Dieselgate still haunts Volkswagen, admits car maker's boss - as he drives home with 40pc pay rise

The boss of Volkswagen has admitted the German car giant is still struggling to put the dieselgate emissions scandal behind it - but this hasn't stopped him from driving home with a 40pc pay boost.
Speaking at VW’s annual conference, chief executive Matthias Mueller said shaking up the corporate culture that led the company to cheat pollution tests affecting 11m diesel cars worldwide was the area where he was “farthest from our goal”.
The admission in 2015 that VW had for years fitted cars with “defeat devices” to beat inspections has cost VW tens of billions of euros in fines, compensation and vehicles refits and buybacks.
So far only one senior employee has been jailed over the scandal, which emerged in the US - currently the only country where motorists have been offered payouts.
Dieselgate still haunts Volkswagen, admits car maker's boss - as he drives home with 40pc pay rise

Activists protest over allegations animals were used for car pollution tests outside the VW annual conference in Berlin

Detailing a new corporate culture focused on “values and integrity and with zero tolerance for violations”, Mr Mueller said he “feels a sense of disappointment when something crops up against these values - our transformation is not fast enough”.
He added that VW - which also owns the Audi, Porsche and Seat marques in its 12-brand portfolio - is transforming itself so a scandal such as dieselgate can never happen again.
"Doing this is the only path to being successful,” he said. "These are not wellness topics, things that are nice to have - they are concrete and affect our financial results, our rating, our ability to attract future talent.”
Despite Mr Mueller's musings on VW's shortcomings, the car maker's annual report, also released today, revealed he is being well remunerated for his work at the top. The chief executive's total annual pay, benefits and bonuses surged by 40pc from €7.25m (?6.44m) last time round to €10.1m.
The rise came despite changes to the executive pay scheme in the wake of shareholder unrest following the emissions scandal. Activist investor TCI was at the forefront of protests about VW bosses’ pay, saying two years ago that it was “corporate excess on an epic scale”.
Mr Mueller was parachuted in from running Porsche to the top job at VW in September 2015, weeks after dieselgate broke.
The company's financial performance, at least, is back up to levels before the crisis, with revenues of €230.7bn in 2017 - 6.2pc better than the previous year.
Dieselgate still haunts Volkswagen, admits car maker's boss - as he drives home with 40pc pay rise

VW's reputation has taken a battering from the dieselgate crisis
Operating profit before costs relating to dieselgate was €17bn - the best the company has ever achieved, according to finance director Frank Witter. However VW was hit by €3.2bn of diselegate costs during the year, though this was half the amount it faced the previous year.
The company delivered 10.7m vehicles, a 4.3pc rise on 2016.
Mr Matthias called dieselegate a “round trip to crisis-land that stretched VW to the utter limit” and acknowledged the company’s responsibilities in causing the decline in sales of diesel vehicles and the political debate around them.
Dieselgate still haunts Volkswagen, admits car maker's boss - as he drives home with 40pc pay rise

Matthias Mueller and finance chief Frank Witter pose next to a self-driving car at the VW conference

However it also acted as a catalyst to drive change, with the company moving heavily into electric vehicles and future forms of transport, backed by €20bn of funding.
VW emissions scandal | Affected cars
VW will launch three new electric cars this year with “dozens” more to follow, the company said, at a rate of "virtually" one model a month starting in 2019. It also plans to equip 16 factories to build electric vehicles within five years, up from the current three plants.
This will allow VW to make up to 3m electric vehicles a year by 2025, with Mr Mueller adding: “This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world.”
However, the latest annual numbers showed R&D spending fell 3.9pc to €13.1bn in 2017, equivalent to 6.7pc of revenues, and VW is targeting a 6pc target by 2020.
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Март 2018    »