VW la­bor boss says C02 cheating has hit new car or­ders

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

WOLFS­BURG: Volk­swa­gen is fac­ing slow­ing or­ders for new cars, with con­sumers shun­ning pur­chases af­ter the au­tomaker ad­mit­ted this month it un­der­stated fuel us­age and car­bon diox­ide (CO2) emis­sions, VW’s top la­bor rep­re­sen­ta­tive said yes­ter­day.

“There is cau­tion in buy­ing,” the Ger­man com­pany’s works coun­cil chief Bernd Oster­loh told re­porters. “The CO2 is­sue has trig­gered a greater cri­sis of con­fi­dence (in VW prod­ucts) than the ni­tro­gen (emis­sions) is­sue.” VW said on Nov. 3 it had ma­nip­u­lated the level of CO2 emis­sions in about 800,000 cars sold mainly in Europe, and is ex­pect­ing costs of at least 2 bil­lion eu­ros ($2.1 bil­lion), in­clud­ing com­pen­sa­tion pay­ments to cus­tomers.

Two weeks later, VW said the CO2 cheating, which mainly in­volved diesel cars, af­fected more petrol-pow­ered ve­hi­cles than pre­vi­ously dis­closed. The rev­e­la­tions about fuel econ­omy and CO2 emis­sions have deep­ened the cri­sis at VW, which ini­tially cen­tred on soft­ware used on up to 11 mil­lion diesel ve­hi­cles world­wide that VW ad­mit­ted in Septem­ber had vastly un­der­stated their ac­tual emis­sions of the pol­lu­tant ni­tro­gen ox­ide.

Global sales of VW group ve­hi­cles fell 3.5 per­cent in Oc­to­ber, though they edged up 0.5 per­cent in Ger­many. VW has de­nied re­ports that or­ders and sales have started to plunge in the wake of the CO2 ad­mis­sions. Oster­loh, who also sits on the VW su­per­vi­sory board’s in­flu­en­tial steer­ing com­mit­tee, said there could be risks to jobs should the de­cline in or­ders per­sist. “Em­ploy­ment is safe pro­vided we are sell­ing cars,” he said. “If we sell no cars, it will get rel­a­tively dif­fi­cult.” “We will have to look at in­com­ing or­ders of the next days, weeks and months,” he added. — Reuters

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