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11 Mar 2019, 13:55
Benjamin Wehrmann

Volkswagen faces EU fines, mulls axing up to 7,000 additional jobs

Spiegel Online / Braunschweiger Zeitung

Volkswagen, Germany’s largest carmaker, and its main rivals BMW and Daimler could all face EU fines of up to one billion euros each for allegedly colluding to conceal the fact that many of their vehicles violated air pollution regulations, Spiegel Online reports. “It is still uncertain whether EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager will be able to make her goal reality,” the article says, adding that both Germany and France have vehemently opposed Vestager’s strict approach to regulation in recent weeks. The companies are reportedly assessing possible legal steps to avoid any fines against them. 

According to Volkswagen works council chairman Bernd Osterloh, the company is considering cutting up to 7,000 white collar jobs over the next few years due to digitisation efforts. Osterloh told the Braunschweiger Zeitung in an interview that Volkswagen is going through a very difficult period and “dumping billions” of euros on correcting its errors without anyone in charge taking responsibility for those errors.

Volkswagen has announced a large-scale shift towards electric mobility in the coming years while still reeling from the so-called dieselgate emissions scandal, in which the company, along with other carmakers, equipped its vehicles with defeat devices that artificially lower emissions values. The company’s e-car initiative is seen as vital to catch up with more advanced producers abroad but  could lead to job losses due to lower demand in traditional combustion engines.

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