Daily Management Review

Volkswagen’s Using Hail Cannons Destroying Crops In Mexico, Allege Local Groups


Volkswagen’s Using Hail Cannons Destroying Crops In Mexico, Allege Local Groups
There are allegations placed against German auto maker Volkswagen hat the activities of the company is ruining crops near one of its manufacturing units. It has been alleged that the company has been using a technology that is changing the local weather.
The auto maker has been accused by local groups of causing long dry spells with the use of hail cannons that are machines that shoot out sonic booms into the environment surrounding its manufacturing unit to prevent the creation of hails. The company uses this technology to prevent hail from forming and falling on the cars that are parked outside of the factory and thereby protect them from getting dented.
After a number of such complaints being filed with the company, Volkswagen has announced that it would reduce the use of the machines at the Puebla factory.
"Even though there is no evidence that the use of these devices causes a lack of rain, Volkswagen of Mexico decided to modify its operation in order to maintain a harmonious relationship with its neighbors," a company spokesperson told the media.
"Volkswagen ... [has stopped] using these devices in their automatic mode, and is only operating them manually, when the meteorological conditions determine the imminent fall of hail," the spokesperson told the media.
But there is still need for the car maker to protect its newly built cars from hails and for this purpose, the company has now decided to make use of "anti-hail nets" to trap falling hail for the entire more than 150 acres where cars remain parked to protect its cars. The company however said that the cannons would be put to use if there is  a necessity.
There are about 15000 employees with the company at its Puebla factory. Jetta, Beetle, Tiguan and Golf are among the various models that are manufactured in that factory. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles are produced at the plant each year.
The cannons had damaged crops in the region, local activists said.
"We are happy to know that as a group we have raised our voices against the use of hail cannons by VW Mexico," one group said in a statement posted on Facebook.
There are thousands of employees with Volkswagen in Mexico and the company churns out hundreds of thousands of cars each year.
The technology is often incorrectly blamed for stopping rain, said Mike Eggers, the owner of a hail cannon manufacturer in New Zealand.
"In reality, the technology isn't around rain, it's around hail. And there's a difference. A substantial difference," he said.
Such cannons have bene put to use for decades primarily to protect crops from hail.