For as long as I’ve been aware, there has always been a sense of pride associated with German Engineering. The German auto industry is certainly the most dominant – Volkswagen owns Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Ducati, SEAT, Skoda, Ducati (motorcycles) and MAN (lorries).
The recent scandals about the “diesel dupe” by Volkswagen are not only damaging to the manufacturers environmental record but represents a company culture that cannot be ignored.
The revelations mean that Volkswagen cars may be producing forty (40) times the pollution they claim. People who own these cars may not have bought them for their environmental record but still have marvelled at the lower road tax at the same time as enjoying the pricing and the performance. But it would seem that was all a lie.
Diesels are already falling out of favour due to the toxicity of their fumes (the government can admit to being wrong about that) but this signals a death knell for the diesel industry.
Someone, a budget controller, signed off on producing software that would control emissions when subjected to test conditions. Then a team of engineers designed the software and accompanying hardware designed to defeat the tests. And not one of them thought to blow the whistle.
That is the very definition of toxic culture.