27.11.2015VW scandal has discouraged customers says workers' chief
Volkswagen faces lower sales as customer confidence has been hit by the emissions scandal according to the company's work's council leader. Bernd Osterloh, who represents the work force at the VW Group, told Reuters that the company's understated CO2 emissions and exaggerated fuel economy figures have had a greater effect on consumer confidence than the original revelations.
In regards to sales, Mr Osterloh said: "There is caution in buying. The CO2 issue issue has triggered a greater crisis of confidence than the nitrogen issue."
The view from the shop floor seems to be a little more pragmatic than that from management which, although not dismissive, is regularly encouraging when possible. That stance is correct and to be expected considering that senior staff not only look after the customers but their staff also and worker morale needs to be maintained too.
However, the powerful VW Group works council appears to be more ready to state difficult phrases. Osterloh continued saying: "Employment is safe provided we are selling cars. If we sell no cars, it will get relatively difficult."
The ongoing scandal began with one type of diesel engine that featured illegal software to dramatically cut nitrous oxide emissions figures during testing. The on-going investigations have revealed that there is another type of diesel engine with a similar problem. Volkswagen has also admitted that it issued CO2 emissions figures that were too low, which also has a knock on effect in increasing MPG statistics.
These regular releases of fresh news are clearly undermining customer confidence, putting off or delaying some buyers - or that's the situation according to those who work on the production lines.