Volkswagen warns that new emissions tests risk industry in months ahead
Volkswagen today reported a leap in second quarter profit thanks to strong sales, but the German car giant warned that strict new emissions tests and global trade tensions posed "great challenges" in the months ahead.
Volkswagen today reported a leap in second-quarter profit thanks to strong sales, but the German car giant warned that strict new emissions tests and global trade tensions posed "great challenges" in the months ahead.
Revenues were up 3.4 percent to 61 billion euros after the VW group -- whose 12 brands include luxury Porsche and Audi as well as the more affordable Skoda -- delivered a record 2.8 million vehicles in the second quarter.
Despite the good news, VW's new chief executive Herbert Diess sounded a note of caution.
"We cannot rest on our laurels because great challenges lie ahead of us in the coming quarters -- especially regarding the transition to the new WLTP test procedure," Diess said in a statement.
"Growing protectionism also poses major challenges for the globally integrated automotive industry." Volkswagen is set to close its iconic Wolfsburg plant for several days in the third quarter as the group scrambles to adapt to tough new EU emissions test from September 1, known as WLTP.
The tests are meant to better mimic real-world driving conditions than lab tests, to prevent the kind of rigging exposed in VW's "dieselgate" controversy.
It is targeting an operating profit margin before special items of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent, compared with 7.4 percent last year.
Volkswagen was plunged into its biggest-ever crisis in 2015 after it admitted to installing "defeat devices" in 11 million diesel cars worldwide designed to cheat pollution tests.
CEO Diess took the helm in April, vowing to steer the company out of the diesel cloud and accelerate a shift towards electric and self-driving vehicles.
But in a fresh blow in June, German prosecutors arrested Audi boss Rupert Stadler as part of their probe into the diesel scam.
"We hope that the prosecutor's office can quickly clarify the matter," Diess told reporters in a conference call.
But it also urged VW to do more to satisfy customers in Europe, who unlike their American peers have not been given any compensation over the cheating. (AFP) PMS
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