2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Volkswagen has received a damper on the Chinese market. It's not just about allegations of corruption against the boss of Volkswagen partner FAW.
China's top anti-corruption investigators have arrested the head of Volkswagen partner FAW. Xu Jianyi is suspected of having “seriously violated party discipline and laws”, as the party’s internal disciplinary commission announced on Sunday. This usually describes allegations of corruption. Corruption investigations had already taken place in the joint venture FAW-Volkswagen over the past few months. FAW was initially not available for comment.
FAW in the focus of the authorities for months
The investigation into Xu Jianyi does not come as a surprise. FAW has been the focus of anti-corruption investigators for months. The investigations are led by the powerful Disciplinary Commission of the Communist Party. Only after their investigations have been completed are the cases handed over to the judicial authorities. The suspects are often held for months. What exactly happens during the interrogations is neither publicly nor legally monitored independently.
Like all international automotive groups, Volkswagen has to work with a Chinese partner in China. Corruption investigations had already taken place last year at the joint venture FAW-Volkswagen. China's state and party leader Xi Jinping had launched a nationwide campaign against corruption.
State television criticizes service
Volkswagen, along with other car manufacturers, hit the headlines in China at the same time. China's state television CCTV had branded the service of international car brands as "inferior" in a report. In the World Consumer Day broadcast on Sunday, state journalists denounced problems at Volkswagen, Daimler, Range Rover and Nissan.
Every year, CCTV hands out against foreign companies as if in a Consumer Day ritual. This year, journalists with hidden cameras sent cars with small problems to workshops. Their reproach: Although the problems could be easily resolved, the mechanics exchanged extensive parts and then charged the customer for overpriced repairs.
VW apologizes to customers
When asked on Monday, Volkswagen apologized for any inconvenience. The company regularly checks the quality of the dealers. "We invite customers to contact us directly if they have problems with the services of our dealers," said Volkswagen.
China is the most important market for Europe's largest car manufacturer Volkswagen. The Middle Kingdom brought the Wolfsburg-based company an operating profit of 5.2 billion euros in 2014, as they announced last week. That is around 21 percent more than in 2013. The group recently sold more than every third vehicle (36 percent) in China. The giant empire is the world's largest car market, ahead of the USA. (dpa)