Its okay – I drive a Ford
Volkswagen is renowned for being reliable, trustworthy and high quality. Founded in 1937, the brand has spent the last 78 years building its reputation and business up to become the second largest auto maker in the world.
Their advertising has been engaging from the ‘Woofwagen’ to ‘The Force’ and dating back to ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ – yet the family focused, loveable brand turned a sour corner last week. The revelation of the cheat device (thought to have been used on up to 11 million cars) recognised when a car was being tested for emissions and altered its performance to improve the results.
Since the news broke they have undergone the resignation of CEO Martin Winterkorn, shares have dropped 7.3% (a third off the stock market value) and they may have up to $18 billion dollars of US fines. They aren’t alone though, in this scandal they have taken Audi, Seat and Skoda down with them. It’s fair to say they have suffered a pretty painful fall.
Still… with a brave face sales continue as usual and it hasn’t been confirmed whether any cars will be recalled. The main question is whether VW will be able to re-build its brand and reputation and if so, how?