Wtf vw?


Here in Vermont, the first class action suit has been originated, for owners of VW diesels. What worries me too is whether the damage to VW’s reputation will affect the resale/trade value of non-diesel VWs (like my GTI). If that turns out to be so, you could see class actions from ALL VW owners.

Whoever authorized this whole thing at VW really screwed the pooch.


More firings tomorrow, Reuters reports. The heads of R&D at Audi and Porsche will be fired, as well as the head of VW of America.

Also, the German Transport minister is now saying that their investigation shows that VW illegally manipulated emissions tests in Germany and elsewhere.


I’m going to double down on my earlier prediction that this could very well break VW.


This is very speculative, but the guy running FiatChrysler has been public about his belief that the auto industry needs to consolidate further and has been openly suggesting that he might try a takeover of GM. However, the news sites that cover FCA are already suggesting that a weakened VW would be a fit for a merger so we will have to see if anything comes of that.


I just don’t see that happening.


Someone explain what I’m missing, because otherwise this doesn’t make sense:

  • VW caught, CEO takes the fall and steps down
  • Porsche boss tabbed as successor
  • R&D head of Porsche gets canned

Now, if Porsche and Audi were pulling the same sort of tomfoolery then it makes sense to get rid of the people theoretically responsible. But if that were the case, wouldn’t hiring the CEO they reported to while doing the same crap that got VW in trouble be an extremely boneheaded move? And if they aren’t complicit, why fire them?


There’s a scene at the end of the movie National Treasure where detective Harvey Keitel lays it out to Nick Cage: “Someone’s going to jail for this.”

If you’re the head of R&D, this is your thing. The ship ran aground. You may not have had anything to do with it, but it happened to your boat on your watch. Beyond that, though, this is VW compartmentalizing (or trying to compartmentalize) the damage. The firings of the R&D heads are mostly symbolic and meant to convey “We will investigate this, and it won’t happen again…but heh heh, our executive board sure didn’t know about ANY of this…”


Aren’t Porsche and VW both owned by Audi? I wonder if the internal investigation revealed a connection between the Porsche head of R&D and the software used in the VWs.


It’s a complicated arrangement with Volkswagen owning both those marques, but with Porsche especially still having some autonomy within the company. But yes, Porsche, Audi, and VW are all basically the same company at the top.


This really seems like more than greed; it’s sheer hubris. The scale and scope of the deception, and the obvious feelings of invulnerability and entitlement that went along with the deception, are staggering.


No, VW owns all the other brands plus Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Bugatti and a couple more.

Porsche is still a bit more independent, although VW swallowed them up after Porsche’s takeover of VW failed for political reasons. Porsche gambled on the EU shooting down the 20% blockade minority the state of Lower Saxony holds at VW. They lost.
On a sidenote, the biggest shareholder of VW is still the Porsche family. Mr Piech (VW) and Mr F. Porsche (Porsche) are cousins. Both are grandsons or so of Ferdinand Porsche, the company founder who developed the VW Beatle. So it was a bit like Dallas, but with cars. ;)

The story behind the firings is actually quite simply:

  1. CEO has to go. Of course.
  2. CEO of VW USA has to go too, of course.
  3. The Porsche head of R&D and
  4. the Audi head of R&D were the heads of VW R&D during the relevant time period. So both were fired because they were either responsible or should have prevented it.
  5. VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda all use this TurboDiesel engine for a gazillion models. Platform technology FTW! Porsche usually develops their own engines, apart from a few cooperation for their non-standard cars. So if they wanted an in-house solution, only the Porsche CEO could move to VW, because he is with high probability not involved in this clusterfuck.


I could easily see it happening. If basically ALL their sales for who knows how long are now invalid? Add in the lawsuits from multiple countries from millions of people? VW is probably done. The brand will live on because someone will buy it, but I can’t see how they can really survive it as they are right now once the lawyers start getting involved. They basically committed fraud on a scale that boggles the mind.


I had forgotten that VW was really a conglomeration of a bunch of different car companies now. The entirety won’t crap out. However, we may see some significant restructuring.


For car fans, it is sort of like the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal. “Say it ain’t so, Martin!” VW, Porsche, and Audi have some very good cars and occupy a special place in the hearts of many enthusiasts. Now, with their future at the very least cloudy, it’s a sad day.


It isn’t all their sales, though.

They’ll survive this.


It’s not really in anyone’s interest for VW to fail. They need to be punished, but destroying VW would create a huge amount of damage, in Germany and abroad.


The real trouble for Germany is gonna be when other diesel makers get dragged into this:

The German trade magazine Auto Bild reports that road tests conducted by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) found the diesel BMW X3 20d Xdrive guilty of emitting more than eleven times more NOx gases than the limits of Euro 6, Europe’s latest diesel engine emission legislations. Oh boy.

If true, this proves that the dieselgate disaster is far from being a Volkswagen-specific issue. While BMW X5 passed its test in California done by the same people who found out about about Volkswagen’s cheat software, the ICCT suggested before that BMW, Opel and Mercedes-Benz can be in trouble as well.

No doubt why none of the companies wanted this can of worms opened.


Completely agree. I don’t think the German government, among other entities, will let them fail.


Too big to fail!


They really, probably are.