Volkswagen staff have been warned that all the company’s investments are under review as the carmaker faces a multibillion-euro bill from the diesel emissions scandal that has rocked the automotive industry.
Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s works council and a key member of the supervisory board, told workers during a briefing at the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg that the carmaker had to face the crisis with “great resolve”.
He said: “We will need to call into question with great resolve everything that is not economical.”
VW has admitted that it fitted up to 11m vehicles worldwide with software that could manipulate emissions tests. The company has put aside €6.5bn (£4.8bn) to meet the cost of recalling the cars and fixing them so they meet environmental standards. However, it also faces a fine of up to $18bn (£11.9bn) from US regulators as well as legal claims from customers and shareholders.
Shares in the company have fallen by 40% since the crisis began, wiping €30bn off the value of VW, the world’s biggest manufacturer of cars and commercial vehicles.
New figures from the UK, where almost 1.2m vehicles are affected, suggest that the crisis has not yet hurt sales of VW or diesel cars.
New car registrations in September rose by 8.6% year-on-year, with sale of VW cars up 4% and Audi, which is owned by VW, up 11%.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “It is too early to draw conclusions [from the VW scandal], but customer demand for diesel remained strong, accounting for one in two cars registered.”
This article was written by Graham Ruddick, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 6th October 2015 11.23 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010