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VW CEO Calls for Diesel Subsidy Proving We Live in the Bizarro World

It's been a little over two years since Volkswagen was caught red-handed by the EPA in what led to the whole Dieselgate scandal that is just reaching its conclusions now.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller 1 photo
There's no point in going over what Volkswagen did as we're sure everybody is well aware of that, but suffices to say it marked a turning point in the car manufacturer's history. Not only did Ferdinand Piech, the CEO of the VW Group at that time resign following the revelations, but the entire juggernaut of a company had to perform a very quick U-turn and shift focus on electric vehicles in an attempt to show it does care about the air we breathe after all.

Piech leaving wasn't just a logical decision, it was also necessary. Had the CEO continued in charge, anything Volkswagen did would have had a lot less credibility. Now, with Matthias Müller in charge, it's much easier to pretend that is all in the past and Volkswagen is a completely new company.

One very good example is the CEO's interview with Handelsblatt, where he called for an end to the subsidies offered by the German government to the diesel fuel, suggesting they should be re-routed instead toward electric cars.

“I’ve become convinced that we should question the sense and purpose of the diesel subsidies," he said. "If the switch to environmentally friendly e-cars is to succeed, diesel combustion engines can’t continue to be subsidized the way they have been forever.”

That sounds sensible, but don't be fooled. A leopard never changes its spots, after all. What you see here is just a concession Mr. Müller is willing to make to avoid the complete ban on diesel passenger cars that so many governments are now contemplating. With diesel deliveries dropping significantly even in Germany as buyers fear they won't be able to sell their vehicles over a few years, Volkswagen is just looking for the lesser evil.


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