The Strategist

A Doomsday for Volkswagen

09/22/2015 - 15:59

Shares of the world's leading automakers fell against expanding scandal on Volkswagen Group’s juggling with data on harmful emissions. In the United States, the Congress and the Department of Justice have already been involved in investigation of the German manufacturer’s actions. The authorities of Germany and South Korea plan to conduct its own investigation. Overnight, VW capitalization decreased by € 13 billion.

High Contrast via wikimedia
High Contrast via wikimedia
The scandal is expanding around VW’s data fraud on emissions of harmful substances in the atmosphere. On Tuesday, the South Korean authorities declared the launch of its own investigation in relation to the world's largest automaker. So far, the investigation will be covering VW Golf and Jetta models, as well as Audi A3, imported to South Korea after 2014. All such vehicles will have to undergo additional tests. If violations of the local environmental standards are found, the company will have to face very tough sanctions: a fine for each of the models in the amount of approximately $ 850 000, ban on the sale and the requirement to withdraw the already sold cars. The mere announcement of the beginning of the investigation led to the growth of quotations, though not very significant, of South Korean automakers’ shares (Hyundai and Kia) - about 4%.

Meanwhile, the US Congress and the Department of Justice have begun to investigate the scandal in the United States. According to Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Fred Upton and Subcommittee for the Control and Investigation Tim Murphy, the subcommittee is hold a hearing on the matter in the near future. Presumably, the Department of Justice launched a criminal rather than a civil investigation. Thus, there is not only the fantastic fine of $ 18 billion, which, as the US Agency for Environmental Protection claims, may be imposed on VW. The concern and its leadership may well get into court on criminal charges with all the unpleasant consequences. In turn, the American lawyers did not sit back: a law firm Hagens Berman has already brought a so-called class action on behalf of all purchasers of problem cars.

Finally, in Europe and in Germany itself, the concern has not received any support either; now it even faces serious problems. The German financial regulator Bafin launched an investigation in connection with the sharp decline in VW shares on Monday, and the Association for the Protection of the Environment of Germany announced that it intends to file a lawsuit on VW and ban the exploitation of all diesel vehicles. As if all this were not enough, the French finance minister Michel Sapin has demanded an investigation against Volkswagen at the level of the European Union.

Meanwhile, experts say they are not surprised that VW was at the center of such a serious scandal. "-
- Many experts have long been suspicions (for diesel engines VW). Suspicious was the fact that VW diesel cars’ efficiency in the US has been higher than what might be expected, but we did not have any formal reason for someone to blame - International Business Times UK quotes Emissions Analytics company’s Head Nick Molden. - Now is quite clear why the VW cars in the United States reach such an amazing efficiency.  
Meanwhile, VW shares continue to fall, while the market capitalization declined by € 13 billion on just Monday. Other manufacturers are suffering from the scandal, too. Renault shares fell 4%, Peugeot - on 2,5%, Nissan - on the same 2,5%, BMW - 1.5% on fears that the attention of experts and regulators may be levied on them.

source:, reuters,com,