By on January 5, 2017

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen’s chief executive officer, Matthias Müller, will be taking a pass on the North American International Auto Show this year. VW still needs to settle things with the U.S. Department of Justice, and is desperate to reach a criminal settlement before the Obama administration is replaced by Trump.

Of course, there is also the matter of public embarrassment. At the 2016 NAIAS Müller took some serious heat for telling National Public Radio that Volkswagen did not lie when initially questioned about its emission-cheating diesel vehicles. The CEO may indeed be busy overseeing the criminal settlement with the DOJ, but there has to be a little leftover humiliation from last year’s awkwardness.  (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2016

Matthias Müller

Refuting a report that many Volkswagen managers were involved with a widespread cheating scandal involving 11 million cars worldwide, at least three different regional offices and hundreds of employees, the automaker’s top brass has other ideas.

“No one has spoken with me,” Volkswagen’s CEO Matthis Müller told reporters on Thursday according to Reuters. “You got the information from some sources who have no idea about the whole matter.”

Set us straight then, Müller. Tell us how hundreds of confiscated hard drives and terabytes of data from multiple offices — those are VW’s figures, not ours — and more than 380 interviewed employees contradict a report that a department was scared shitless to raise their hands and admit failure to higher ups? Because that case is shaping up quite nicely. (Read More…)

By on January 26, 2016

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen’s top-level executives will meet again next week, the third meeting for the supervisory group in as many weeks, for an unusual crisis-planning cram session, according to Reuters.

“In this special situation it would not be enough for the executive committee to only meet ahead of a supervisory board meeting, or every six to eight weeks,” according to one of the sources.

The call for the emergency meeting comes shortly after one of the supervisory members, Stephan Weil, who is Lower Saxony’s prime minister, called for the automaker to come clean within three months. Volkswagen’s regularly scheduled shareholder meeting will be at the end of April.

(Read More…)

By on January 20, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

FCA has to clean up its act in a hurry, or pay a lot more to sell cars in the future.

That, Europe wants Volkswagen to treat its owners the same as American owners, General Motors’ lawyers get down and dirty and Porsche’s plug-in 911 … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 17, 2016

Porsche-Piech family is standing behind their man — which totally isn’t the kiss of death, right?

That, Toyota’s completely nuts and it’s awesome and Mazda’s CX-4 breaks cover … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 13, 2016

 

Officials from Volkswagen and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency met Wednesday for the first time to discuss the growing rift between the automaker and regulators on how to fix the automaker’s illegally polluting cars. An EPA spokeswoman issued the following statement:

“We appreciated the conversation with Volkswagen. We will continue to work toward a solution.”

Which, I know: It’s technically longer than a haiku, but 14 words still doesn’t say a lot — and yet it says so much. (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2016

 

On Monday, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller told NPR that the automaker didn’t lie in 2014 when regulators asked the automaker why its cars were polluting way more than advertised:

“We didn’t lie. We didn’t understand the question first. And then we worked since 2014 to solve the problem.”

Immediately realizing that wasn’t the thing to say, Müller asked NPR for a do-over Monday, which he got:

“Yeah, the situation is, first of all we fully accept the violation. There is no doubt about it. Second, we have to apologize on behalf of Volkswagen for that situation we have created in front of customers, in front of dealers and, of course, to the authorities. …”

Which sounds much more conciliatory, but doesn’t necessarily contradict his earlier statement. So, yeah, this isn’t good. (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2016

 

Porsche’s CEO is confident that the fix for their 3-liter diesel Cayennes will be approved by regulators, which is more than Volkswagen can say at the moment.

That, Kia’s big Detroit show, GM’s plan to sell cars online and Volkswagen CEO has a momentarily lapse of logic … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 12, 2016

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller apologized again to dealers and customers for the ongoing diesel scandal in a statement to CNBC’s Phil LeBeau. When pressed, he also admitted that buybacks are possible.

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2016

 

It certainly sounds like Ford is close to selling a self-driving Fusion real soon.

That, Matthias Müller finally comes to the U.S. to ask “You mad, bro?” Nissan has no love for Takata, and business is hot south of the border … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on December 18, 2015

 

Who would have known that one of the largest parts supply recalls in U.S. history could poison the well for the rest of your business?

That, and Jeep needs you to keep it dry for a minute, Porsche pulls another player from Volkswagen’s bench and how big does Magna International’s yacht need to be anyway, after the jump.

(Read More…)

By on December 17, 2015

 

Five new chiefs for research, sales and production will lead Volkswagen, the automaker announced Thursday, including a new engineering chief to replace Ulrich Hackenberg, the longtime boss at the center of the diesel cheating scandal.

The automaker also announced a smaller, more linear organization for its chiefs. Volkswagen cut in half the number of managers who report directly to new CEO Matthias Müller, according to the automaker, which could help end the cutthroat corporate culture that contributed to the pressure to appease former CEO Martin Winterkorn.

“These structural changes speed up the decision-making process, reduce complexity and increase efficiency,” Müller said in a statement.

(Read More…)

By on December 10, 2015

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen announced Thursday that the automaker’s investigation had identified institutional breakdowns and individual misconduct that led to the installation of more than 11 million “defeat devices” aimed at cheating emissions tests in its diesel cars.

Volkswagen Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch told journalists and investors that some parts of the company “tolerated breaches of rules” while it developed the illegal devices, according to Automotive News.

Thursday’s announcement was an interim report on the internal investigation by Volkswagen that has already resulted in nine suspended employees, including a high-ranking engineer who was with the automaker for 30 years. Pötsch said the external investigation, which will be conducted by U.S. firm Jones Day, will continue well into 2016.

(Read More…)

By on December 7, 2015

 

My German begins and ends with “nein” but I don’t need to know much to see what’s going on in this video.

According to the New York Times, sentiment in Germany is starting to build that American regulators are being unfairly harsh with Volkswagen in an effort to bolster domestic manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors and Ram.

The Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen in September that its cars used an illegal “defeat device” to skirt emissions laws. Since then, the automaker has been caught up in an international scandal that has cost the automaker billions and damaged the reputation for Germany’s largest exporter.

(Read More…)

By on December 1, 2015

 

Deciding that the company’s annual pre-Christmas party wasn’t a great time to be Wetblanket Wildes, the Porsche-Piech clan affirmed that it would be committed to Volkswagen amid its emissions crises (pl.) and said the company that the family-owned company would “master the situation,” according to Reuters.

The Porsche-Piech family, who owns a majority stake in Volkswagen’s parent company, told the automaker’s board and the town of Wolfsburg that the family has no intention of pulling the plug.

“I am firmly convinced that the city of Wolfsburg together with Volkswagen will master the situation and gain further strength,” Wolfgang Porsche said in a statement, according to Reuters. “The Porsche and Piech families stand behind Volkswagen and Wolfsburg as its headquarters.”

(Read More…)

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