Volkswagen promises to ‘change its mindset’ as it slumps to loss after emissions scandal

Volkswagen’s CEO has set out the company’s top priorities, including instilling its brand values across the company, as costs of the scandal over falsifying its emissions continue to mount.

Volkswagen reported its first quarterly loss for at least 15 years after setting aside €6.7bn (£4.8bn) to cover the costs of the scandal, which saw 11 million of its vehicles fitted with rogue software.

After its self-imposed deductions, the company was left with a €2.52bn pre-tax loss for the third quarter of the year. However, Volkswagen says it is still predicting a rise of up to 4% in sales revenue for the year.

Speaking on its nine-month review conference call today (28 October), the brand’s CEO Matthias Müller emphasised that the business has to “change its mindset” to embrace a culture of openness and local decision making.

“Our values must be internalised and truly lived from within. This isn’t something you can impose top down, it has to be organic and grow over time. Things will only change if we as leaders bring a new spirit of openness to life,” he said.

Earlier this month the brand started an offensive aimed at salvaging consumer trust with a marketing push, placing numerous newspaper ads aimed at reassuring customers.

Going forward, the brand is determined to focus on quality as it hopes to win back its customers.

“The point is not for Volkswagen to sell 100,000 units more or less than a competitor. What we aim for is qualitative growth, which we will achieve by offering more electric vehicles, becoming faster and continuing to strive for the hallmark of building the best cars,” he said.

  • Hear all about the importance of changing from the inside out and managing brand perceptions at this year’s Festival of Marketing. Taking place on 11 and 12 November there will be 12 stages and hundreds of speakers. Click here for information and to book tickets.

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