines and come to some face-saving resolution that leaves the cheating diesels on the road with just enough changes to make it look like something has been done. In other words, at this point VW could be governments' best ally in finding other cheating diesels.

  • Jasper2 Jasper2 on Nov 17, 2015

    The various governments of the world would do well by granting VW (Very Winterkorn) a one time pass on the diesel & co2 irregularities plus a huge fine since I don’t think there is a “fix” for the diesel issue or VW would have implemented the “fix” way before being asked to do so. To not take this approach will result in severe financial damage beyond the immediate participants.

    • RideHeight RideHeight on Nov 17, 2015

      VW has got to be loving ISIS and the hordes of "refugees" right now. Old Europe ain't got time for no farty cars.

  • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?
  • DenverMike What else did anyone think, when GM was losing tens of billions a year, year after year?
  • Bill Wade GM says they're killing Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Any company that makes decisions like that is doomed to die.
  • Jeff S I don't believe gm will die but that it will continue to shrink in product and market share and it will probably be acquired by a foreign manufacturer. I doubt gm lacks funds as it did in 2008 and that they have more than enough cash at hand but gm will not expand as it did in the past and the emphasis is more on profitability and cutting costs to the bone. Making gm a more attractive takeover target and cut costs at the expense of more desirable and reliable products. At the time of Farago's article I was in favor of the Government bailout more to save jobs and suppliers but today I would not be in favor of the bailout. My opinions on gm have changed since 2008 and 2009 and now I really don't care if gm survives or not.
  • Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.