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VW raises forecasts, pushes back on cartel claims

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 01:59

VW expects revenue to beat last year's record by even more than previously expected and will make no further provisions for dieselgate costs. But as Europe's largest automaker emerges from one scandal, pressure is building on its supervisory board over new allegations of anti-competitive conduct. David Pollard reports.

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Cleaner, greener. Europe's largest car maker is keen to show its best face. (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOLKSWAGEN CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MATTHIAS MUELLER, SAYING: "Volkswagen will offer to refit 4 million vehicles, thereby significantly reducing emissions. We are aware of our responsibility for the environment and for our jobs ..." That latest move to address emissions comes ahead of a pollution conference in Berlin next week. From a Volkwagen under scrutiny. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER BARBARA HENDRICKS, SAYING: "In my discussion with Mr. Mueller I expressed my disappointment and the disappointment of my cabinet colleagues about the behaviour of the German car industry. This of course refers to the recent accusations ...." The minister spoke on a day when VW raised its forecast for 2017. Revenues will beat last year's record high, it says. Profits at its core brand up 12 per cent - and with no further provisions for diesel gate. Now, though, it's facing allegations of collusion with other car giants to fix prices. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, 7IM, JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SAYING: "It's going to be interesting to see how that plays out. That's still got a long way to go indeed, I'm afraid. They're also they've got that amount of investment they've got to do into electric cars. They seem to be slightly behind the curve on that one. An awful lot of money has still go to be put into it." And the worries could extend beyond - to a Germany where a new survey shows consumer confidence at a 16-year high. (SOUNDBITE) (German) MARKET RESEARCH GROUP GFK CONSUMER EXPERT ROLF BUERKL, SAYING: "We have to wait and see how the antitrust proceedings against the car industry develop. They have not been included in this survey. It could certainly have consequences for the consumer climate. Because it is not a good sign for employers if car manufacturers are being forced to make cuts because of heavy fines." Such fines may never happen, of course. On Wednesday, VW saying cooperation among carmakers on technical issues is common industry practice. But investors already totting up a possible bill - a positive set of results not enough to stop VW shares turning negative on the day.

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VW raises forecasts, pushes back on cartel claims

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 01:59