THE diesel emissions scandal enveloping German car maker Volkswagen has presented an opportunity to build a new and better company, its group chief executive says.
In a speech at a recent company function, Mattthias Muller said he had told EU Parliamentarians in Brussels that the company is using the current crisis to fundamentally realign the Group to make it better.
Müller said that the company would have the emission values of its vehicles checked and certified by external and independent inspectors in the future.
The company vehicles will also be tested randomly under real driving conditions. “We hope this will help to win back trust.”
“The industry-wide discrepancies between the official test results and actual consumption are no longer accepted and no longer acceptable. We need to break new ground here,” he said.
He added that EU-wide, comprehensive technical solutions for the approximately 8.5 million vehicles have been agreed. The retrofitting will start this week.
Muller said the Group would concentrate on sustainability more than ever before—encompassing products, strategy and management. He will present the new Strategy 2025 for the Group by mid-year.
Among other things, the company’s brands will introduce about 20 additional models with electrical or plug-in hybrid drive trains by 2020.
The Volkswagen Group comprises twelve brands from seven European countries.
Müller also said that Europe needs to take the technological lead in future areas of the automotive sector and work with policy makers to create the necessary framework conditions.
Whether digitisation, autonomous driving or electric mobility, Europe should set the course in terms of infrastructure and the right legislative framework, Müller told the numerous honorary guests and EU parliamentarians. “We must not leave this playing field to Silicon Valley.”
The Volkswagen Group especially wants policy makers and the automotive industry to cooperate more closely on digital transformation and electric mobility.
“The efforts of our industry alone won’t be enough. We need to work together to make sure that Europe remains innovative and competitive as an industrial location in a rapidly changing world. A true breakthrough for electric mobility will only be achieved if politics, society and authorities work together more closely.”
He said Europe had to improve its infrastructure. The continent “desperately needs an extensive network of 150 kW rapid charging stations. Customer trust in e-mobility will only grow if there is a visible, functioning infrastructure,” said Müller.