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Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Mike, Sep 21, 2015.
It's all by design to make Germany's economy tumble, especially after the scandalous immigrants Merkel welcomed with open arms are tearing up the EU place. VW is a good car, and gets good fuel efficiency, but it is hard for them to keep up in the American market with the overtaxation and rules and regulations bit. They are hurting. I knew they were going to get targeted after they started shutting down their plants and laying workers off in Chattanooga in 2013, something that started as 500 workers and wound up as a great big domino effect that paralyzed the local industry there. And that's sad that Chattanooga only has a foreign company there to boost their local economy.
Now imagine if they have to pay an outrageous fine what it is going to do to them. We're talking a serious possible bankruptcy here. And if that so happens, Germany's economy will take a deep dip in the drink.
No, it's not an anti VW, anti Germany conspiracy. It's just VW being evil.
Because this includes cars made in 2009.
News on Spanish National TV yesterday were talking about a statistic that says Germany will need thousands of young professionals if it wants to keep up with their productivity in the next two decades.
They have one of the highest qualified immigration quota and have been recruiting and building up for a while now. The interesting part is while they impose and control how other land in the EU grows, they are also inviting qualified young people to move there. And internally they are mobilizing entire families where one or two people in the family nucleus are taking on positions and training at new facilities. Their colleges regularly take big student groups from all over the EU.
It´s not just the car industry. They invest heavily in RD and attract all sorts of profiles ranging from artists, to chemists and biologists to linguists... you name it. Especially in large companies that have historical weight the tracks for professional growth are well put in place.
So... VW taking a huge hit does´t make Germany crumble as much as you think. Like the US, before jobs get cut locally the plants and business everywhere else will suffer.
I see this VW thing, having worked in large corporations myself as a big mess that highlights the contrast between profit and the actual lifespan and sustainability of business. Every quarter you need to make more money than the one before while hurdles and sometimes common sense and decor like in the case of environmental regulations throw a wrench in an otherwise ruthless expansion trying to go for the prize.
When these corporations don´t make as much as they are expected while respecting agreements and regulations usually the first thing they do is fire a bunch of people somewhere at the borders to make sure they can keep production going and still meet some margins.
You are right to point out how they closed the American plants. They did the same in Spain and exactly the same in Italy and probably everywhere else. I don´t want to say they went on to trick the software on the Diesel vehicles because that´s all they could do to keep their stakes after losing a lot of business already. I also don´t think it´s an excuse but the truth is millions of jobs depend on that so that´s maybe why they did it.
It all feels strange but when the heads of big companies and banks in Spain for example are cheating and stealing millions literally and always finding a loophole to escape justice something like the VW scandal to me reads as... here we go, nobody is free from corruption in the current landscape anymore. I don´t see it as a conspiracy to force Germany to its knees. In fact, I rather find that remark surprising considering they have so many points going for them besides the car industry.
Let´s also not forget how these things work. In the German news for the past week the information about the whole fiasco has been progressively less. Initially there were even talks of Porsche's manager taking over. Now they are saying maybe everybody in the power structure will just quit while all is being investigated. If any other big scandals are an indicator in the EU (in America, like was the case with Toyota they will probably have to pay) all of this circus will soon be diluted. If anything, this is just a really good excuse for the German corporation to shut down business wherever they haven´t done it yet and move on to a plan B towards more profit.
About the immigrants. There is a riff raft right now in the whole EU about who these people are and wether it´s feasible to take them in. The truth is the regulations and legal framework to answer this question have been in places for a decade. Whoever qualifies as political asylum petitioner will stay. Everybody else will be send back home. If you ever take a commercial flight from the Middle East or Africa to Germany it´s not uncommon to have customs and police walking up to the aircraft to stop and check passengers leaving the machine. They are on top of their stuff with these things regardless of how polite or welcoming they will show off on TV.
Now... What really blows my mind is that in a matter of two weeks (so to speak) Germany went from being the iron fist over the EU, dominating over the South´s politics... to fathers of morale and prosperity during the immigration crisis. All that PR just to disappear quickly into a smoke cloud now that the real problems are coming up with nodes and centers being overflown with people who mostly won´t stay... while the rest will remain in a legal limbo, engaging in jobs as interesting as candle making fro two euro the hour. Immigrants don´t create chaos on their own. They move with the expectation that they will get to move on and participate in a system that they have been told is superior and profitable. The truth is they hardly ever play an important role in anything and it is really up to them to dig through and figure out how to make it work best. The structure means well but it´s just not infalible when you throw years of history, social development and culture at it. Immigrants remain immigrants... and those seeking asylum just stay at the sidelines looking in.
I see no conspiracy here. Just the aftermath of only a few of the many things that have been a problem with Germany and actually most larger EU economies for over a decade.
It might look like a conspiracy only because when you preach like they have been doing over and over when something like this happens it gets heavily publicized. And it should. However in light of how the news in every other country are treating this I doubt it will go on much longer.
On a smaller scale does anyone speak of the suicide pilot and Germanwings anymore? It´s the Lufthansa for gods sake and yet... no further commentary. If there was a conspiracy I´d sadly have to consider Germany being the main actor here.
Today on German television they were talking of the possibility that the cars might still hit numbers over the tolerable margin of contamination in the tests after being retrofitted with new software. And then, they where wondering how the cars could be modified to meet the tests margins.
So, since this is a software thing I don´t discard they might try another chicane. And as far as numbers... they are already getting all the scrutiny for the US market but in Spain for example, where things are slow no official case is being built yet. So it really depends on how slow everybody reacts to it.
I think there will be an agreement and they will settle to pay wherever justice is fast, but otherwise not give a damn. And depending on how much employment is at stake and how hard that will be affected the governments might cut them some slack. Let´s not forget money needs to keep flowing up and taxes need to be paid so we´ll see.
Since it was a software mechanism to begin with, a software patch will fix it.
It's not a question of if the cars can make the advertised numbers, but how much of a performance hit they'll take to do so.
Sorry, Asher can you clarify what you mean by ¨how much of a performance hit they´ll take¨?
I think one of the main things I am having trouble to understand is what the test really consists in. If the software is what outputs the numbers by which technicians measure the gas emission on the vehicle and those numbers are what is correlated with the legal standards, then the fix should theoretically not be just a software patch.
I fear that´s what they are going to do, just write up an algorithm that throws out a number that´s ok. However, if I am not wrong the whole thing blew up because somebody decided to test the vehicle independently from the onboard measurement tools, the software.
So if they rewrite the program and the contamination levels are within the omits that´s ok, but if the are not then a whole change to the design and production of the vehicles will have to happen, right?
And that´s where I ask myself if we will ever see what´s fair happen or not.
Today news came out that 700.000 cars from the Spanish brand Seat, currently owned by Volkswagen... are supposed to be outfitted with the defect/contaminating engine. That´s about 6 percent of the 11 million cars (not sure if EU number or the world) that are currently affected.
Apparently Volkswagen has stopped sales on all Audi, Skoda, VW and Seat vehícles equipped with the Diesel engine as of today. And every sold unit is being called back for revision at appointed centers.
It's important to note that just returning the vehicles to acceptable emissions isn't a "fix".
Much like simply gluing a broken headstock onto a guitar neck doesn't just fix it. Other steps need to be done to make the instrument perform as it should.
The best "fix" I've seen posed is a two fold solution of adding a urea system and adjusting the software. The key problem being that it A) still might not be enough to make the cars run cleaner or perform similarly to how they do with the cheat software, and B) it's not feasible on all models affected.
I don't think it's a matter of folks wanting to drive irresponsibly, and have tons of power from the engines, but would at least get 95% of what they payed for in regards to how the car drives which is a big part of why someone purchases a given vehicle.
I never knew the U.S. Government regulated such things?
I never meant to imply that it was...
By "fix", I only mean that the car will meet EPA regulations in all conditions. Not that everyone with a diesel VW is hooning around everywhere, but people will notice if you're losing 50 horsepower to it.
Unless there's newer information that they won't, in fact, meet the standards?
I didn't mean to imply that you did, I'm just saying that fixing the emissions issue via software isn't even close enough to a real "fix" of the situation for either drivers or VW themselves.
I've noticed around the web that a lot of folks are calling a proposed software update a "fix" when it's not, and even if implemented isn't going to cause any immediate changes to what's going on. If anything it's going to cause more problems as there's no telling how running in "clean mode" will effect the cars internal parts.
All that it will do is allow for current models to be sold, but I highly doubt anyone will buy them, and VW knows that.
What I don't understand is why they tried so hard in the first place. As far as my information goes, less than 3% of the cars sold in the USA have a diesel engine (compared to 50%+ in western Europe). Why they risk billions in fines for those 3% is beyond me. Especially if the urea systems seem to work for Mercedes and others and supposedly only add about 1500$ to the cost of a car. It's just greed. "We have to sell more cars, more, more, more, and make more profit per car." Why have sustainable growth while taking care of the enviroment when you can have thrice the growth without and you just have to risk ruining the entire company? I'd hope they sue the people who made those decisions, but I guess they won't.
As for the results, it will probably not destroy them. They still build great cars (although having driven both of them a lot, I'd take a Ford Focus over a Golf any time, similar with many other models), and I don't really believe it will affect sales that much in long term. I read a comment in a big German newspaper recently where someone proposed they should see this as a chance, pretty much ditch Diesel altogether and focus on fuel cells, including establishing an infrastructure of hydrogen fuel stations similar to what Tesla did with their loading stations. At least for Germany, I think they could get that done. But I don't believe they will even consider that. A few people will be dismissed, maybe still get payed a few million Euros of compensation and maybe they will add the urea system to their diesel engines. Maybe not.
Two reasons: 1) the United States is the second largest car market in the world, only behind China and not by a big margin. We buy five times the number of cars as even the biggest European market: Germany. And 2) Diesel was one of the fastest growing sectors of passenger cars in the US with year over year growth up to 25%. So that 3% was poised to grow very fast with an estimated 15% market share in only 5 years time and as much as 25% in 10 years.
Now, not so much.
I don't care much about this emission cheating issue, but they've been misleading and cheating on people with their online car configurator for ages. It's pretty easy to get an identically or even better spec'd BMW for the same price as a VW.
And Audi, with their "Vorsprung durch technik" slogan, is an overweight hump of steel that even outweighs a similar sized Mercedes Benz and consuming more fuel than their counterparts from BMW and Merc. Not much advancement through technology in that department either.
End rant, sorry.
Yeah, 3% in the auto industry is a huge success. When the Prius entered the market 3% was the early goal as well if I recall. Usually if a vehicle hits at least 3% it's positioned to grow as I understand it.
As for fuel cells, there are already a few companies trying to bring it to market. It'll eventually happen. I'd love a fuel cell car...