Dieselgate: 13 VW Managers Indicted Around The World, Big Guys Unbothered

Volkswagen managers are living dangerously, as 13 of their own have been indicted by governments around the world. In the U.S., six current and former Volkswagen managers have been charged, outgoing Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said yesterday in a press conference in Washington D.C. On the same day, South Korea enlarged a list of Volkswagen managers charged with criminal wrongdoings to seven, per reports of South Korea’s Yonhap wire.

In a DOJ press conference that had its thunder stolen by President-elect Trump’s NYC presser with more salacious appeal, AG Lynch announced the by then well known $4.3 bln deal with Volkswagen, an indulgence trade that bought Volkswagen’s way out of criminal persecution by the U.S. government. The trouble for Volkswagen’s people however has just begun.

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U.S. Case Against Arrested Dieselgate Manager Threat To VW Higher-Ups

“VW bosses live dangerously,” was the headline in Germany’s BILD tabloid (German – paywall) after the FBI arrested Volkswagen manager Oliver Schmidt over the weekend during a trip to Florida. The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling an array of witnesses against Volkswagen while the company is trying to close a deal to make a criminal case go away before Donald Trump comes in.

In the complaint against Schmidt, it is alleged that Volkswagen orchestrated a massive cover-up of its use of illegal defeat devices to cheat on vehicle emissions tests. Sure, this has been insinuated before, but now, the FBI is saying it. Dangerously for VW bosses, the FBI’s writ officially implicates other Volkswagen managers in the cover-up, which should impact their travel plans.

 

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Volkswagen’s Brand Strategy: Finally, Something That Makes Some Sense

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Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess presented his plan for the next ten years, and for the first time in many years, I saw something that wasn’t a collection of platitudes and fluff. The press conference took place in Volkswagen’s “Markenhochhaus,” the totally rebuilt brick tower at the Wolfsburg factory, and only a few sentences into the presentation, when Diess talked of a “diesel crisis” instead of the euphemistic “diesel issue,” it became clear that it isn’t just the building that has seen a total revamp.

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Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller Puts Foot In Mouth, Again

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Volkswagen’s new CEO Matthias Müller proves amazingly nimble for a 63 year-old: He can insert his foot in his mouth as if it belongs there. Müller demonstrated his posture-mastery last weekend, when it took only a few flippant remarks of Volkswagen’s supreme leader to start a momentous shitstorm that, for starters, caused German parliamentarians to demand Müller’s demission.

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Google And Apple Knocking On The Car Door? ‘No, We Won’t Let Them Inside,’ Toyota Exec Says

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Google and Apple supposedly have performed a tactical retreat in their efforts to disrupt the car industry, and shifted from making cars to developing software for same. It will be a hard sell as large global automakers turn to coding their own. This week, Toyota and Renault-Nissan joined the growing chorus of “Google, no thanks.”

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Volkswagen And Toyota In Neck-And-Neck Race For Global Top Spot

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Usually, when the leaves turn golden outside, the World’s Largest Automaker title is a foregone conclusion. This time, it’s dramatically different. Toyota and Volkswagen have produced nearly exactly the same number of vehicles this year so far, and the race remains wide open.

January through September, Volkswagen Group and Toyota Motor Co. produced 7.609 million units across all their brands, data released by the companies show. Officially, Toyota is ahead of VW by a mere 336 units, a fraction of a rounding error for companies that are used to making 10 million cars per year, each.

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Suzuki’s Dalliance With Toyota, A Prelude For LTR

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“If we don’t share, we won’t survive,” said Osamu Suzuki, chairman of Suzuki Motors, today. The auto industry’s grand seigneur gave a whole new meaning to “share society” at the Tokyo headquarters of Toyota, where Suzuki, flanked by a much younger Aiko Toyoda, announced what a reporter in the room characterized as an “engagement between Suzuki and Toyota.” Of course, that’s not the official line. Yet.

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Go-slow Decree For Volkswagen’s PR Department Adds Fuel To Management Unrest, Fired Exec Castrates “Christian Klingler”

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Christian, center

Ever since the outbreak of dieselgate, Volkswagen’s PR department in Wolfsburg has done overtime. Ever since last week, it’s been strictly 9-5 for VW’s overworked flacks. Not because the world would have lost its intense interest in getting to the bottom of dieselgate. All overtime in VW’s Abteilung Kommunikation Volkswagen was canceled by Volkswagen’s powerful Works Council. If reporters’ questions to Volkswagen take longer than usual, now you know why.

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