Volkswagen boss rips Elon Musk as destroyer of jobs and money

Matthias Müller (Picture: Volkswagen)

Car companies used to refrain from commenting on the competition, but the veil of propriety seems to develop more rips than the jeans of a grunge rocker. Last night, Volkswagen’s CEO Matthias Müller tore Elon Musk a big one, blasting the head of Californian carmaker Tesla as deficient of both social responsibility, and profits.

At an evening talk show in Passau, Germany, the moderator mentioned that Tesla “fascinates customers with its electric cars.” This triggered Müller to deliver a forceful statement he audibly had wanted to make for quite some time. Here is the video, along with a translation from Müller’s heavily Bavarian-tinged German:

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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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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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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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Rare Finds In The Woods Above Ancient Kyoto: A Volkswagen Schwarz-Gelber Renner, And More

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If you listen to Ford, you might believe that “Japan is the most closed, developed auto economy in the world,” as the Detroit automaker does not tire to repeat. Somewhere in the hills above Japan’s ancient former capital Kyoto, I am beginning to have my doubts. Why? Around the bend of the mountain road, I suddenly find myself kneed-deep in Volkswagens. VW didn’t get Ford’s memo about a closed market, and it successfully imports its cars to Japan ever since the early days of the Volkswagen bug. Today, they all seem to be here, early Käfer, a few Karman Ghia, hippie era Type 2 buses, even cars that are as good as forgotten in Germany, like the VW Type 4 from Volkswagen’s pre-Golf malaise era.

There are a few violated ones, low-rider Volkswagen buses with their skirts dangerously close to the loose gravel, their suspensions and bodies raped by hentai car-kichi. Some bugs show their rust and patina-covered age. Most are in pristine condition. I could be in Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Museum, wouldn’t the scent of pine needles from the forest surrounding Lake Shobudani, mixed with the appetite-triggering wafts of yakitori and yakiniku, coming from lakeside barbecue pits, remind me that I am in one of the most beautiful parts of Japan, while I am surrounded by hundreds of Germany’s most iconic cars.

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