VW clean-up looks to end 'egoism and yaysayers'
"We need a bit more Silicon [Valley] complete with Wolfsburg" - VW CEO Matthias Müller
Volkswagen insists it will not allow the furore surrounding its rigging of diesel emissions testing to "paralyse" the company as it seeks to instil a culture not reliant on 'egoism or yaysayers.'
The automaker has been embroiled in a scandal of staggering proportions with up to 11m diesel vehicles possibly having to undergo costly recalls – at Wolfsburg's expense – while the reputational damage will take some considerable time to repair.
"We are doing everything we can to overcome the present situation, but we will not allow this crisis to paralyse us," said new Volkswagen CEO, Matthias Müller. "We using it as a catalyst for change.
"The outlay for implementing the solution is financially manageable. The recall poses enormous logistical challenge [s]. In the US it is unfortunately more complicated – that is a lot due to the much tighter NOx levels – it is a much bigger technical challenge.
"Volkswagen will not rest until we have [sorted] this issue once and for all. Even though this might sound like a cliché, this crisis is most definitely an opportunity, there has to be change. What we need now is for Volkswagen to embrace corporate responsibility.
"Egoism, covering up conflicts, we must put all that behind us. Volkswagen does not need yaysayers – we need people who fight for their convictions."
The Volkswagen Group leviathan now comprises 12 brands – a situation Müller tackled head on by addressing the staggering 600,000-strong combined workforce – urging them to take on something of the California spirit.
"The future of Volkswagen belongs to the brave," he said. "We need a bit more Silicon [Valley] complete with Wolfsburg. How do we bring this new spirit to a Group with 600,000 people? My answer: Just do it.
"We must breathe life into this new identity - just talking is not enough. An office door that is open give [s] more interaction – my door is always wide open."
In a sign of a new hairshirt culture at the automaking colossus Müller announced he would be axing Volkswagen's corporate jet – believed to be an Airbus A319 - in a bid to convince a sceptical public – and potential future consumers – of the seriousness with which he is addressing the scandal.
The CEO also hinted at a much more modest profile at shows around the world as he attempts to reinvent the company's corporate culture.
"Let us be honest, VW does not need its own Airbus, that is why we will be selling our Airbus," he said. "Greater humility would also do us well at motorshows."
Initial scrutiny on emissions testing has focused on irrelevant processes, reporting and monitoring systems, with associated infrastructure and findings to be reported to law firm Jones Day.