A Billion Dollar Cover Up

The word just came down that the Volkswagen Automotive Group will be fined just under one billion dollars for covering up the their diesel output numbers.

The fines stem from the company’s covering up of the actual emissions numbers from their V 6 and V 8 diesel engines.  Furthermore the company has stated that it will not look to appeal the judgments and by doing so will wear the blame and plead responsible for trying defraud the public from their claims.   With this news, its pretty evident that the company will expect to be taking a hit on its bottom line and will probably force the company to readjust it market forecasts, which will in all likelihood will drop its global stock price. 

The other side of the coin, if you were going to look at this from the glass half full point of view, is that if nothing else the company can finally put this mess behind them and many analysts may see the positive in this ruling as it will remove the dark clouds that have been hovering over the company for the last number of years.  However if you wanted to look at this from the glass half empty view, you still have to worry about the outstanding the shareholder suits that could dwarf this one billion payment – estimates have pegged the potential cost of this action at around $10 Billion.

All of this is coming on the heels of the company choosing to fire its previous CEO R. Stadler, who happens to be in custody for this whole emissions mess, and replacing him with their long time sales leader Bram Schot as its interim CEO.  This will continue to play out, and have long lasting impacts, not only on the company but the industry as a whole as every major auto manufacturer looks to shift their production away from traditional engines and more into the electric and hybrid market.