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‘The cost VW will spend for its self-inflicted mess is immeasurable’

Volkswagen’s deeply damaging diesel debacle simply will not go away. Practically 18 months into the scandal, the German giant still stands accused of cheating – and much far more. Culpable directors on multi-million Euro salaries, plus senior managers earning considerably significantly less, have lost jobs and careers.

Former chairman Ferdinand Piech now faces attainable legal action, too, right after he claimed he raised the diesel problem with the board months just before the scandal broke. VW emphatically repudiates these allegations, and this could outcome in an unseemly libel case. And even though this self-inflicted mess is likely to cost billions in fines, compensation and legal expenses in the quick term, the cost VW will spend over future decades is immeasurable.

• VW emissions scandal most current

Earnings in the final economic year have been non-existent. VW is undoubtedly down. But, as it showed in late 2016 and again in early 2017, it’s not out. Who’d have believed residual values for its diesels with ‘cheat’ technologies would hold up so well? Or that the VW Group would overtake Toyota as the world’s number a single automobile maker by volume? Or that VW UK would, even without having the Phaeton on its books, take its official costs by way of the psychologically essential £50,000 barrier. Can a Touareg truly justify a £50,810 list price tag?

How has VW managed to do so effectively in showrooms when it is performing so badly in courts and government hearings across the globe? By producing punters delivers they can’t refuse. The up! city vehicle remains good value from around £8,500 right after cost cuts, while discounted Polos and Golfs at sub-£10k and £20k respectively are no brainers, as well. All 3 are current Globe Car of the Year winners – and nonetheless really inexpensive. And even though prime-end VWs aren’t as good, they’re getting slashed by £10,000 or more.

In the US, possible VW purchasers are being drawn in by lease offers that comprise “$ initial payment + $ down payment + $ safety, plus 3 years’ free of charge upkeep on ALL 2017 Volkswagen models”. Other Stateside clients are enjoying 20 year/200,000-mile warranties on new VWs and 10 year/100,000-mile cover on used examples.

Could official or unofficial VW retailers supply equally tempting offers to UK buyers? Hyundai and Kia pray not. After all, a VW – even one with a questionable diesel heritage – would be completely irresistible to UK motorists if blessed with a planet-beating 240-month warranty.

Would you still acquire a Volkswagen? Let us know in the comments section beneath…

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