Volkswagen has already agreed to a record-high settlement worth USD17.5 billion with the US authorities, just after a year since the ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal first broke out. The settlement will be used to compensate owners and fund clean air projects.
Back in Europe where the Mk7.5 Golf was revealed, Dr. Frank Walsh explained that efficiency figures would only show minimal improvements over its predecessor due to changing the test parameters.
“We have small improvements in the engines across the whole range,” said Welsch, “but as a result of the past year (dieselgate), we changed the parameters and restrictions of our measurements on fuel consumption.” He also said that the new testing procedure would mean that efficiency gains “may not be immediately obvious on paper because of this new approach.”
The brand has also announced cuts of around 23,000 jobs in Germany over five years. The cuts mean that the car maker can save around €3.7bn a year, and has insisted that the reduction in workforce can be done without compulsory redundancies.
Plus, the German carmaker was forced to accelerate its electric future as a result of the emissions scandal. Earlier this year it announced its Strategy 2025 announcement that will see 30 new EV models over the next decade.
The Strategy 2025 was the first key announcement by new boss Matthias Müller, who replaced Martin Winterkorn as CEO. Winterkorn resigned shortly before VW announced that 11 million Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, and SEAT vehicles worldwide would need to be recalled as they contained ‘defeat device’ software. This was designed to put the car into a lower emissions mode when undergoing emissions tests.
The existence of a defeat device put the whole automotive industry under scrutiny and prompted government inspections worldwide.