These weren't the words we're used to hearing though. Unlike on the recent US motor show circuit, “sorry” and versions of it were off the menu in regards to the emissions scandal, as instead VW looked into the future, or rather nine years into the future and the roads of 2025.
You can read all about VW's plans here, but the short of it is VW wants to make some knockout software and services to go with its hardware, and have them designed in and integrated into its cars for their entire development.
Or to become a true 'mobility' company as is the industry's current favourite buzzword. I'm still waiting for a car maker to satisfactorily describe what mobility actually means...
With this plan came all these words; a lot of them seemingly without actually saying anything. The presentation seemed to entail showing a load of futuristic pics - including a driverless Audi mobility pod - and an enthusiastic chap to evangelise over them, and all of a sudden VW has solved inner-city traffic problems, saved over a million lives a year and given us many thousands of hours of our lives back by not having to drive anywhere.
All this with no mention of legislators, consumer acceptance, legal, moral and ethical issues, or town planners, and presented largely as fact. There was little to no talk of driving pleasure at all.
Oh, and it will happen within nine years. Nine years ago was 2007, about the time the first shoots of electric cars were appearing as concept cars at motor shows with similar promises. Clever tech catches on of course, but it takes time, as we are finding out with EVs.
I'm an open-minded person who loves new technology and wants to give it a chance, but presentations and statements like the one VW gave last night don't really add much to the argument, and are the kind of thing anyone having a guess at an ideal future could come up with on PowerPoint in an afternoon.
Cutting through the jargon, the newly merged design centres between car and digital designers and software developers is a fascinating development, and one which should yield some truly cutting edge results, particularly with interior concepts, from a company with innovation at its core. This is very interesting, and was the highlight of the evening.
What the new centres don't need is a load of pie in the sky estimations and pseudo targets to go with them, and some ugly renderings of soul-less transport capsules that forget all about the freedom and pleasure motoring can give you.