As workers pour out of brick assembly halls at Volkswagen’s main factory in Wolfsburg en route to a nearby train station, much more than a mere change of shifts is in the air.
“Our cars are good,” said one employee in passing. The pride is still there, but uncertainty is growing about the future of the scandal-ridden automaker.
As VW’s emissions-rigging machinations take on ever-greater proportions, the company faces perhaps the most daunting existential crisis in its 78-year history.
In addition to slashing costs to pay for mounting fines – already estimated in the tens of billions of euros – the world’s largest automaker must completely reengineer the corporate culture from which this scandal emerged.