A federal judge has extended the deadline for VW to April 21st to come up with a specific fix for the 600,000 cars roaming US roadways and spewing up to 40x (forty times man…said in a slow, Spicoli, stoned voice). And, unfortunately for VW management, it has to be a “concrete proposal”.
Luckily the PaulSalo.com research team of Thai elephants has been working round the clock on a solution. We got your back. Things were looking darker than a Bangkok rainstorm on Sukhumvit until heaven delivered the perfect proposal on Saturday evening. And it won’t cost $15 billion like everyone is suggesting. How about a measly $6 million? Well at least until late 2017. Then the price goes up a bit but the benefits go through the roof and everyone will win on this.
How did VW go from the Penthouse to the doghouse? (Hundehütte) Basically VW lost it’s edge on the one thing it’s known for: German Engineering. This was almost a national brand. A powerful thing…ohhh German Engineering… ok I like how it rolls off my tongue. Sounds so important. Nebulous but crucial. I mean, we don’t say Italian engineering or Chinese engineering unless we were talking about a bridge that fell into a river. But oh we do, or we used to, say German engineering.
It kept things clear in our minds. We have these ideas that are easy to hang your hat on. German means hardworking, upstanding, effective, relentless, strong, trustworthy.. now that’s where the train goes off the rails. Exactly where you wouldn’t want it to.
To say VW lost it’s engineering edge is like saying that the money you sent to the Ministry of Affairs and co/ Foreign Minister of Nigerian Banks might be lost. Or that Miley Cyrus forgot her bra. It was lost long ago my friends.
The story begins in a cute little cottage in the mountains of Austria. VW execs gathered in this secret location concerned that they couldn’t compete with Toyota’s Hybrids, Honda’s fuel sippers or Hyundai’s sporty economic wonders: not to mention Tesla’s stunning new Model S. This upstart Tesla was really the point of the meeting. It was good. It had clean lines. It had the best safety rating of any vehicle ever made…. and it was electric. Ouch. In a word, it was earth shattering. VW had an electric Golf but have you heard about it? Nope. Thats cause it’s poorly marketed and not profitable. ie they don’t want you to.
Anyway, the mood was darker than the Black Forest. It was so bad that the top brass at VW finally had to throw in the boot and say scheisse !! several times in unison. But then, suddenly, a man sounding eerily like Colonel Wilhelm Klink in Hogan’s Heroes strolled in. “Vat if we do something that they would not-see (NOT SEE…get it hahaha ok sorry. I’m sorry. really. I am)
A man of principle, not easily swayed by something like a verbal gaffe, he continued, “vat if we make it all up? Since our engineers are not capable of competing with new green car technology, vat if we just make up a whole fake green car category? Another comrade piped up. “yea somezing no one else is doing. And they won’t be able to copy us cause we aren’t really doing it!!” Finally heir CEO, arose and with a newly discovered vigor exclaimed “CLEAN DIESEL !!”
Beer girls suddenly appeared out of nowhere and they sang the old German tune, “Bock haben Clean Diesel!” I’m in the mood for clean diesel. Everyone agreed it was the perfect solution. And beers were ordered for the engineering department as they were tasked with coming up with the nuts and bolts of this audacious sham for this “Clean Diesel” rollout.
Clean Diesel signs were printed, beers were drunk and after everyone loosened their lederhosen, then engineers stumbled in. Soooo he drunkenly muttered and fell flat on his face. On seeing his condition, his backup man staggered in “ssssoofft” he managed to utter and then he too did a faceplant.
Silence gripped the room. lederhosen tightened. Everyone in the room suddenly looked like, well Germans. And then the newest engineer, hired two days before Oktoberfest, spoke. Cheating software..he said in a quiet voice. The men, erupted with laughter. Good cheer and rounds of beer flooded the room as the previiously serious executives broke into a cheer, not unlike a football supporters, Cheating software!! cheating software! It mattered little how badly mangled the pronunciation. And no one stopped to question if this would be a good road for VW to take and they overlooked the fact that they were all speaking broken English to each other. No! None of that mattered now. VW had a clear path to profitability.
They would make up a fake type of clean car and market worldwide. Such was “Clean Diesel” created. It was a hit from the beginning with owners saying, “this has pep like a dirty disgusting diesel! But is clean!” and “the road is painted black behind me when I accelerate but I’m happy to be driving a clean car. So customers realized they could have their Gugelhupf and eat it too!
Europeans were excited because this was a “European only technology”. The Japanese put their sushi aside and studied this clean diesel meticulously as they are wont to do. But they could not unlock the secrets contained within. They were stumped. So were the Americans. If a car could perform like a car without any pesky pollution control devices BUT also be clean, 9and the Germans, home of German Engineering) said so, then it’s fine.
Back to the gathering in Austria. VW management were so excited now they were on the tables chanting Clean diesel! Fake company! Fake engineering! Let’s throw all our goodwill in the garbage in one shot! (this was difficult to pronounce but they did their best.
Since you were so kind as to allow me to give you historical context to this debacle. I will reward you with the “final solution”. VW is forced to buy Model 3’s for everyone!! See! The solution was staring us in the face the whole time. Put 600k $1,000 down payments to order Tesla Model 3’s!
Basically everyone wins. The customers win eventually (but still have to pollute like chemical factories in Henan for only another 2 years). That will weigh on their conscience no doubt but keep in mind that this will be balanced by knowing that they will soon have a beautiful Tesla Model 3 to drive and can forget that Volkswagon ever existed as they will be sued into bankruptcy by a very litigious USA! USA! USA!
And VW was then sued down to their underpants (unterhose) by the ‘mericans, Tesla built thousands of superchargers in Germany, VW factories were sold for scrap metal, the Chinese purchased the entire city of Wolfsburg and relocated it to Zhejiang and thus ends the tale of the worst decision ever made by a modern corporation. The end