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VW Cultural Subsidies Put To The Test

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VW Cultural Subsidies Put To The Test
VW Cultural Subsidies Put To The Test

Video: VW Cultural Subsidies Put To The Test

Video: VW Cultural Subsidies Put To The Test
Video: Herbert Diess talks to Bertina Murkovic, Works Council Chairwoman at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles 2023, May
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VW boss Matthias Müller has announced austerity measures after the diesel scandal. Numerous cultural institutions are now worried about funding.

The diesel scandal at Volkswagen not only shakes the city of Wolfsburg, but also leaves many cultural institutions around the world worried about funding. For example, VW of America has been a partner of the renowned Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York since 2011. This alliance was only confirmed at the end of June. «Volkswagen is THE car. MoMA is THE museum,”announced VW boss Martin Winterkorn, who has since vacated his post because of the affair over manipulated emissions. In Shanghai, VW opened the “Rain Room” exhibition together with the YUZ Museum, and in Berlin the group sponsored Kraftwerk's concerts in the New National Gallery.

VW has not yet agreed on budgets

When it comes to cultural sponsorship, companies usually want to polish up their own image. Depending on the supported cultural institution, for example, exclusivity or dynamism can be conveyed, says Manfred Schwaiger, director of the Institute for Market-Oriented Management at the University of Munich. At MoMA, VW moved closer to stars like John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono or the Icelandic pop icon Björk. "This is subconsciously processed by the recipients and then transferred to the brand," says Schwaiger. An exhibition in which artists dealt with ecology and climate change was also sponsored by VW - in retrospect, this seems rather embarrassing.

VW does not provide any precise information on the extent of its cultural commitment. It is also unclear to what extent museums and festivals will be affected by the savings plans as a result of the emissions scandal. Upon request, a VW spokeswoman only states that future cultural budgets and funding priorities have not yet been decided.

City of Wolfsburg imposes budget freeze

In Wolfsburg and the region, cultural events of international appeal were created with the help of Volkswagen, such as the Movimentos dance festival. According to the car manufacturer, the focus of sponsorship is on projects “that make art and culture accessible to as many people as possible”. The regional promotion of culture is also something like location policy in order to make the city of 123,000 inhabitants attractive for managers from Hamburg or Munich, for example.

Like many cultural institutions, the city of Wolfsburg is shaking with Volkswagen. The municipality, which is extremely dependent on the automotive industry, imposed an immediate budget lock and a hiring freeze after the scandal became known. The Wolfsburg Science Museum Phaeno reacted in turn.

Those responsible, who worry about city funds, had the heating turned down by half a degree as a precaution, as a spokeswoman said. The visitors have not noticed this so far. In addition, the light was dimmed in an outside area of the building. "You can save a little electricity there."

Restrained engagement promotes image

So far, Europe's largest car company has set aside 6.7 billion euros for the affair of beautified nitrogen oxide emissions. In addition, there is the CO2 problem that became known at the beginning of the month. Given these sums, the arts grants appear to be peanuts. What strategy should the group now pursue?

“The scientists don't quite agree on that,” says marketing expert Schwaiger. In principle, loud advertising is not beneficial during a scandal. A cautious commitment could certainly help to rebuild the reputation that has been lost. “Volkswagen has to do something to justify its premium claim. From my point of view, cultural sponsorship is a suitable measure. " (dpa)

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