What an extraordinary turn of events from VW this morning, with new Group boss Matthias Müller announcing part-details of a global recall via a German newspaper. A less customer-orientated approach would be hard to imagine.
Global German businesses have long been accused of prioritising the home market above all else, and by giving that interview Müller has aptly demonstrated that he is content to follow that path, despite having promised sweeping changes when he took power two weeks ago.
Has he forgotten that this is a global recall problem, affecting 11m Audis, Seats, Skodas and VWs worldwide? He can't just talk to German customers - he should be talking to them all. For starters, what about the near 1.2m UK owners affected? That's around one in 30 cars on our roads, lest the scale of the problem passed you by, as it seemingly has Müller.
Nor should it be acceptable to drip-feed details of either the recall work or the knock-on effects of this crisis. This morning we learned that remedial work won't begin until January - but got no answers to the follow-up questions this information sparked. What will the fixes be? What will happen to anyone wanting to sell an affected car? How will dealerships cope when everyone tries to visit at once? Drip-feeding information is a dangerous game.
So is discussing cuts. There must be some pretty demotivated folk at Bugatti, for starters, and I can imagine numerous more VW staff working on projects that are now the subject of scrutiny feeling the same way.
Müller can't be silent, of course - we all want action and answers - but he must start putting all customers first, gain control of communications and start acting as if this is a global issue that has his full attention.
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