VW Boss Müller Apologizes In Detroit

Table of contents:

VW Boss Müller Apologizes In Detroit
VW Boss Müller Apologizes In Detroit

Video: VW Boss Müller Apologizes In Detroit

Video: VW Boss Müller Apologizes In Detroit
Video: Volkswagen CEO Apologizes For Emissions Scandal 2023, September

Matthias Müller apologized for what happened during the emissions scandal during his first appearance in the USA. An important date awaits the VW boss on Thursday.

The new Volkswagen boss Matthias Müller started his first visit to the USA with an admission of guilt across the board. "We know that we have very disappointed our customers, the relevant government agencies and the general public here in the US. I therefore apologize," he said on Monday night in Detroit before the start of the US auto show. The VW group is facing enormous problems because of the exhaust gas manipulation, especially in the United States.

Up to 45 billion dollars in fines

The US has sued Volkswagen for the exhaust gas manipulation. Because of fraud and violations of environmental laws, VW is threatened with payment claims of up to 45 billion dollars in this process alone. In the USA, almost 600,000 diesel vehicles from the VW Group are on the road with prohibited software.

This Thursday, an important decision by US overseers on proposals for the elimination of the fraud programs is due. The group is threatened with expensive repairs or even car buy-backs. "It's not just our cars that we have to repair - it's also our credibility," said Müller. This Wednesday he will meet for talks with the US environmental agency EPA and its director Gina McCarthy.

Waiting for solutions from VW

VW has been criticized for months in the US for not responding appropriately to the scandal. Last week, this reached a new high point when the US Department of Justice accused VW in its complaint of using tricks and deceit when dealing with the affair. At the end of last week, New York Attorney Eric Schneiderman told the New York Times: "Our patience is running out." Volkswagen refuses, citing German data protection laws, US prosecutors to disclose e-mails and other material for communication by executives.

US industry experts see the VW managers facing a Herculean task. "We have only waited until now. They finally have to say what they want to do. And when they have done that, we'll see. One thing is certain: It will be a long, long way," said the renowned industry expert Michelle Krebs on the sidelines of the fair. Your colleague Karl Brauer said on the question of recalls or buybacks: "VW has a big problem solving that logistically at all." He thinks it is premature to speculate about the disappearance of the core brand from the USA. "But it will be a long, long way back," he said of the prospects for Europe's industry leader.

Porsche and Audi continue to be successful in the USA

While the VW subsidiaries Audi and Porsche are spoiled for success in the USA, the core brand is lagging behind. In 2015, VW cars sold only 349,000 cars in the US, mostly Jetta and Passat. That is five percent below the previous year's figure and is miles away from the goal of selling around 800,000 cars by 2018. The brand still comes from Müller's predecessor Martin Winterkorn - and has not yet been collected.

Before the diesel scandal, the USA had played a key role in Volkswagen's goal of becoming the world's largest carmaker by 2018, ahead of Toyota. The main reasons for the US weakness are, in addition to gaps in the range, a lack of understanding of customer requirements. So the cycle for a cosmetic revision of the models (facelifts) got too long. Smart, new cars no longer delighted US customers as long as they used to, when the design cycles were even longer, said analyst Krebs. "It's disappearing faster than ever before." Müller confirmed in Detroit that VW was committed to the investment plans for the USA. And he admitted: "Volkswagen needs to learn to understand the USA even better."

At VW, a seven-seater off-road sedan is to be set up on the model side - working title CrossBlue. It should come at the end of 2016 and also help to finally make VW cars in the USA more profitable. The carmaker has not published any figures on this for years. (dpa)