Just The Facts

Volkswagen: On Top Worldwide, But At What Cost?

Chasing arbitrary targets may have led to a range of bad practices.

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Takeaways


  • Global car sales in 2016 from all companies combined set a new record at 88.1 million.
  • VW’s diesel emissions testing fraud saw the design of special low-emission performance results.
  • VW top management’s chasing of the big deliveries goal led to many practices contributing to scandals.

1. In 2016, Volkswagen (VW) finally beat its longtime goal to exceed 10 million annual deliveries. According to Forbes, the group delivered 10.31 million vehicles.

2. That marked a 3.8% increase from 2015 and also put the Volkswagen Group on top of the global market, ahead of all other competitors.

3. Global car sales in 2016 from all companies combined set a new record at 88.1 million.

4. VW’s original roots were as a manufacturer of low-cost vehicles. The company was founded in 1937 to produce the eponymous “People’s Car”).

5. Today, VW now also owns luxury marquee brands such as Bentley and Lamborghini.

6. However, VW top management’s chasing of the big deliveries goal arguably led to the introduction of many practices that contributed to the recent scandals the automaker has faced.

7. A key factor in reaching the delivery target might have been the practice of having VW dealers purchasing their own surplus cars to inflate sales figures.

8. These vehicles are then either re-labeled as low-mileage pre-owned vehicles and sold at an artificially steep discount – or sold on to dealers in other countries with a less affluent consumer base.

9. In addition, VW’s diesel emissions testing fraud saw the design of special low-emission performance results that could not be replicated in any real conditions.

10. Although VW has settled some U.S. cases for $15 billion, the emissions scandal is ongoing, having spread to subsidiaries, such as Audi.

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, Forbes, Bertel Schmitt and Business Insider

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