The American automotive market is very important to every car manufacturer currently in existence. America is the largest car market in the world, do well there and your corporate overlords will reward you. After the fallout of dieselgate, VW’s brand was severely damaged. VW spent years lying about the cleanliness of their diesel engine technology. We now know VW’s diesel engine was a planet polluter, a people killer. But that mattered little to a company fueled by a profit motive. One could also argue the futility of VW developing driver safety systems and then building a device to defeat emissions test regulations. A device that secretly allowed the escape of deadly diesel toxins that ended up killing people. Where is the logic in that VW? Why market, promote and sell driver safety technology and then use the latest technology to secretly pollute the planet while hiding behind all manner of green initiatives?
It’s all to do with the profit motive. Yes companies have to make a profit, but to what end and at what cost? VW got found out and sued almost into oblivion by class-action lawsuits. The WHO estimates that at least 5,000 people in Europe died per year from the effects of diesel car toxins. But VW is too big to fail, it’s essentially backed by the German state and at the end of the day, people move on forget about past crimes committed. And that forgetfulness or mass spirit of forgiveness has seen VW of America experience its most profitable year in decades thanks to a new lineup of SUV models.
Sales of the Tiguan, Atlas, and Atlas Cross Sport increased turnover to $700M in 2020 compared to the previous year to date. And that’s during a pandemic. VW says 71 percent of U.S. sales are from SUVs. Who would have believed such a turnaround could happen after dieselgate. Dieselgate was a textbook exercise in how to damage the public perception of your brand. But they got away with it, yes VW fall-guys got punished and sent to prison. But it seems that if you offer an array of SUVs, the cold hard reality is, people are willing to forget whatever past crimes committed.