VW Too Big To Fail?

Then it’s too big. Think GM (Government Motors). Only different. As in much worse.


At Volkswagen AG, political connections come already fitted.

When it comes to Volkswagen, German chancellors don’t intervene in company decisions. But the unique arrangement in Lower Saxony (it holds 20 percent of the company) has spawned alumni in high places with an interest in the boardroom, including Merkel’s Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder. Schroeder, who sat on VW’s supervisory board for eight years as state premier, was known as the “auto chancellor” when he led Germany from 1998 to 2005 because of his perceived closeness to the car industry.

Following him to Berlin after serving at his side in Lower Saxony was Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now in his second stint as Merkel’s foreign minister. Sigmar Gabriel, who succeeded Schroeder as state premier — and VW board member — is now vice chancellor and economy minister. He also heads the Social Democratic Party, Merkel’s junior coalition partner. Christian Wulff, a Christian Democrat like Merkel who succeeded Gabriel in the state capital Hanover, made it all the way to the German presidency, before resigning in 2012 amid a legal probe.

Im Abgas-Skandal, dessen Auswirkungen noch unübersehbar sind, rückt die Frage nach der Mitverantwortung der deutschen Politik in den Fokus. Und weil die politischen Spitzen der Republik wie geschockt schweigen und selbst die sonst geliebten Talkshows meiden, werden Vorwürfe laut, die Bundesregierung habe mit Volkswagen gekungelt und möglicherweise sogar von den Manipulationen gewusst.

2 responses

  1. I do not know how much big but I guess, it is big enough:) the other side, the important thing is why German auto industry has been target?
    After all, US government policy has never been environmental sensitivity! US government is the top of the list of “environmental insensitivity” with the China. I wonder how many American cars took the warning sanction, penalty or etc. I think the US government is trying to thoroughly compression Germany in the new world order.

  2. Migarim: Where have you been. Both Al Gore and Barack Obama received prestigious Euro Centric Nobel Prizes for “Environmental sensitivity.” In the case of Obama, maybe not, he won it because those crazy guys in Norway thought he was a rock star.

    Remember: General Motors is now owned by the U.S. Government. GM has built a profitless Electric Car to meet U.S. and California emission standards. Even the big SUVs and Pickup Trucks, which Germans have total angst over, have to make mandated emission and fuel standards. A large SUV now has the same gas mileage as a Mercedes S class or a BMW 800 class automobile.

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