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Dieselgate: Scandal has cost VW U.S. $31 billion dollars so far

BERLIN Germany (Xinhua) -- The "dieselgate" scandal has so far cost German auto maker Volkswagen up to 28 billion euros (31.76 billion U.S. dollars), VW board member Hiltrud Werner told the Handelsblatt on Thursday.

"All in all, Volkswagen had to take into account a burden of approximately 28 billion euros within the framework of the diesel issue," said Werner who has been responsible for legal affairs and integrity at Volkswagen's board of management since February 2017.

Dieselgate: Scandal has cost VW U.S. $31 billion dollars so far | Coastweerk

According to Werner, legal costs for consulting and legal proceedings in the context of the "dieselgate" issue alone are now amounting to a "high three-digit-million-euro figure".

VW does not share an exact number of how many of its employees have been sacked or suspended because of the "dieselgate" scandal.

"A number of people do not provide any information on the progress of internal or external investigative work," Werner told Handelsblatt.

In September 2015, VW had to admit that it had manipulated diesel engines which has since led to mandatory recalls of 2.5 million cars.

Volkswagen has been firmly arguing that there was no legal basis for customer complaints.

"In our opinion, the customers have suffered neither losses nor damages.

"The vehicles are safe and ready to drive," Werner said.

Three months after first filing, a consumer complaint in the exhaust gas scandal against the Wolfsburg-based company, more than 400,000 customers have joined the law suit against VW, which the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) is handling on behalf of the consumers.

Volkswagen argues that court-appointed experts and independent service providers would have confirmed that the price history of VW diesels had been stable since then.

Werner admitted, however, that there was "fundamental uncertainty about the development of residual values for all vehicles with diesel engines, including the discussion about driving bans in German cities."

Driving bans for older diesel vehicles are currently impending in several German cities due to high air pollution levels.

Affected cities are, among others, Frankfurt, Bonn and Essen, where for the first time a section of a German highway could be subject to such a ban.

In Hamburg, a driving ban for diesel vehicles has been in force since May.


Volkswagen increases revenue, accelerates e-vehicle push

BERLIN Germany (Xinhua) -- The Volkswagen Group's annual sales revenue increased by 2.7 percent to 235.8 billion euros (265.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018 despite problems with the introduction of the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), Europe's largest carmaker announced here on Tuesday.

"We had a decent showing in 2018, especially against the backdrop of the changeover to the WLTP, which led to considerable upheaval in our sales performance," Herbert Diess, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Volkswagen group, commented.

Until September 2018, Volkswagen had struggled to have its models certified under WLTP, which led to a sharp drop in Volkswagen's registrations in the last quarter of 2018.

For fiscal year 2018, Volkswagen's operating profits remained practically unchanged from 2017 at 13.9 billion euros, the company said.

Profits were negatively affected by 3.2 billion euros worth of expenditure to cover costs relating to the so-called "dieselgate" crisis, in which Volkswagen and other German car manufacturers manipulated the emission test results of diesel cars.

For 2019, VW expects deliveries to slightly exceed the previous year's figure of 10.8 million cars despite the continuously "challenging market conditions," such as increasing competition, exchange rate volatility and stricter WLTP requirements.

The Volkswagen Group expects turnover to increase by up to 5 percent in 2019.

"The headwinds in key markets are expected to strengthen further in 2019," said Diess. the company would have to "redouble" its efforts to meet the business targets set for fiscal 2019, he said.

Volkswagen also announced on Tuesday that it is aiming to sell 22 million electric vehicles within the next ten years.

Previously, Volkswagen had projected to sell about 15 million electric vehicles during the next decade.

Furthermore, the VW Group is planning to launch almost 70 new electric models by 2029, instead of the 50 previously planned.

"Volkswagen is taking on responsibility with regard to the key trends of the future -- particularly in connection with climate protection," said Diess, adding that the targets of the Paris Agreement would be Volkswagen's "yardstick."

The company plans to achieve complete decarbonization by 2050. (1 euro = 1.13 U.S. dollars).


US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed suit against Volkswagen
and its former chief executive, Martin Winterkorn , claiming "massive fraud"

United States Securities and Exchange Commission sues Volkswagen, ex-
CEO over alleged emissions fraud on thousands of overseas investors



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