The following appears to be a leaked draft of a speech to be given by the CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America at a press conference later today (USA time) . Author details will not be provided with this article to protect our sources.
Embargoed until 16:08, 1/8/2016
President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I speak now to you as the most recent and indeed the last President of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Volkswagen Group has determined that it will be unable to sustain a profitable business in the USA and will have closed and abandoned all of its physical facilities in the nation by the time of this press conference. All factories, warehouses, offices and testing grounds have been abandoned without expectation of compensation.
Local authorities have been advised that they may be required to deter looting. Special instructions have been issued about hazardous wastes and that it is in the interest of locals to prevent EPA agents from approaching or handling them.
Independent security contractors may serve out their contracted duties at some sites, but as the Group has dissolved, it is their honor that holds them at their post.
All intellectual property reverts to the parent company. Brand names, etc continue to be protected by international conventions.
All research, production, sales and warehouse facilities have had their data stores wiped of all technical, sales and manufacturing data. Machines have had their normal programming deleted and, as far as possible, commenced dismantling themselves and each other at 3 p.m.
20 operational facilities will have ceased operation at 4 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. Chattanooga is just one, with more than 3000 direct employees and nearly 10,000 indirectly in the region. Direct employees of all facilities will already have received full payment for their work, as well as various, previously agreed entitlements.
Authorised sales, distribution and service channels were shut down simultaneously with production. There are, as I speak, no more authorised sales outlets or service facilities for any Volkswagen brands in the United States of America.
VW Group Latin America in Miami was last night functionally relocated to Havana, Cuba; subsequent to initial negotiations via Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier last July and concluded at the visit of the Minister for Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel in private conference, yesterday.
During it’s life, Volkswagen Group of America has provided Americans with the motor vehicles that they want to have; for reliability, durability, performance, safety, economy and affordability. The Group, during the past 5 years has erred in favoring the customers and fans of the various brands; providing what they wanted; not what some agencies would “permit”.
As a consequence of implementing circumvention software that made the very clean Volkswagen cars very, very, very clean solely for the purpose of emissions testing, the company has had to suffer many indignities; including allegations of having caused public deaths by that circumvention.
Let me state categorically; Volkswagen cars have never had cleaner emissions. That includes when they are on the road.
The only injury that has occurred is a breach of regulation. There are no plausible financial losses to consumers other than those caused by an over-reaction. There are no plausible injuries as a result of the small increment in emissions; between the tested test cycle and the un-circumvented test cycle.
But government agencies and bureaus persist in the fantasy of injuries; of financial losses to customers – when any financial losses are ENTIRELY due to the media feeding frenzy started by the spilling of blood by the EPA and other institutes with anti-industry and indeed anti-human agendas.
One of the Group’s now former engineers quipped that VW had gone too far in providing affordable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars to the American public; because that combination of things might just encourage more Americans to drive; just for the fun of it or to privately explore what remains of a once-great nation.
Regardless of that engineer’s assessment; the Group had to face multi-billion dollar fines and penalties for imagined injuries and losses.
The Group is all too familiar with the egregious pursuit, via application of process, social media engineering and defamatory media releases of those who would not play ball with the tyranny of bureaucrats.
They do not appreciate being reminded of agreements previously made, such as one in the late 1990’s; that emissions limits would be set with regards to what is reasonably achievable with affordable technologies. Such has been disregarded in setting the regulations in recent years.
If automakers cannot build affordable clean cars, then the substantial, existing stock of cars will remain in use longer. That’s a worse outcome for air quality and the quality of life of Joe Public.
The Volkswagen Group of America, Inc could not, in good conscience, continue to play games with government agencies and bureaus; resulting in a worse outcome for Americans. Management could not live with the thought of having part of building an America that stifles freedom, innovation and personal industry.
There will, alas, be thousands of former employees who are devastated by this immediate shutdown. There’s been mutual benefit for the Group and for the workers, unions permitting. We trust that you will carry your experiences with you to productive employment elsewhere. We hung on until after Christmas for the closure to minimise the hurt. Only a few, a handful, had any idea that this was coming.
I am unable to answer any questions as I have now discharged by final obligation to the company and my flight to Germany leaves shortly.
Please direct your questions to the EPA, CARB or the White House.
Thank you for your attention.