There are small but positive signs that the Volkswagen Group is finally getting its act together.
Everything is relative, of course, but this feels like it has been quite a good week for the VW Group. So much so that I’m finally starting to believe the firm can begin the arduous and almost certainly long journey to redemption.
Firstly, the number of cars affected by the CO2 scandal reduced from a potential 800,000 to 36,000. Then the leadership took the bold decision to face the world’s press and update them on their investigations to date.
While there weren’t as many answers forthcoming as some would have liked, it seemed to me that Matthias Müller and co made a decent stab of apologising once more, and emphasising that they were doing all they can to make amends for their predecessors’ wrongdoings. They gave the impression of having identified most of their problems and understanding the solutions.
Now, today, the latest global sales figures have landed. They don’t make great reading - overall sales are down 4.5% year on year, and that drop has accelerated in recent months. In an accompanying statement, sales boss Jürgen Stackmann prosaically admits that “In view of the situation of the brand, which is currently challenging, I do not expect that we will be able to compensate for this fall in the remaining days of the year”.