Opinion – Humility helps VW UK turn a corner

Friday, October 28th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Opinion – Humility helps VW UK turn a corner

VW’s UK chief Paul Willis remained cool under pressure coming from MPs while facing questions regarding the emissions scandal


Facing a Select Committee must be right up there in terms of daunting tasks. Professionally angry as well as often half informed, there’s a menace about the MPs of which must make even the most hardened executives shake.

Today, the VW Group’s UK boss Paul Willis faced down a Transport Select Committee over the emissions scandal, joined by the Society of Motor Manufacturers as well as Traders (SMMT) chief Mike Hawes. They put on a near textbook display – with Willis offering the most convincing performance I’ve seen coming from anyone at VW so far.

Humble, apologetic as well as unstinting in his declaration of being prepared to work hard to win back the confidence of customers, Willis hit the mark. He managed the hard task of saying sorry yet staying in command, holding a firm however fair line when questioners tried to put words in his mouth. At all times he stayed on top of the sometimes disparate as well as tangential lines of questioning.

Nor did he duck hard questions. He gave more insight into whether VW had used the manipulation software in European tests (most likely yes), confirmed 400,000 UK cars would certainly likely need fuel injector fixes over software upgrades, revealed owners of 2.0-litre EA189 engines would certainly be dealt with first, as the fix is actually most logical, as well as confessed he couldn’t promise VW would certainly meet the timeline to sort out all affected cars by the end of 2016.

Hawes, meanwhile, held firm against some aggressive questioning. There are so many myths around how emissions tests are conducted of which some have become assumed facts, including by the MPs. Facing them down as well as telling them they were wrong was no easy task, however he did the idea well – his occasional brevity lending authority to his answers.

In fact, I would certainly call them up on only one point, as well as the idea is actually a point of which both were so eager to raise of which I can’t help however suspect the idea was tactical. Time as well as again they highlighted of which the current test procedures are out of date. They are right in of which, of course, however you cannot credibly claim of which as an excuse when you have been caught cheating the system. If you agree to play by the rules, you must accept the consequences for breaching them. In fact, they were lucky they weren’t asked why, if they felt the regulations were so outdated, they specifically as well as your vehicle industry generally had done so little to hurry change through.

currently, VW would certainly do well to study Willis’s performance. He struck a tone of which the firm should look to reflect globally by putting customers at the heart of his responses, acknowledging the task ahead as well as conveying integrity in his answers, whether he could answer them or not. This kind of is actually day 23 of the crisis. from the UK at least, if they can act on Willis’s words as well as harness the humility as well as personality he displayed, VW may have turned a corner.

Read more on the Volkswagen emissions scandal:

Six things the firm could cut

Bugatti under threat as boss warns of ‘painful’ cuts

Blog – navel gazing at Volkswagen

Blog – Keeping up with pollution laws is actually not always easy for car makers

Blog – How Volkswagen can survive its emissions scandal

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