VW chief Matthias Mueller says "no plans" for asset sell-off as chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch blames "chain of errors" and company culture for CO2 emissions scandal

 
Lynsey Barber
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The emmissions scandal investigation is ongoing (Source: Getty)

Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Mueller has insisted there are no plans - and no need - to sell of assets following the emissions scandal which has rocked the German car company.

Speaking at as press conference with chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch, he said there was no need to "even think about this question".

"I'm not going to speculate about figures we might have to pay" he said, referring to potential legal claims. "Liquidity and performance is good enough," he added.

Meanwhile, Poetsch blamed the culture of the German car maker for the emissions scandal, in which the CO2 levels produced by some cars were under-reported

He said unclear responsibilities and a lack of reporting and clear processes were to blame and a "chain of errors" dating back to 2005 when when it launched a large scale promotion of diesel cars in the US, had lead to the scandal.

All emissions tests will now be independently evaluated.

Nine executives have been suspended, he revealed, and did not rule out naming them in future. 87 interviews have taken place so far in the investigation, and more than 1,500 devices taken from 400 employees. 450 external and internal experts are involved in the investigation.

He said the company believed there are only a small number of staff involved in manipulating emissions data. He said the main questions being asked in the investigation are:

  • Exactly what happened and when?
  • Were regulations broken?
  • To what extend did internal process encourage the situation?
  • Who is responsible?
  • How do we ensure that nothing like this happens again?

Mueller said: "We will not allow the crisis to paralyse us. Although the current situation is serious, this company will not be broken by it."

The newly installed boss revealed a new era of "humility" which would include a reduced presence at the big motor shows, as well as cost cutting measures such as selling its Airbus A319 private jet.

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