Daily Management Review

Investment in tech innovation and a personal apologise: Volkswagen attemps to wash 'Dieselgate' away


Volkswagen has more than doubled funding Gett, investing $ 300 million in the company. According to Business Insider, VW intends thereby to go beyond the "Dieselgate" and to focus on new technologies.

German automotive concern Volkswagen has invested $ 300 million in online taxi service Gett, reports Financial Times.

Within the agreement, VW and Gett are planning to develop a "strategic partnership." In particular, the companies expect that Gett’s clients will be offered "more favorable conditions for the Volkswagen brand vehicles."

VW’s Investment "more than double the size of the financing» of Gett. It was made soon after General Motors has invested $ 500 million in Lyft mobile taxi service, says FT.

According to Business Insider, VW’s cash injection in Gett was made in "attempts to go beyond the large corporate crisis due to emissions, and launch a new division focused on new technology." Gett’s creator Shahar Waiser, in turn, explained that the deal will allow his service to "accelerate its expansion in Europe and strengthen its position in New York."

Gett is the largest online service taxi in Europe, with headquarters in Tel Aviv. It has 100 thousand vehicles worldwide, of which 11 thousand are located in London.

Last autumn, Volkswagen found itself in the middle of the diesel cars scandal. Then, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that the automaker installed on automobiles software that allowed underestimate emissions of harmful substances.

According to a lawsuit filed in January 2016 by US Department of Justice, the Volkswagen is facing fines of up to $ 46 billion for violation of environmental legislation. In addition, in March, more than 270 institutional investors from around the world have sued the automaker for withholding information about the harmful exhausts. The case value is estimated at € 3,3 billion. Above that, the US Federal Trade Commission also filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen in March. 

Volkswagen is now in a state of negotiations with the US authorities about the fines that the automaker must pay for the manipulation of benchmarks. On Thursday, the company said it has reserved € 7 billion ($ 7.9 billion) for law costs around the world, making it clear that it expects the United States to lower the fines.

Earlier in April, CEO of Volkswagen Matthias Mueller had a two-minute conversation with US President Barack Obama during his visit to Hanover. Mueller personally apologized for the company's fraud during tests on emissions of harmful substances. The director personally told about it on Thursday, April 28, at a press conference in Wolfsburg. 

"I used the opportunity to apologize for the behavior. I thanked him for the constructive cooperation with US officials. Of course, I also hoped that I would be able to continue to be responsible for all the 600 thousand workers and their families, as well as suppliers and dealers," - Mueller said.

NYT notes that Müller mentioned Volkswagen employees and their families in hope that the US authorities would not punish those who were not directly related to the violations.


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