Volkswagen can’t wait for the day when it doesn’t have to spend time and resources dealing with a huge, stressful scandal.
Grey skies will clear up eventually, so the automaker has 250 employees busily crafting its Strategy 2025, a plan designed to carry the company out of its darkest chapter and into future prosperity, Bloomberg reports.
Volkswagen has big, expensive (but not too expensive) things in the works, so say goodbye to the boring, sensible company you thought you knew. At least, that’s the implied message.
Decades of feel-good corporate outreach and a hug-worthy relationships with buyers didn’t stop potential customers and veedub diehards from fleeing Volkswagen after the diesel stink bomb went off in Wolfsburg.
Like a husband of 50 years caught cheating with his wife’s sister, the intentional deception behind the diesel emissions scandal shattered the hard-earned trust between the company and its consumers. Thanks to that, Volkswagen’s sales trajectory now mimics that of a very leaky submarine.
Could Volkswagen have managed the scandal better, and can the company rebuild that lost trust?
According to the consumer opinion-tracking Reputation Institute, the answers to those questions are “you bet” and “yeah … it’s gonna take a loooong time.”
Rumors have swirled for months that Opel would be implicated in the dieselgate scandal. Over the weekend, serious allegations took flight that Opel does in fact use defeat devices in two diesel models.
Opel has been summoned to appear in front of the German Transport Ministry investigative committee this week to answer claims that its cars are capable of skirting emissions laws.
Der Spiegel reported last week the Opel Astra was found to contain software that will deactivate emissions control systems when the outside temperature is either below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) or above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Additionally, it discovered the emissions systems do not work when engine speed exceed 2,400 rpm, the car is moving faster than 145 km/h, or ambient air pressure is less than 915 millibar, which would indicate an elevation of more than 850 meters.
Norway is gearing up for a legal fight, and its sights are set on a troubled automaker from Germany.
The country’s sovereign wealth fund, built from oil and gas revenues and assorted investments, plans to file a class-action lawsuit targeting Volkswagen over its diesel emissions scandal, Reuters reports.
Investigators are still probing Volkswagen’s actions in the diesel emissions scandal, but the board that oversees the actions of the company’s top brass isn’t too concerned.
The supervisory board, made up of investor and labor interests, just cleared Volkswagen’s management of any breaches of duty in 2015 in preparation for their annual shareholders meeting, Bloomberg reports.
To say 2015 was an eventful year for Volkswagen is akin to saying Neil Armstrong had fun in the late ’60s. It was so eventful, its CEO took a permanent vacation. Many medicine cabinets in Wolfsburg were likely renovated to handle an influx of new prescriptions.
After agonizing over a fix for its 2.0-liter diesel models, Volkswagen is close to finalizing a plan for vehicles powered by the 3.0-liter TDI V6.
The first fix forced Volkswagen into a wildly expensive buyback-and-fix program for the nearly half million 2.0-liter TDIs sidelined by the diesel emissions scandal, but that won’t be needed for the bigger engines, sources close to the issue tell Bloomberg.
They’re on a little break right now, but Volkswagen plans to saunter back to America’s door, flowers and chocolates in hand.
Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess told reporters in Germany last week that the U.S. was still a target market primed for growth, but first the company must convince those buyers that it has changed its ways, and that it’s ready for commitment.
Rival automakers salivating at the thought of snapping up a castoff from Volkswagen’s brand portfolio will have to sit and wait.
Amid grim fourth-quarter financial data and ongoing expenses linked to the diesel emissions scandal, the company is standing by its assets, but admits they might have to jettison some if unexpected expenses crop up.
If you want your nefarious plan to stay on the down low, try not to make a PowerPoint presentation on it.
It just posted its largest loss ever and is up to its eyebrows in scandal-related expenses, so what’s an automaker to do when the hands come out asking for more?
That’s the situation in Wolfsburg, Germany, where the scandal-rocked Volkswagen and its workers’ labor union find themselves engaged in an uncomfortable dance, according to Automotive News Europe.
The union, IG Metall, says the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal is no excuse for holding back raises to its 120,000 staff members, and Volkswagen says, “What? Sorry, can’t hear you — we’re driving into a tunnel…call back later.”
After Volkswagen announced last week that it would cut dividends by 97 percent due to the financial fallout of the diesel emissions scandal, there’s a ray of light for those who have shares in the company’s owner.
Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the investment vehicle of Volkswagen AG’s ultra-wealthy owner family, said it will front the cash to allow shareholders a bigger return, according to Bloomberg.
Will Volkswagen TDI owners who opt for a buyback be soured on the brand, or can they be lured into a new model?
It’s a big question for dealers, who could stand to benefit from the dealership traffic they’ll see when Volkswagen’s buyback program gets up and running later this year.
There’s happy faces inside the Renaissance Center today.
General Motors saw its first-quarter pretax profit rise 28 percent, despite continuing trouble in foreign markets, Automotive News has reported.
A net income of $1.95 billion means investors will reap $32.66 a share, a 1.5 percent increase. Revenue was up four percent in the first quarter, at $37.27 billion.
The heavy financial cost of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal is becoming clear.
Volkswagen set aside 16.2 billion euros ($18.6 billion) today to deal with the scandal’s fallout, up from the 6.7 billion euro ($7.6 billion) figure previously stated.
Update: I made a decimal flub. The math is corrected. Thanks to commenter ChemEng for pointing it out. We’ll post a new piece on Monday.
There’s no denying it: Volkswagen cheated. It confessed to the crime of emitting up to 40 times over the legal limit allowed for NOx. We learned yesterday (and the day before, to some degree), that Volkswagen will fix the vehicles that can be fixed, if owners so choose.
But what happens to all those diesel cars, which are perfectly good aside from emitting more NOx than they should, if owners decide to cut and run? And what happens to all those vehicles that can’t be fixed? Volkswagen has vowed to buy them back from customers — to which I ask, what then?
There are few options Volkswagen can employ to unload the massive windfall of cars coming its way, and none of them are particularly environmentally friendly.
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