News - Volkswagen
More bad news coming for Volkswagen
Morale boost: VW Group CEO Matthias Mueller addressed staff at a works meeting in Wolfsburg this week and praised workers for their dedication to the company during the emissions scandal.
'Substantial' financial damage to VW expected, but Mueller remains positive
9 March 2016
VOLKSWAGEN Group's largest shareholder has reaffirmed its commitment to the
besieged automotive giant, as it braces for more bad news and a greater
financial impact from the diesel emissions scandal.
Speaking at a works meeting at the main plant in Wolfsburg earlier this week,
VW Group CEO Matthias Mueller told staff that the ongoing scandal will inflict
“substantial and painful” damage to the company, according to a report by
The report also quoted Mr Mueller as saying that the implications will keep the
car-maker busy “for a long time”.
Mr Mueller was also positive about Volkswagen's future, encouraging workers to
unite in a bid to strengthen the company during its transition phase.
“Despite the different views which people will of course have within a company,
we know that we can only do it together.”
He added that workers should see the transformation “not as a threat but as an
“Together, we must make the necessary changes to safeguard the future of
Volkswagen,” he said.
The German state, Lower Saxony, holds 20 per cent of Volkswagen's common
shares, and its prime minister Stephan Weil told the works meeting that it
would continue to support VW through the scandal.
“Lower Saxony has had a very close connection with Volkswagen for decades,” Mr
Weil said. “The state is standing by Volkswagen and its employees – in good
times and in not so good times.
“There is no reason to make any changes to the close links between the state
and employees at Volkswagen. Let us carry on with confidence and commitment on
According to a Reuters report, Mr Weil cautioned that there was likely
to be more bad news for the car-maker down the track and added that the
consequences would be significant.
“We will this year probably every now and then be confronted with unpleasant
news related to dieselgate,” he said.
“The damage will, on balance, not be minor, as much as that can already be said
today but Volkswagen luckily has a strong economic substance.”
Chairman of the VW Group works council, Bernd Osterloh told the meeting that
the company was on the right track to rebuild its reputation.
“We are in absolute agreement; we are determined to bring Volkswagen back on
the road to success together,” he said.
“We are well aware that this is what our customers, our employees,
shareholders, politicians and the public expect – and rightly so.”
Mr Osterloh told the employees that “relentless clarification” of the issues
relating to the crisis had the full support of company management,
“Only when we have thoroughly clarified these events can we avoid further
damage to our company and to our jobs. As a workforce, we will fight hard to
make sure that Volkswagen emerges from this crisis with new strength.”
Mr Mueller highlighted the importance of the Volkswagen brand and added that he
was impressed by the dedication of the staff during the crisis.
“The core brand Volkswagen and our main plant in Wolfsburg bear a special
responsibility,” he said.
“I am deeply impressed by the way our employees are standing by Volkswagen
despite everything that has happened and how everyone is working to confirm the
trust of our customers.”
He said that a staff bonus that had been decided on for 2015 was “well-earned
Mr Mueller highlighted the company's recent announcements at the Geneva motor
show relating to electro-mobility and digitalisation as proof “that Volkswagen
is more than just a crisis”, adding “we have clearly shown that we are
embarking on the future of mobility with determination”.
The crisis began to unfold in late September last year when it was discovered
that Volkswagen had deliberately fitted some VW, Skoda, Audi and Seat models
with a device that only activated full emissions controls under test
conditions, allowing much higher emissions during normal driving.
The device impacted about 11 million vehicles globally, with Australia starting
its recall to fix earlier in late February.
Meanwhile, Reuters is also reporting that VW delayed announcing that it
had cheated United States diesel emissions tests so it could strike a deal with
regulators to limit the cost of the scandal, according to a German court report
filed by the company's lawyers.