As if German automaker Volkswagen AG doesn’t have enough problems, it has a new one: Its cars turn into bombs, and explode in gas stations. If you own a VW, do not head for the bunkers yet. The problem affects only Volkswagen cars powered by real gas, compressed natural gas (CNG) to be exact, and that only in Europe. There, the damage is considerable.
“Silence” is a smaller budget movie by Martin Scorsese, to be released by the end of this year, if all goes well. The movie might be preempted by a big budget reality show with the German title “Das Schweigen.” It’s the drama of Volkswagen’s fruitless search for the dieselgate truth. Half a year since the scandal broke, very little truth was found, or so they say. What makes it so hard?
Due to a lack of people who pat me on the shoulder, I have to do it myself. In December, I predicted that Volkswagen AG would end the year with 9,923,000 units delivered globally. Today, the company said that it has delivered 9,930,600 units worldwide for the full year of 2015. In the prediction business, we call being off by 0.08% a bull’s eye. More in Forbes.
This morning, Germany’s usually well-informed Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had a gem of a headline: “CO2 manipulation at VW vanishes into thin air.” According to the report, it was largely a false alarm. A few hours later, Volkswagen issued a statement, saying that the CO2 issue is “largely concluded.” [Continue Reading]
It looks like at least one catastrophe may have been averted at VW, and that the blonde blight Ariane Reinhart will not be made head of the company’s stressed-out HR. Swaths of Volkswagen personnel threatened a walkout, should the despised dame return, and the Hallway Radio is now comfortably certain that she won’t. Instead, Karlheinz Blessing is expected to be announced as new HR director once Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board meets this coming Wednesday. Dailykanban readers know that at Volkswagen, the HR chief must be beatified by the unions, and Blessing definitely comes with that blessing. Blessing is said to be a long-term member both of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, and the IG Metall metalworkers union. [Continue Reading]
When Volkswagen launched its new Polo TDI BlueMotion in spring of 2014, they called it the “most fuel-efficient 5-seater in its class.” Its new 75 PS three cylinder turbo diesel was said to need only 3.1 liters of diesel for 100 km, which equates to only 82 grams of CO2 for 100 km, far below the 2020 EU target of 90g. There was only one problem: It was a lie. [Continue Reading]
On Monday, Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board convened an emergency meeting to work off the overload of bad news. The Hallway Radio characterized the atmosphere as “icy” and erratic: “Meeting often breaks into small groups, nobody trusts nobody,” a Hallway Radio reporter texted, using – nobody trusts nobody – the Snowden-approved unbreakable Signal app. [Continue Reading]
Nerves are frayed in Wolfsburg, laid bare by the never-ending barrage of bad news. The suffering is getting so huge that cutting Volkswagen’s head off to end the pain becomes a viable option. Should the scandal spread from diesel to a large number of gasoline driven cars, VW’s new CEO Matthias Müller, along with Volkswagen’s complete Board of Management, will be replaced, says the Hallway Radio. [Continue Reading]