Cheaters tend to learn the hard way.
To the every day pedestrian, it may have surprised them to learn that just a year ago Volkswagen was the largest car building company on Earth. At least in the US, Volkswagen makes up such a small share of the cars that one sees on the streets, which is why it’s a bit hard to believe that in total, VW and its subsidiaries make over 340 models of cars. Things were going well for the German brand until it was caught cheating on US emissions testing and took a nosedive.
Now, its former CEO is being investigated on criminal charges while Volkswagen accountants look around to see where it can trim excess expenditures. Problematically enough, the latest financial reports to emerge from the company show that it is hurting for cash. This news doesn't bode well for VW employees or stockholders, but it may even cause enthusiasts some pain. In fact, the financial damage may be larger than what we initially thought. Aside from the immense budget of $18.2 billion that VW has set aside for fines and recalls in the US, the company may be selling off some of its subsidiary brands in order to make ends meet. Now, it appears that we have some quantification of the size of the loss.
German newspaper Handelsblatt cited a company source as saying that 40 models will be eliminaed from the company portfolio. We suppose that it is a better compromise to simply cut off the least successful models in each subsidiary lineup instead of simply axing entire brands a-la GM circa 2008. After the model cleansing, VW will focus its limited investment power on ride share services, autonomous technology, and on adding 30 new electric models to its lineup. In a contrasting response to Handelsblatt's report, a VW spokesman responded by saying that there is no definitive number of models that are confirmed to get the ax. All we can do is hope that the Bugatti Chiron or Porsche 918 won’t see the grave.