10 November 2015

VW Group Cheating : What We Learn So Far

Of course the whole debacle has been unfolding and becoming clearer with each startling revelation. So this isn't a definitive conclusion. Too much water is still to pass under the bridge. However, now that a full month of sales have been assessed, what can we learn so far?

1) The VW brand has been hit the worst. Škoda, Audi and now Porsche are involved but the VW Group name is more obviously associated with the VW brand. That shows many people hear the story and react without a deeper understanding.

2) VW supporters have come out in forums saying they don't care and will still buy the brand. I don't believe that they don't care. No one likes to be lied to, so it is more about pride. They are embarrassed they support a brand that could show such contempt to its loyal owners. They are defensively defending VW outwardly, but inside they will be hurting about being lied to.  Either that or they are amoral.

3) The sales crash some may have expected probably won't occur because of buyer reaction. Other factors such as governments halting sales of cars with offending engines and VW's ability to supply vehicles that aren't illegal will be more an issue.

4) Korean and Japanese sales of VW have crashed in October, leading me to suspect they dislike what VW has done more than others. In such nations, they still value honour while being dishonest to customers brings shame. Has Europe lost its honour?

5) Industry needs to be monitored closely. Any testing must be totally independent and anything too good to be true thoroughly scutinised.

6) That no matter how bad a scandal, politicians can show a contemptible level of self interest. They are more concerned with the welfare of business than the environment or any moral implications.

So where are the customers?
7) Fossil fuel propulsion has reached a point where improved gains in lower emissions will be too expensive to achieve. So what alternatives are being seriously pushed by government and legislators? Unsurprisingly, nothing. Talk about inept and self serving leadership! There is an assumption that an answer will come through market forces alone. While fossil fuel is cheap enough to buy, then that is what will be used and the quality of air in big cities can take a running jump.

Summary: So what will come out of this disgraceful episode with the VW Group? Fines paid and customers compensated. Life goes on. Everything sorted.

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