Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller addressed difficult issues today during VW’s annual press conference.
During the press conference that the embattled automaker had put off for weeks, Mueller asked for more time and patience as the automaker works through its diesel emissions reporting scandal in a “year of transition.” Mueller spoke on a white stage at the automaker’s customer center in Wolfsburg, Germany, and was joined by eight other top executives.
Mueller shed more light on the VW unit stumbling to a loss, the European recall dragged out in delays, and the U.S. regulatory deal that’s still far from sealed. Last week, the company revealed that it suffered the biggest loss in its history due to 16.2 billion euros ($18.4 billion) in provisions to cover repairs and legal risks. In its annual report, the company said that funding demands may lead to “assets having to be sold.” One option could be an initial public offering of its trucks unit.
VW is still committed to rolling out electric cars and mobility services, he said. “Volkswagen is far more than crisis,” Mueller said. “But we can nonetheless hardly avoid saying that the current situation demands everything of us, in every respect – including financially.”
VW expects to spend about $8.8 billion to repair or buy back diesel vehicles affected by bogus emissions software. The scandal affects about 11 million cars worldwide.
The vehicle recall in Germany has yet to reach its conclusion. The automaker has had to postpone a recall of about 150,000 VW Passat diesel sedans after a regulator balked at approving a fix. The conflict could further drag out a recall of 8.5 million diesel cars in Europe.