Home news Volkswagen could change climate policy - economy

Volkswagen could change climate policy – economy

The exhaust fumes are now trying to sell themselves as an eco-company. This ruthless tactic actually makes sense, it exposes the weaknesses of the competitors and puts the government under pressure.


Comment by Max Hägler

Also on this Friday Herbert Diess gave the climate saver. "I have a lot of understanding and sympathy for striking students who are worried about our planet," he commented on the Friday for Future movement. The young people were dissatisfied with the policy and the companies, it must find answers, the VW boss spread. What should come next? Will he perhaps invite Greta Thunberg to Wolfsburg on Monday? So she says: Volkswagen is saving the world. To rewrite the narrative of the lumbering colossus, Diess puts everything on one map: road with all certainties, full throttle with electric cars.

For months, he has been pushing this story forward and has planned many billions of euros for it. His impatience stirs up everything, leading to massive anger with his own people, with the industry, with politics. That is not always sent. But the pressure from Wolfsburg can help the good cause, the climate. Although urging is by no means grounded in environmental protection.

Automotive industry push by VW splits politics and auto industry

Advance of VW splits politics and auto industry

Volkswagen demands from the federal government new subsidies for e-cars. But the resistance is growing.By Markus Balser and Michael Bauchmüller, Berlin


Diess and Volkswagen are all about profit. The most promising for the Group is just to bow to the political demands: Less fuel and thus less CO₂ emissions, because just the right technology – new e-cars – are in the house. The highest could be the profit, if the really huge investments are accompanied by a climate rescue story, which also even the diesel-bad image clears. In this respect, Diess would not be a fighting partner for Thunberg on an ideological level. That does not make the possible result any worse and his sometimes ruthless tactics also mercilessly uncover weaknesses of others.

The idea in the corporate headquarters of BMW and Daimler to protect the climate with other technologies, such as mixing drives or synthetic fuels, can also work out. But that is not enough. As part of the all-on-power strategy, VW relies on small cars. The call for appropriate sales promotion aims at its own program, but makes clear an open flank of the other two major German manufacturers: BMW and Daimler rely on ever larger cars. Just BMW brings an SUV called X7 on the market, so big that it hardly comes through narrow inner city lanes. And above all, it consumes a lot of energy crazy, because there is a wall fighting against the wind.

It would be embarrassing if the federal government could be overtaken by the gas leaker

The product is profitable, but the wrong thing in times of climate change. The premium car makers should also moderate in the dimensions of their cars. They should promote energy-saving elegance instead of steel colossi. In the future this would be a way of helping to meet the consumption goals. Which in turn saves potential CO2 penalties and helps the climate.

That just the Diesel Sinner sets the clock? With the understandable irritation about it, the other leaders should not stop. This also applies to politics. For years, the federal government has gone to plan without a plan: climate protection, yes, traffic turnaround perhaps. It is unclear where the priorities are, how the interplay should work, and how society will change: the way people move, how they work. Yes, just VW puts his finger in the wound. But the demand for a master plan is correct. Renewable energy, electricity grids and transport policy need to be planned together – quickly and consistently. It would be embarrassing if the government could be overtaken by the former sinner.

Read with SZ Plus:

"We are and will remain tough competitors"

BMW CEO Harald Krüger on healthy competition and alliances. He excludes a cross-shareholding with Daimler.Interview by Max Hägler


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