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VW releases diesel emissions action plan

Date: 28 October 2015   |   Author:

Volkswagen has finally provided an action plan addressing practices at the world's largest car company following the growing emissions scandal, more than a month after it came to light that a number of the company's diesel vehicles featured software designed to trick official emissions tests.

Announcing the plan in Wolfsburg, Matthias Muller, chairman of the board of management at Volkswagen, stated: "We have to look beyond the current situation and create the conditions for Volkswagen's successful further development."

The first of the five points set out to "realign the Group" is to support customers affected by what Volkswagen is now referring to as "the diesel issue". According to the VW chairman, the company is working hard to develop "effective technical solutions" to help its models meet historic emissions limits, which it plans to roll out from January 2016, having liaised with the German Federal Motor Transport Authority.

Muller's second target is to complete a thorough investigation into exactly how software allegedly installed to artificially lower emissions during certain testing procedures came into existence. He added: "We must uncover the truth and learn from it," stressing the company plans to leave no stone unturned in establishing the facts. Volkswagen has also announced that audit firm Deloitte is to be involved in the investigation saying, "those responsible for what has happened must face severe consequences".

The company's third priority is to reorganise how the Volkswagen Group is run in an attempt to prevent such events happening again in future. "The key point is that group management will be decentralised to a greater extent in the future," with the individual brands and regions gaining more independence, added Muller. Alongside this, the VW boss stated that the company would examine the portfolio of more than 300 models made by the group's brands and "examine the contribution that each one makes to our earnings", while the board of management is said to be focusing on addressing 'cross-brand strategies'.

The fourth ambition stated by Muller involves "a realignment" of the VW Group's culture and management behaviour, with a focus on retaining "the pursuit of perfection" and employees' commitment to the company, while changing the way the business communicates and handles mistakes, with an aim to create "a culture of openness and cooperation".

The final pillar of Muller's plan to rebuild Volkswagen sees a shift from the VW Group's 2018 strategy to a new 'Strategy 2025', which shifts focus away from sales numbers to building "qualitative growth". He added that the new strategy will be developed over the coming months before being unveiled in the middle of 2016.