New Volkswagen chief Matthias Müller has warned that the automaker is preparing to cut costs to pay for the emissions cheating scandal that affects nearly 11 million vehicles worldwide.
VW Chief Says Automaker Will Scale Back Investments
October 6, 2015 – Addressing employees today at Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, Müller said the automaker needs to “save massively” in order to preserve its good credit rating; however, he was unable to give a final estimate for the cost of the scandal.
“We have initiated a further review of all planned investments,” Müller said. “Anything that is not absolutely necessary will be cancelled or postponed. And that’s why we will be intensifying our efficiency program. To be clear: this will not be painless.”
Emissions Scandal Likely to Cost Jobs
It remains uncertain whether the scandal will costs job at Volkswagen, which employs nearly 600,000 people — roughly a quarter million more than Toyota, which manufactures a similar number of vehicles each year, according to the Financial Times. Müller said the company would do everything it could to ensure job security for its employees, but stopped short of providing a guarantee.
How Did Volkswagen Cover Up Emissions Results?
Volkswagen’s troubles began on Sept. 18, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the automaker had installed “defeat device” software in its diesel vehicles that fake emissions results during testing. The software changes the way the engine behaves, massively reducing the amount of emissions released by the car, according to the Huffington Post UK.
Müller Races to Salvage VW’s Reputation
Mr Müller, who took over as VW’s chief executive after Martin Winterkorn resigned on Sept. 23, has the task of uncovering who designed the defeat device software, winning back customer trust, and finding a way to pay for fines, lawsuits and repair costs.