Volkswagen AG’s designated Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch warned managers that the diesel-emissions scandal could pose “an existence-threatening crisis for the company,” as it pleaded for public trust with full-page ads in national newspapers.
The German carmaker faces a Wednesday deadline to present a plan to fix some 2.8 million vehicles in its home market. Poetsch told managers last week he was certain the Wolfsburg, Germany-based carmaker will overcome the crisis with enough effort, according to Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
Volkswagen and German industry have been rocked by charges, first made by U.S. regulators on Sept. 18, that the carmaker had used software to hoodwink regulators about the true emissions of its diesel cars for years. As owners of 11 million affected cars across the globe, regulators and investors await answers, the crisis has wiped out almost 30 billion euros ($34 billion) of the company’s value.
As Volkswagen’s new chief executive officer, Matthias Mueller, vows to repair the damage, the carmaker undertook a media campaign that included a full-page mea culpa advertisement published in major German newspapers to mark the 25th anniversary of the country’s reunification.