Not long ago, ten years to be precise, there was a boss who announced he wanted his company to be the number one in the world by 2018. On September 2, 2015, after the boss had just won a grueling internal power struggle, his employer announced that it wanted to keep him in charge until 2018, two years longer than planned. No doubt so that he himself could proclaim the ambitious goal had been met.
It didn't quite work out that way
Three weeks after that announcement, a bomb went off. The company boss, Martin Winterkorn, the CEO of Europe's largest carmaker Volkswagen, had to go. Dieselgate took its course. And since those days in September, 2015, nothing has been the same at VW. From then on, words like "compensation," "recalls," "prosecution," "criminal charges," "arrests" and above all "billions in fines" have set the tone of communications from Wolfsburg and economic reports on Volkswagen.
More billions to come
DW's Henrik Böhme
Now come the latest headlines. The new agreement with the US authorities provides for a payment of another $4.3 billion. The company wants to avoid lengthy and time-consuming criminal and civil proceedings before US courts. Together with the payments that have already been made, it all adds up to 21 billion dollars. Twenty-one billion dollars! It's clear Volkswagen will have to put aside much more than the 18 billion euros it has earmarked so far.
And there's more
Even if the new agreement is good news, not least coming as it does before the transfer of power in the White House, there's........