Tetris With 300,000 Volkswagen
Just when you thought ‘dieselgate’ was over, we see pictures of hundreds of thousands cars parked all over the United States. Unloved. Disowned.
After Volkswagen divulged that it has been cheating on emissions testing, it has since bought back 350,000 cars in the United States alone. This amounts to about $7.4 billion. And that will remain lost money until Volkswagen AG figures out a way to move these vehicles.
Thirty-seven. That is the number of facilities the German giant stores their cars at the moment. One of the facilities includes an old football stadium in Detroit, a desert aircraft graveyard near Victorville, California. The graveyard also hosts old aircraft that we almost hope the cars parked won’t suffer the same fate.
“These vehicles are being stored on an interim basis and routinely maintained in a manner to ensure their long-term operability and quality, so that they may be returned to commerce or exported once U.S. regulators approve appropriate emissions modifications,” stated Jeannine Ginivan, VW spokeswoman. But if they are routinely maintained and there are no takers yet, more money is going down the drain.
Also, in the US alone, VW agreed to spend more than $25 billion in claims from owners, environmental regulators, and also includes more than 500,000 diesel-powered vehicles to be brought back. At this point, Volkswagen AG must buy back or mend at least 85% of all vehicles by June of next year or they will face higher penalties.
Last 2015 Volkswagen divulged that they have been cheating emissions testing since 2009. They have also pleaded guilty to two other felonies. They have paid $4.3 billion in federal penalties. At this fast rate of losing money, making sure all other vehicles, diesel or otherwise, they are producing to keep up with the game is not an easy feat. We hope VW sorts its problem sooner rather than later.
On a positive note, VW stated that it has mended nearly 83% of all vehicles by last February. Also in that month, it has issued exactly 437,273 letters offering buybacks and roughly $8 billion in buybacks. Good news, this.