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Company culture to blame for VW scandal?

Monday, November 09, 2015 - 01:35

Volkswagen's supervisory board holds a closed-door, pre-scheduled meeting. As Ivor Bennett reports, it comes one day after reports that several VW engineers had admitted manipulating carbon dioxide emissions data because goals set by former Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn were difficult to achieve.

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It's a problem that just won't go away. Greenpeace highlighting the latest allegation to hit VW. That engineers manipulated carbon dioxide emissions data in an effort to meet unrealistic targets. NOT a claim that reflects well on management, says CEBR chief economist Vicky Pryce. SOUNDBITE (English) VICKY PRYCE, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR, CEBR, SAYING: "What really comes out of this is the importance of corporate ethics, the importance of corporate social responsibility, and in my view, all of that comes from the top." Apparently, so did the emissions targets. German daily Bild reporting that former CEO Martin Winterkorn set them. And that engineers were too afraid to say they couldn't be achieved. Instead resorting to illegal measures like higher tire pressures as a way to use less fuel. VW has refused to comment on whether the firm's culture was a factor in the emissions cheating. But it can't ignore the awkward backdrop to what is the company's first supervisory board meeting in a month. Sources say it's a damage-assessment exercise - but that's no easy task, says IG's Alastair McCaig. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG MARKET ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "It is going to see reputation damage done. It is going to be the Volkswagen brand that probably has the brunt of this. Although with all the other names tucked up behind it, in regards to Audi, Seat as well, the knock-on consequences could linger with this firm for some time." As could the legal battles. Scandinavian fund manager Nordea saying that it's considering suing Volkswagen through several different class actions. So far the first major investor to do so, but possibly not the last.

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Company culture to blame for VW scandal?

Monday, November 09, 2015 - 01:35