Volkswagen to Encourage Internal Whistleblowers

Volkswagen commits to becoming more honest 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
Back in 2015, a Volkswagen employee blew the lid of Volkswagen’s corporate program to cheat on diesel emissions testing.
In the Faster, Higher, Farther: The Volkswagen Scandal book published last year, author Jack Ewing identifies this man as Stuart Johnson, Volkswagen’s head of engineering and environmental office in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Or, how history will remember him, the whistleblower.

In the years since the scandal broke, Volkswagen moved on, with the incident having little effects on the number of cars sold since. In 2017 alone, the group posted record sales of 10.53 million cars worldwide, making it a contender for the title of world's best selling automaker.

But the group does have a new CEO for a month or so, Herbert Diess, former head of the Volkswagen brand. And, as the man said during the annual general meeting of the company, the new Volkswagen should be “more honest, more open, and more truthful.”

To achieve that, Volkswagen said it would “expand its internal whistleblower system.” What exactly does that mean is not entirely clear. Diess added that from now on, his company would encourage a “culture of constructive dissent.

“For me, good corporate governance also includes taking responsibility, penalizing misconduct – and then communicating transparently,” Diess said. “Besides abiding by the rules and obeying the law, the key here is always ethics – a clear moral compass.”

“As managers, we are role models for our employees. Regardless of our level in the hierarchy, we have to be trustworthy, honest, and reliable. That means: at Volkswagen, we do what we say. And we say what we're doing. Any time. Anywhere in the world.”

The new ethic path VW is trying to follow will also expand to its relationship with suppliers. They too would have to comply with the guidelines of the group.

For the current year, Volkswagen expects to once again post great sales, with sales revenue is expected to increase by up to five percent.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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