Volkswagen will use dieselgate scandal as 'catalyst for change' says Müller

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Volkswagen will use dieselgate scandal as 'catalyst for change' says Müller

VW Group boss Matthias Muller

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brand-new Volkswagen boss Matthias Müller will speak today in Wolfsburg

Volkswagen is actually repositioning itself for a brighter future, says boss Matthias Müller, with the group’s realignment set to be complete by 2017

Volkswagen boss Matthias Müller has said he will not allow the dieselgate emissions scandal to “paralyse the company,” as well as will instead use the situation as a “catalyst for change.”

Speaking at a press conference at the firm’s Wolsburg headquarters alongside VW Group board chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch, Müller re-iterated in which Volkswagen’s a few-point recovery plan will help to restore the company’s “excellent past reputation.” The plan, first revealed last month, hinges on fixing the engines affected by the emissions scandal, reducing costs, creating brand-new synergies within the Volkswagen Group as well as creating a more open corporate culture.

“Our first priority is actually the technical solutions for our customers,” said Müller “Customers want to know how the manipulations came about. They want their vehicles put right as soon as possible.

“Our second priority is actually establishing the truth with internal auditing. When we uncovered implausabilities inside the CO2 emissions in November, the fact in which we went public at an early stage, demonstrates in which we are willing to be as transparent as possible.”

While Volkswagen has already detailed the fixes in which will use to bring the EA189 diesel engine at the centre of the scandal into line with emissions legislation in Europe, Müller admitted in which will be some time before fixes for cars inside the US can be revealed. “Rest assured we are working as fast as we can to come up having a solution,” said Müller.

Speaking about Volkswagen’s group realignment, Müller said the plan to de-centralise the group’s structure was always on the cards, nevertheless the dieselgate scandal had forced the plan to be enacted faster than expected. The realignment hinges on the firm’s various brands as well as regions having greater autonomy than before, with the central VW Group focussing more on brand-new strategies as well as synergies. “All of these structural improvements aim to reduce complexity” says Müller, “there is actually definitely room for improvement. Our most valuable currency is actually credibility as well as trust in our brands, products as well as people.”

The brand-new group structure will begin to be implemented inside the first quarter of next year, with the full realignment completed by the start of 2017. More detail about how Volkswagen will operate inside the future will be revealed in April, when the firm publishes its full Strategy 2025 plan.

“We have not given up our claim of leadership in our industry,” says Müller “we want to shape the future of motability as well as we hold the potential. We are working hard on all our the a few points already announced as well as we are doing progress.

“We want to create a brand-new, a better, as well as a stronger Volkswagen.”

As in which happened – Volkswagen press conference. Live blog by Darren Moss, Jim Holder as well as Matthew Burrow.

1205 The press conference at This particular point comes to an end. Thanks for following our live coverage of today’s press conference. Check back in a short while for the full story.

1202 Müller confirms he will be travelling across the US in January, as well as will be in attendance at the Detroit motor show.

1200 Müller has been asked which areas of the company knew about the defeat device software. The answer is actually short – once the company has the results of its investigation, in which will Discharge them.

1150 Volkswagen will not ask suppliers to cut prices, says Müller, as he confirms in which demand for the firm’s diesel engines is actually still strong. However, he admits in which “electric motoring is actually not as favorite as hoped for.” Müller also confirms in which VW will launch a pro-diesel advertising campaign inside the near future.

1148 With regards to cost-cutting, Müller is actually asked which versions are still viable. “We have to review the line-up,” says Müller “you have to look at the whole picture.” On the future of the Bugatti brand, Müller re-confirms in which the Chiron will make its debut at the Geneva motor show next March. “We have to ask about which products will be profitable for our brands,” he says.

1144 Müller is actually at This particular point asked whether VW will address lower resale values inside the UK. He replies in which VW’s planned compensation package will aim to make up due to This particular.

1140 Mr. Pötsch is actually at This particular point asked about the contingencies set aside for legal action, as well as whether he plans to address customers at the Detroit motor show. The answer coming from Pötsch is actually in which there are so far no contingencies for litigation, nevertheless the company is actually monitoring the situation inside the US with regards to legal action coming from consumers. He will be scheduling a visit to the US inside the days after the Detroit motor show.

1134 Questions are at This particular point asked of VW’s shareholders. Müller confirms in which he went to Qatar to talk with shareholders there.

1127 A journalist at This particular point asks whether Volkswagen has discovered how the so-called ‘defeat device’ works. Müller replies: “Our experts looked at the software. Analysed all of the relevant functions. The software has been there for more than 10 years. The process has not been completed. We’re talking about millions of lines of code. We need different solutions for different engines as well as variants. Some can be fixed having a software update. Some need additional hardware.”

1120 The third question asks what mistakes were made by the VW board, as well as when the company will know how much the emissions scandal has cost in which overall. Mr. Pötsch says there are no plans to sell off assets in order to pay for the scandal, as well as in which there is actually no indication in which any board member was involved.

1117 The next question asks whether customers will be better or worse off, as well as whether compensation will be offered in territories outside the US. Müller answers: “We’re offering technical solutions in which do not impact the performance of our cars. In terms of a compensation package our customers are always at the focus of our attention, as well as we are working on an overall package for all affected markets.”

1115 The first question concerns where Volkswagen will be prioritising its efforts in 2016. Müller answers: “VW is actually global, we do have some deficits in some markets, we’re looking at all the markets as well as seeing which brands should be successful in which markets. America is actually still very important, as is actually Russia as well as additional regions in difficulty.”

1112 “We want to create a brand-new, a better, as well as a stronger Volkswagen,” says Müller, ending the press conference as well as opening up the floor to questions.

1110 Volkswagen will not economise on its future, says Müller, as he re-iterates in which any project which isn’t deemed as being absolutely neccessary will be cancelled or postponed. The company is actually at This particular point planning only one year ahead, he says.

1107 Müller admits in which changing the day to day operations of Volkswagen is actually challenging, nevertheless says in which customer relations management is actually vital to the company’s future. Volkswagen will not be changing the adjusted annual forecast in which issued at the beginning of October. “We are fighting for every customer as well as every car,” says Müller.

1104 “We have not given up our claim of leadership in our industry,” says Müller “we want to shape the future of motability as well as we hold the potential. We are working hard on all our the a few points already announced as well as we are doing progress.”

1103 Summing up, Müller says: “eight years ago we sent a strong signal with strategy 2018. We were doing not bad progress. We are doing progress towards a more sustainable future. We are realigning Volkswagen in terms of strategy as well as technology.” The full design of Volkswagen’s Strategy 2025 plan will be announced inside the middle of next year.

1102 Volkswagen will have “greater humility” at motor shows, says Müller, as well as will be selling its Airbus aircraft to creat a “more efficient air service.”

1101 “In a nutshell: the future at VW belongs to the brave,” says Müller “we need more of Silicon Valley along with our Wolfsburg background. How do we bring This particular to our 0,000 employees? Just do in which. As the mangement team we just have to get on with in which.”

1100 An interesting point coming from Müller: “mistakes are allowed as long as we understand them as an opportunity for learning.”

1058 Volkswagen will begin implementing its brand-new structure at the beginning of next year, with the full re-alignment set to be completed by the beginning of 2017.

1055 The number of direct reports being sent to the CEO will be cut coming from 30 to 19, meaning Müller will be able to concentrate on “the essentials”.

1052 “All of these structural improvements aim to reduce complexity” says Müller, “there is actually definitely room for improvement. Our most valuable currency is actually credibility as well as trust in our brands, products as well as people.”

1050 Decisions on the future of the Volkswagen Group willl be taken at the level where they will hold the most impact, says Müller, with brands as well as regions being given greater autonomy to govern themselves. The board of management will instead concentrate on creating brand-new strategies as well as synergies.

1048 Volkswagen’s realignment was always on the cards, says Müller, nevertheless the present crisis has sped up its integration. 

1046 Müller says in which the technical fixes for US engines are far more complex, as well as VW won’t be announcing fixes for these engines today. “Rest assured we are working as fast as we can to come up having a solution,” says Müller.

1044 Recalls will take place throughout 2016, says Müller. The 2.0-litre TDI will be fixed next month, folllowed by the 1.2-litre TDI in Q2 2016, as well as the 1.6-litre TDI in Q3 of next year. Müller stresses in which owners don’t need to contact them directly.

1043 Volkswagen says in which has at This particular point received approved technical fixes for all three variants of the EA189 diesel engine in Europe. Müller thanks engineer who have “been working day as well as night” to get the fixes ready. He says the engines will at This particular point comply with all legislation.

1042 Müller says in which Volkswagen will not allow the emissions sandal to “paralyse” the company, as well as will instead use in which as a “catalyst for change.”

1041 Müller says: “Our first priority is actually the technical solutions for our customers. Customers want to know how the manipulations came about. They want their vehicles put right as soon as possible.

“Our second priority is actually establishing the truth with internal auditing. When we uncovered implausabilities inside the CO2 emissions in November, the fact in which we went public at an early stage, demonstrates thatt we are willing to be as transparent as possible.”

1040 Matthias Müller re-iterates his a few point plan first presented back in October. He says in which Volkswagen will learn coming from its past mistakes, in order to restore “VW’s excellent past reputation.”

1039 With in which, Mr. Pötsch hands over to Matthias Müller.

1038 Volkswagen will Discharge real-world emissions figures inside the future, as well as its emissions tests will be verified by third parties. “We need the courage to be more honest,” says Pötsch.

1036 “We know in which the CO2 issue has been a cause of considerable concern for many of our customers” says Pötsch. He also reiterates in which any change in taxes will be payed for by Volkswagen.

1034 With regards to Audi’s V6 engine, which has been called into question inside the US, Pötsch says: “There is actually one fundamental difference. The crux for EA189 engine is actually in which the vehicle had two different exhaust strategies – one for the road as well as one for the test bench. in which is actually not the case for Audi’s V6 – the warm up strategies are identical on road as well as the test bench. One of the devices fitted could be considered forbidden inside the US, nevertheless we will be offering a solution as swiftly as possible, as well as I would certainly like to pull out in which This particular affects around 100,000 units, so in which is actually manageable.”

1033 The manipulation of NOx levels was carried out “inside the mistaken belief in which would certainly help customers” says Pötsch. “With hindsight This particular all sounds a little banal nevertheless in which is actually perhaps why we find the whole thing so painful – not just because decisions were wrong nevertheless also because the priorities on which they were founded go against the VW Group values as well as those of the vast number of 0,000 employees.”

1032 With regards to the NOx issue, Pötsch says: “We are not talking about a one-off mistake nevertheless a chain of mistakes in which wasn’t interrupted. Looking back we have to accept the developers couldn’t find a way to meet tougher US NOx limits by permissible means – or at least which fitted the budget as well as timeframe they had been given. So software was fitted to manipulate NOX levels on a test bench.”

1030 Interestingly, Pötsch says in which despite around 2000 employees being informed to keep track of their data, the company maintains in which the manipulation of diesel engine software was the result of only a few individuals.

1027 Volkswagen says in which will also be upgrading its in which systems, doing in which possible for the firm to track individuals as well as events more closely.

1025 Volkswagen’s internal audit uncovered “in which procedural problems encouraged misconduct,” says Pötsch. “Our engine control units were not suitable for preventing the software in question. Remedial measures include structuring processes better – for example, the belt as well as braces principle will be applied to developing ECUs, as well as approval processes will include more binding requirements. We cannot control individuals, nevertheless in future in which will be much harder to bypass the rules.”

1022 Pötsch says in which the NOX issue is actually partly the result of “individual misconduct” by employees within the company, as well as flaws in VW Group’s processes as well as an “attitude in some units of the company in which tolerated breaches of rules.”

1020 According to Pötsch, the full results of the investigation will be presented at VW’s Annual General Meeting in April 2016.

1018 Pötsch outlines the main questions the investigation is actually focussing on: “Exactly what happened as well as when, where regulations as well as laws were broken as well as which ones, to what extent did our internal processes encourage This particular, who is actually responsible for the misconduct – directly as well as overall – as well as finally how do we ensure nothing like This particular happens ever again.”

In total, 450 internal as well as external investigators are working on the investigation – a sign of how seriously Volkswagen is actually taking the scandal.

1016 Pötsch says: “As internal source drew attention to CO2 issues as well as This particular was immediately as well as proactively communicated. We announced up to 800,000 vehicles could be affected. Slight deviations were only found for a very smaller number of vehicles which will at This particular point be adjusted in normal procedure of customers. in which is actually not bad news for customers.” He also confirms in which the investigation to find those responsible for the scandal is actually ongoing.

1014 Recapping on what has been revealed so far, Pötsch says: “We are dealing with two very different issues, The first concerns up to 11 million of our diesels fitted having a sosftware programme in which influenced NOx emissions. The second issue relates to CO2 emissions as well as related fuel consumption issues.”

1012 Pötsch re-iterates in which the VW Group will become less centralised in future, saying: “the supervisory board has taken many decisions to move swiftly forward, including a brand-new management structure to decentralise the VW Group board so in which is actually fresher as well as more dynamic so the Group can manage its huge potential even more effectively.

“We’ve also speeded up staff realignment within the group to effectively make improvements, recruiting brand-new people as well as giving some of the best minds inside the Group brand-new opportunities.”

1010 Autocar deputy editor Mark Tisshaw is actually also watching the press conference. He says: “Hans Dieter Potsch regrets losing the trust of politicians. A not bad illustration of how bad This particular scandal is actually: you definitely have to go some to lose trust of politicians…”

1008 An apology is actually issued here straight away, as Mr. Pötsch says in which Volkswagen will learn “form our mistakes as well as can ensure something like This particular nothing happens again.”

1006 Mr. Pötsch continues: “We’re all not only deeply shocked by the events nevertheless these events have also put the group in a very difficult situation. We’re here to update you as to where we stand as to overcoming This particular crisis, as well as how the VW group is actually driving its renewal forward.”

1005 Mr. Pötsch begins by saying: “I’m not giving away secrets when I say the past 2.5 months are not something anyone here has ever experienced. Noone here would certainly have imagined a company where so many people give their best day after day as well as could end up in a situation like throne we’ve experienced.”

1002 The press conference will run in two blocks today. “clarification as well as investigations with Mr. Pötsch as well as then Mr. Müller will details customer solutions as well as the brand-new orientation of the company.”

1000 The press conference is actually at This particular point starting. 

0957 The Volkswagen press conference is actually due to start very shotly. Speaking will by Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG Hans Dieter Pötsch, as well as Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller.

0954 Yesterday, in which was revealed in which Volkswagen’s planned concept for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month will take the form of an electric Microbus. The concept will preview a planned return for the automobile, which is actually expected in 2017.

0952 Last month, Volkswagen also admitted in which its 3.0-litre diesel engines were also affected by the scandal – potentially affecting another 85,000 vehicles inside the US.

0950 In addition to the fixes already announced, Volkswagen has presented its fix for the 1.2-litre EA189 engine to the KBA authority in Germany. The alterations needed for in which engine could well be detailed today.

0946 Volkswagen has already detailed some of the fixes in which will use to bring the EA189 diesel engine into line with current emissions legislation. Both 1.6-litre as well as 2.0-litre versions of the engine require a software fix, nevertheless 1.6-litre versions will also have a brand-new mesh placed around an air mass sensor inside the engine. 

0943 Interestingly, Bugatti’s upcoming Chiron is actually seen as vital to the future of the group. Bugatti boss Wolfgang Dürheimer recently confirmed the Chiron would certainly be seen for the very first time at the Geneva motor show in March, as well as late-stage prototypes have given a not bad indication of how in which will look.

0939 As part of its group realignment Volkswagen is actually known to be cutting back on any brand-new design not seen as being vital to the group’s future. Although a next-generation design of the Phaeton has been confirmed, in which has been delayed until at least 2020.

0934 The emissions scandal has widened in recent weeks with brand-new revelations regarding false CO2 readings in some vehicles. Yesterday, Volkswagen confirmed in which nine of its cars were affected, while Audi as well as Skoda said in which none of their cars were affected. Get the latest here.

0930 Welcome to Autocar’s live coverage of Volkswagen’s press conference today. The press conference will outline both the technical fixes used to rectify diesel engines inside the emissions scandal, as well as also provide an update on the group’s realignment.

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