VW Said Pondering US Electric Car
Volkwagen has a very serious financial, as well as PR problem on the scale of BP's Deep Horizon wellhead blowout disaster. Claims against the German giant over its dirty diesel scandal now top a staggering €5 billion ($562 billion), and the lawsuits just keep rolling in. How they are going to resolve this mess is uncertain. Do they offer to fix the engines, buy the cars back and scrap them, offer current owners cash and/or a comparable non-diesel replacement? The Global Edition of Handelsblatt offers additional insights into the costly, possibly bankrupting dilemma the company faces. Even the proposed technical fix could open up the company to even more legal action.
That may be why we're starting to hear more chatter about the company considering building an electric car in the United States at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it's had its share of labor issues as the UAW attempted to unionize the facility. Ironically, German law requires strong labor representation in management, including half the seats on the corporate board in Germany. Clearly, they don't appear interested in offering their US workers the same opportunity.
The "build-it-in-USA" scheme would likely be part of a larger settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency and California's Air Resources Board. It's estimated the company sold some 500,000 of the polluting TDi vehicles in the United States, as well as many tens of thousands more oversees. where owners and governments are also seeking compensation.
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