The news - made at the announcement of the VW Group’s results for 2015 - came as new VW chief executive Matthias Müller admitted that the firm is behind schedule with enacting fixes to cars affected by the emissions scandal. However, he remains optimistic that the company will hit its target of having offered all customers “a solution that doesn’t affect performance in any way” by the end of this year.
The VW Group also reported its first loss since 1993, posting a £1.1bn deficit after setting aside a £12.2bn provision for paying for the emissions scandal. However despite a sales drop of 2% year-on-year, it reported sales revenues were 5.4% up and that the Group’s operating profit was level year-on-year at £9.65bn.
“Our key figures for 2015 demonstrate that VW's core business is in good shape in spite of the difficulties of recent months," said Müller.
Delayed VW emissions fixes
Since January, VW has written to all VW Amarok, Audi A4, Audi A5 and Seat Exeo owners and begun enacting a fix on their vehicles. No work has begun on VW passenger cars to date, with the proposed fix for the VW Passat awaiting approval Germany’s motoring body, the KBA. Fixes to the VW Golf will now be prioritised instead.
Indeed, Müller revealed that the fix for the Golf had been approved by the KBA just this morning, so work on affected cars across Europe can immediately begin. In the UK, VW will make contact owners via DVLA data. It may take a few weeks for a letter explaining what to do to reach owners.
“There has been an unexpected delay in the further rollout of the plan,” said Müller. “While we are making progress with Audi and Seat, we are still working at full speed to develop a final solution for the Volkswagen Passat.
“Nevertheless, the fact remains that we will continue to make every effort to execute the recall campaign as quickly, professionally and satisfactorily as possible for the benefit of our customers. This will remain our most important task until the very last vehicle has been put in order.”
While Müller said that the VW Group was withholding details of its sales to date in 2016 on legal advice, he stressed that the firm was optimistic about sales so far this year. However, he admitted that the overall figure for the year could be around 5% down on the 10m cars delivered in 2015, itself 2% down on 2014.
Muller said: "To our regret, our legal counsels have strongly advised against such a disclosure. Disclosure at this time would present unacceptable risks for Volkswagen, especially in view of the situation in the US and the ongoing talks there."
He added that the group’s sales ambitions would take a back seat until it had resolved the fall-out from the emissions scandal: “The drive to break records set in past years has been interrupted. To be quite clear: that doesn't disturb me in the least. We are pursuing a different agenda this year - and are adjusting our priorities anyway.