Et tu, Volkswagen?
Why Volkswagen, why? I mean, I do get some of the reasons for your obviously not so clever attempt to fool the EPA, but seriously, I did not see it coming. And why would I, right? Not an analyst or a car industry geek, just someone interested in cars and even more in motor sports. Why would I expect them to turn to the dark side and put their name on the list of companies ready to sprinkle some criminal activities over their business. The story is actually quite beautiful, because it has all the right ingredients; current CEO stages a coup earlier this year to oust the former chief-o then runs over this huge pothole and even though his car completely disintegrated around him, refuses to admit it’s time to step down. There are billions upon billions of both currencies being casually mentioned in many news articles and comments, but what will happen in the end is hard to say. And just how fat will Winterkorn’s departure compensation be. This could end up being very costly, not just for the executives (have a loud laugh now, go ahead, we both know just how hard those CxOs suffer in such situations, right), but for the entire company. Who gives a flying fuck about the executives anyway, it’s the workers and buyers and, this is where we step in, motor sport fans that will suffer the worst. In the end, taxpayers will cover it, one way or the other. I honestly feel for all the hard working people of this company, who took pride in their work, but I hope VW receives a heavy beating on both sides of the Atlantic.
What happens to Volkswagen’s motor sport programme? No idea, but something tells me they will not be joining forces with Red Bull in Formula 1. It’s a shame almost, imagine combining a huge liar and a cheat (that’s Volkswagen) with a team that means precisely 0 to me (personally), in terms of racing heritage, emotion, immersion or anything else other than that instant sugar-caffeine rush, comparable to that canned crap they’re selling. Shame, because we could already envision Golf R Multi21 edition, with flexible front wings, or Adrian Newey Polo edition, with no engine, just aero. Maybe even a Helmut Marko Edition Passat or Christian Horner Beetle that plays only Spice Girls music.
And what happens to Volkswagen in the World Rally Championship? Well, that’s an even better question. Even without this scandal thing it’s hard to say just how long would Volkswagen want to stay in the WRC, especially with another programme in Formula 1. For all I know, it’s possible they’ll survive all this without too deep a scratch, and their WRC project will carry on for years to come. But if shit really hits the fan, we could end up with Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen losing their jobs. Which, in the end, isn’t too bad, seeing how this thing could lead to much worse layoffs in VW’s factories all over the world. For one, I do hope they don’t switch from WRC to Formula 1, but if they do, I wish them all the luck in the world and may they repeat BMW’s and Toyota’s many successes in Bernie’s circus.