Predictably, today’s Volkswagen Group annual conference didn’t shed much new light on how the firm will dig its way out of the emissions crisis, but there was insight along the way.
Remarkably, official documents contained one potential smoking gun. Take this for an admission: “In the past… even minor decisions were frequently made by the Board of Management, or its Chairman. In the future, many decisions will be delegated”.
A reference to the fact the fact that the former chairman or his board had been complicit in allowing the dieselgate scandal to happen? Nobody was saying, under strict orders to remain schtum until the official report is published at the end of the year, but it’s not difficult to read between the lines.
There was the revelation that the Group is behind on fixing vehicles affected by dieselgate, and the admission that VW Golf updates will now happen before those of the VW Passat because the fix for the latter has yet to be approved. It will come in weeks, VW boss Herbert Diess promised, but you have to ask why German authorities have delayed approval.
Compensation? Depends where you live, said VW Group boss Matthias Müller, but he emphatically ruled out US-style compensation everywhere. “This will not happen,” he said, without being drawn on why not.