It has already been a year since Matthias Mueller took over as Volkswagern’s chief, following the carmaker’s very public—and very crippling—admission that it had cheated on emissions tests across the world. Today, of course, he continues to work to overcome restoring the VW brand.
Indeed, since the scandal, VW sales had fallen—at first by 40 percent—but share price has been steady on the climb, after the public discovered the company had installed new software in roughly 11 million diesel vehicles to manipulate emission test resutls.
Of course, the 63-year-old Mueller still has quite a long way to go. Maneuvering this minefield—rife with lawsuits, regulatory probes, and, of course, recalls—could cost the company upwards of 35 billion EU.
For example, German Bank NordLB analyst Frank Schwope comments, “The various cases could drag on for at least a decade, meaning the actual total cost of the scandal might not be definitely known for 10 years at the earliest.”
But this does not only concern VW. As a matter of fact, other companies have fallen into the scandal too. In particular, VW luxury offshoot Audi and even the auto supplier Bosch—which US authorities allege had a hand in designing the emissions-bypassing devices.
Mueller continues, “Of course there are setbacks. Nevertheless, Volkswagen has made substantial progress in the last twelve months.”
But Mueller is not letting anything get in the way. He has, for example, already launched a big program aimed at cutting costs at the core of the VW brand. He has also gotten rid of the dividend for the current year in an effort to cover the bill for the scandal.
At the same time, the legal issues remain. In fact, they continue to heap on each other. Two more German states said, last Friday, they plan to sue VW for damages which came as a result of losses from their shares since the scandal came to light. Of course, there are several other lawsuits pending for VW in the United States, where the scandal first broke. This is even after the company had already reached a $15 billion settlement in the US and set aside nearly 18 billion EU.