Surprise Volkswagen Share Price Rise

Volkswagen Share Price - https://au.finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=VLKAY#symbol=VLKAY;range=6m

Volkswagen Share Price – https://au.finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=VLKAY#symbol=VLKAY;range=6m

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Volkswagen share prices have risen sharply in the last few days, apparently on the back of news that Volkswagen was already negotiating a settlement with the EPA, over the rigging of Volkswagen CO2 emissions tests, when the scandal broke.

According to CityAM, a prominent London financial paper;

In a testimony due to be presented to a panel of investigators at the House of Representatives today, Horn said the possibility was highlighted to him in a West Virginia University study in spring 2014.

“I was informed that EPA regulations included various penalties for non-compliance with the emissions standards and that the agencies can conduct engineering tests which could include ‘defeat device’ testing or analysis,” he said.

I was also informed that the company engineers would work with the agencies to resolve the issue.

Later in 2014, I was informed that the technical teams had a specific plan for remedies to bring the vehicles into compliance and that they were engaged with specific agencies about the process.”

Read more: http://www.cityam.com/226108/volkswagen-emissions-scandal-us-boss-says-he-was-told-about-faulty-engines-last-year

There have been several positive articles about Volkswagen recently, such as the following article from Forbes;

Feeling Brave? Now Might Be The Time To Buy Volkswagen Shares

Some investors may raise their eyebrows at this advice. After all, Volkswagen’s Chairman-designate Hans Dieter Poetsch has warned that the diesel-emissions scandal could pose “an existence-threatening crisis for the company.”

Nonetheless Berenberg Bank analyst Adam Hull, in a published research note to investors, said now is the time to buy.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilwinton/2015/10/08/some-advice-for-the-brave-now-might-be-the-time-to-buy-vw-shares/

As Hans Dieter Poetsch indicated, until Volkswagen negotiates a firm settlement, the whole affair could still threaten the existence of the company. Any new release of bad news from EPA regulators could dramatically impact Volkswagen share prices. But a significant number of investors appear to think Volkswagen shares have been oversold, and are betting on a recovery in share value.

There doesn’t seem to be much concern that Volkswagen’s attempt to cheat the emissions test will significantly impact the consumer choices, of people who buy Volkswagens. Perhaps most car buyers are more concerned about look, feel and drivability, than CO2 EPA emissions standards.

Corrected – EW

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126 thoughts on “Surprise Volkswagen Share Price Rise

  1. Regarding: “There doesn’t seem to be much concern that Volkswagen’s attempt to cheat the emissions test will significantly impact the consumer choices, of people who buy Volkswagens. Perhaps most car buyers are more concerned about look, feel and drivability, than CO2.” CO2 is not one of the emissions where there was illegal cheating on, because CO2 is not (yet) an EPA-regulated emission of motor vehicles.

    • Don’t feel bad. When I say I’m an environmental engineer, people always jump to CO2. I then have to explain “no, I deal with real pollution”.

    • CO2 emissions is not the law they were circumventing. It was nitric oxide concentration. That’s a real pollutant that harms us.

      • CO2 emissions is not the law they were circumventing.

        The other law they are circumventing is fleet MPG. Higher compression yields better MPG but also NOx. If they lower the compression to fix the NOx issue the MPG is going to drop. (that’ll put more C02 in the air of course, but meh whatever).
        Peter

    • VW has given the world the “finger” (and is still doing so ) its a f…. you attitude, The CEO resigns on a pension that would support a small town, others have got just a little less, its not the cheating that bothers, but the attitude, I would think that there will be a lot more coming out, with a don’t fix it but hide it mind-set and a model for every 2 inches ( Golf over 30 variants, lengths ) don’t buy, sell!

      • I think you will find that all car makers have been creating cars to pass the tests, it is what happens when you set criteria, you can see the same in education where pupils are not educated they are trained to pass the exams and tests. In this case the requirement was that when tested on a rolling road in particular conditions the cars had to have a particular maximum emissions level – they met the requirements of the test. Motoring journalists however had different criteria of smoothly delivered power and acceleration with low fuel consumption in normal use. The cars passed those tests too. Now the rules are being changed and the tests combined. Rather like children asked something that is not on the exam syllabus, the cars fail. This is a test design problem.

      • So who gives a damn about a (probably) small amount of one emission in a diesel car (40 times greater than allowed doesn’t tell you anything – this is a small engine, producing small amounts of emissions, compared to the monster trucks with monster V8 engines. And exactly how many VW diesels were ever built? I’ve never even seen a VW diesel. My guess is that all of this amounts to a hill of beans.

      • @arthur4563
        The 486,000 Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) diesels put out about 35-40% as much NOx as all the other 10.5million other diesel cars and light trucks registered in the USA put together.
        There are 11,000,000 affected VW diesels around the world, 8,000,000 in Europe. At least 3.8million of the European diesels – the 1.6litre diesels – are known to need hardware alterations to meet the regulations.
        @Ian W
        The other manufacturers made vehicles that passed the tests, while behaving the same way that they did out on the open road.
        VAG made vehicles that changed into a special cheat mode, so they would not have to use the post-combustion exhaust processing hardware the other manufacturers had required to pass the emissions tests.
        Yes, the tests are not a good representation of real world driving. But the other manufacturers were able to pass those tests using the same software and hardware that their vehicles use in real world driving.
        VAG was not.

    • CO2 is, indeed, a regulated emission. It is regulated via fuel Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)requirements. The problem VW might have is that the fix for emissions might reduce fuel economy. As a customer, would you bring in your vehicle for an emissions recall that would give you much worse fuel economy?

      • The fix is NOT going to affect fuel economy to any significant extent. Emissions controls lead to more complete fuel burn, which almost always results in better mileage. There aren’t very many VW diesels in this country.

  2. I would say that the real story is whether the EU High Intelligence and the UN Hight Intelligence sought VW to rig emissions testing in the USA to “game” the ‘carbon market’ against the USA for profit!
    Ha ha

    • And, to think, that VW execs. seem to have blamed the entire episode on the devious antics of just a couple of engineers.
      Well then, those engineers certainly need congratulating for thinking outside of the NOx.
      I know that I shouldn’t really be laughing about the fact that now we are all going to die horribly from oxygen starvation.
      But it’s all so funny that I can hardly breathe.
      Which seems slightly ironic, in the circumstances…

    • Actually, ST, both. These are lw displacement TDI diesels. To min NOx, you run which lowers mileage and imcreaes CO2. To min CO2, you real, which sharply imcreases NOx. The defeat software was toggling stoichiometry.

      • How is that wrong? If the car passes both tests that is all that is required. There would need to specific language in the testing documents to ban what the ingenious engineers have done, wouldn’t there?
        Please also stop the use of this term ‘defeat’ – it’s just ECU software that someone doesn’t like.

  3. Smell fishy?
    Two large non USA car makers suffer badly in the USA.
    Toyota for a mystery speed control problem.
    VW for breaching EPA limits in a society that does not have over-stringent limits.
    Is there some game going on behind the scenes which gives GM and Chrysler an edge? – the two big boys which were unnecessarily bailed out by Oh Bummer.
    I must be wrong. The Oh Bummer administration would not stoop to such levels.

    • Are you suggesting Obama organised engineers to infiltrate Toyota to cause a conflict between computers and then VW to interfere with engine management systems? From what I have seen it’s a wonder he can tie his own shoelaces.

      • I must have my conspiracy theory all wrong.
        Fancy VW putting N into our atmosphere. They have not learnt from WW2. Now have the owners of Toyota.
        (I thought there was a MAJOR problem in the Toyota situation in that they could NOT reproduce he problem).
        Now that’s a problem.

    • GM had the ignition switch scandal. link

      The defect was not disclosed by GM nor was it discovered by government regulators or transportation safety agencies.

      The GM problem was discovered as a result of a lawsuit.
      The Volkswagen problem was discovered by curious citizens.
      We knew that Toyota had something going on with unintended acceleration. It was a private investigation as part of a lawsuit that uncovered Toyota’s negligence.
      It doesn’t appear that GM was treated less harshly than Toyota and Volkswagen. On the other hand, the GM problem caused more than a hundred deaths. GM knew about the problem for years.
      Some folks at GM should go to jail (but won’t). Similarly, a whole bunch of bankers should go to jail because of the shenanigans that lead up to the financial crisis of 2008. Instead, they keep their bonuses and the taxpayers bail their institutions out.
      Corporations, and the people who run them, literally get away with murder. That’s a big big problem. It’s also a problem that the government agencies who are supposed to be protecting us can’t do so. They no longer have the resources or, arguably, the mandate.
      Things are seriously out of balance in favor of the corporations.

      • The GM problem was caused by crummy designs and a kiss-off attitude in the customer relations department. They were careful about the regulators and didn’t show as much care for the customers (some of whom died).
        VW’s problem was caused by very careful design and ‘creative’ engine management software. They were careful about the customers and didn’t show much respect for the regulators (and no one died).
        On the other hand, the regulators put up a pretty crummy test that, all things considered, is not contextual. It does not test the car under operating conditions at any time during the evaluation process. Notice that both Nissan and Toyota (and others?) have been gaming the same tests to generate misrepresentative fuel efficiency claims that cannot be matched by drivers. Is that cheating?
        What’s the difference? How is cheating the customers on performance claims (lousy mileage) any different from cheating the EPA emissions tests? Again, the direct cause of the fake fuel efficiency numbers is a decontextualised test method that does not measure actual performance in use. Well….who is to blame for that? Who writes the tests?
        A note of caution about the numbers being bandied about re the ‘level of cheating’. One claim is that some diesels put out 40 times more NO that is ‘allowed’. Take that with a grain of salt. The emission level is related to a drive cycle and time period, not some momentary concentration max. Let’s see what the actual rating is overall for an un-fiddled test of a vehicle. Next, let’s see what the performance drop is once the software is updated. The solution is merely to limit the torque/power of the engine. When the hammer is not down, all the cars pass the EPA test. That is why they got permits. The penalties will be for cheating. If the cars are no longer blowing the doors off the competition down at the strip, maybe sales will suffer. Maybe not. All publicity is good publicity in the end, some say.

      • No wonder you’re a Commie! I presume you don’t drive a vehicle made by an evil, out of control corporation. 🙂

      • @Crispin
        The tests showed between 10 and 40 times the NOx emissions specified in the Tier 2 Bin 5 standard.
        The full test results are available on-line, in tedious detail.

    • Yes. Govt Motors have had ignition switch problems for years and have killed many people. They get to skate on.

    • I have a Chrysler, believe me they need all the help they can get. They are now owned by Fiat, that gigantic Italian Company that makes Ferrari so some good might rub off though it failed to with Mercedes.

  4. The question I have is: if you own one of these vehicles, would you take it in for the recall and have the problem fixed? Summarizing as follows: VW developed a software cheat to fool emissions testing stations into believing their car’s exhaust was on target with EPA mandates. As soon as the car was done being tested, down the street the car goes and the software goes back to ‘normal’ and the car provides great mileage and performance for the driver. It will be interesting to track how many affected vehicle owners do not have their car ‘fixed.’ Hey bring your car in so we can make it get worse fuel mileage and make the performance worse!
    Hmmmmmmm. I think I would skip that recall.
    Also, I can’t find it to post right now, but I read elsewhere that the EPA will probably let VW off with a very minor tap on the wrist. The hypothesis is that virtually all of the auto manufacturers are doing the same thing. The theory is there is a strong argument that the EPA’s mandates are unreachable and the PR would blow up on them.

    • “Hmmmmmmm. I think I would skip that recall.”
      But emission tests will be revised when VWs are tested to work around VW’s cheat, so owners without a fix won’t get a license renewal.

    • It will not affect the fuel economy, it will downrate the maximum power. They will, electronically, place a pebble under the accelerator so it can’t reach the floor. There are many ways to reprogram the firmware on a car. That is an after-sales enhancement and the devices are common as crumbs in a bakery.

      • I’m pretty sure lowering NOx is also going to lower MPG. It’s less efficient when you have to lower the temperature on a diesel…

      • “They will, electronically, place a pebble under the accelerator so it can’t reach the floor. There are many ways to reprogram the firmware on a car.”
        Then we will see a tuning kit to make the pebble switchable by the customer e.g. with a programmable input into its navigation device… “Choose your boost PIN”.

      • Rainer is suggesting something brilliant. Some cars already have switches — e.g.,for the suspension (handling vs. comfort). The new Teslas have a switch for acceleration right now (which obviously doesn’t affect emissions, directly anyway). If gas or diesel cars are sold with engine performance switches, the testing procedures would need to be revised. This turns into a legal mess, especially if the consumer is empowered to control this (e.g., with a PIN).
        Imagine trying to write the laws that would prevent car manufacturers from doing this and then dealing with aftermarket work-arounds. If emissions are just a function of software patches, the aftermarket devices could be cheap and the changeover to get ready for an emissions test would be easy and undetectable.
        This is a classic “gaming over-regulation” scenario — a normal topic in Operations Research.

      • You see where this is all heading, right?
        Open software carz, right around the corner!
        Don’t like the performance of your iCar?, well there’s an Ap for that!
        And just wait till the Black hats get a hold of the freeway system…

      • Frederick: I had a 2003 Dodge Ram that I fitted with a “Switchable” chip after the warranty ran out. Trouble was that if you set it for maximum power when pulling a 13,000 pound horse trailer up a hill, you could actually spin the clutch if you floored it. So when “chipping” a vehicle you need to match other parts of the drive train and upgrade as needed or be careful about what setting you use on the chip set or have your own imaginary “pebble” under the accelerator.
        When taking the car to the dealer, it was a simple matter to turn the chip set off for diagnostics. Lots of manufacturers for performance enhancing chip sets.
        The newer trucks have better optimization and hauling capability so no need to chip them unless you are racing.

      • I am not an automotive engineer, but I do have engineer friends who track this issue. My understanding is that the technology does not exist at any price.
        Another example of EPA overreach is the Obama administrations Clean Power Plan. The technology for coal and natural gas fired plants does not exist… at any price. The only way to comply with the plan is to turn the plants off.

    • Kind of ironic that the EPA, the agency which stridently proclaims the dangers of CO2, is about to force a recall which will increase the CO2 emissions. Perhaps VW should be given a conspicuous award instead for thinking outside the box.

    • So, would you buy a used VW diesel, now? There has to be a fix, emissions allowance, or something to allow all those VW’s to pass emissions tests for the foreseeable future.

  5. Future generations will find this very amusing. ….
    World thought to be spiralling towards extinction because of heating caused by anthropogenic CO2;
    huge expensive energy industry, political machinery and beaurocracy established to replace, fund and police .. designed for and rewarding the apparent potential saviours of this demise;
    establishment of regulations and penalties, punishment and annihilation of offenders;
    But then the discovery that original premise was incorrect and anthropogenic CO2 was not a problem. …. In fact a fertiliser and essential gas for plant life to provide us with food.

  6. EPA is the problem, not VW. It considers all industrial activities bad for the environment. EPA’s standards should be re-examined. Emission limits for e.g. CO2 and radioactivity are too low, because they are based on models, not real harms to humans.

      • Are you sure that NOx is a real pollutant? I did a little googling with “NOx emission consequences” and found the typical story: special interest groups estimate that NOx has something to do with what they care about. No compelling evidence was shown. Lightnings create NOx and there are a lot of chemical reactions in the atmosphere that make the impact analysis very difficult.
        Green belief system is very concerned about trace substances. They are promoted it they come “natural” sources e.g organic food and they are pollutants if they come from industrial sources. Because they actually hate successful people, (that is us: western while males) anything that they do should be forbidden.So, e.g. driving a car, eating meat, using energy should be stopped.

      • NOx is an ozone and smog precursor. I like clean air, and the air where lots of people in the US live is far better than it was before NOx control. Modern cars and trucks produce almost none of this, unless they cheat the rules. This is pretty offensive to me.
        VW had a choice of control technologies:
        1. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), which uses an additional chemical, urea, to reduce NOX. Very effective, more costly. Used on VW AG diesels over 2.0 L.
        2. Lean NOx Trap (LNT). Less effective, and uses diesel fuel in the process to regenerate the LNT. Cheaper. Used on the 2.0 TDI.
        VW went with cheap, and painted themselves into a corner where they could not meet the NOx standards with good fuel economy.
        The arrogance of their ultimate solution is staggering. It is not possible that CEO and CTO were unaware. This is nothing less than conspiracy to defraud. The overhanging liability and potential civil penalties could diminish VWs commercial viability. Buy at your own risk.

      • GC, yes, I’m certain. NOx reductions are the reason that my fair city no longer has a brown haze on the horizon each afternoon. I’ve spent the better part of my career working to reduce NOx emissions,and I don’t like people faking tests to undo my life’s work because they want to do it on the cheap.

  7. Hey come to think of it, where have you heard before of a large respected global organisation that fudges its data for massive financial gain? Hanna sounds awfully familiar…

  8. No stock prices go straight up or down without rallies or corrections. Since VW stock was already in a serious downtrend prior to the news I would bet that this is a dead cat bounce and the downtrend will resume shortly.

  9. meanwhile in Denmark!
    30 Sept: Bloomberg: Peter Levring: Teslas Hit by 180% Danish Tax on Cars as Green Goals Ditched
    As the world looks on in disbelief at Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, Denmark is pushing through policies that will undo the previous administration’s efforts to steer consumers toward environmentally friendly vehicles. One involves extending Denmark’s 180 percent levy to all cars, regardless of their emission levels; another concerns a special tax on Nitrogen-Oxide emissions, which are generated from burning fossil fuels and are more abundant in diesel than gasoline cars…
    Denmark’s move marks its latest shift away from measures that had once put the Scandinavian country at the forefront of innovative policies designed to promote renewable energy. The three-month old government has already said it is abandoning ambitious CO2 emissions targets and dropping plans to become fossil-fuel free by 2050. That policy shift was revealed on Sept. 2, the same day U.S. President Barack Obama made a global appeal for urgent action to fight climate change.
    Frederiksen argues that tough decisions need to be made against the backdrop of a widening budget deficit…
    According to other provisions contained in the budget draft, the Liberal government also plans to drop the so-called NOx tax, which was introduced by the previous administration to reduce pollution. The move will save businesses an estimated 240 million kroner in 2016, according to the Tax Ministry…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-29/teslas-hit-by-180-tax-in-denmark-as-green-goals-get-left-behind

    • So when the chips are down and the economy is struggling, daft green targets get dumped. The politicians know that they are much more likely to get voted out for a failing economy than for not being green.

  10. This is getting interesting.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/09/mercedes-honda-mazda-mitsubishi-diesel-emissions-row

    Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Mazda and Mitsubishi have joined the growing list of manufacturers whose diesel cars are known to emit significantly more pollution on the road than in regulatory tests, according to data obtained by the Guardian.

    And:

    The Guardian revealed last week that diesel cars from Renault, Nissan, Hyundai, Citroen, Fiat, Volvo and Jeep all pumped out significantly more NOx in more realistic driving conditions.

    I am shocked I tell you … shocked!

    All the diesel cars passed the EU’s official lab-based regulatory test (called NEDC), but the test has failed to cut air pollution as governments intended because carmakers designed vehicles that perform better in the lab than on the road.

    You don’t say.

    • This may be a case of all the makers get their engines from say PSA. I know French made cars have PSD diesel engines as well as a small Toyota. Would explain why soo many makers are falling victim to the same emissions issue.

      • PSA also makes the diesel motors for Ford and Volvo. It is the largest manufacturer for diesel engines of the world. The problem for diesel is that CO2/performance/mileage goes better with increasing pressure in the engine, but NOx goes up, as temperatures go up too. There are a few tricks possible like recycling part of the outlet (= less excess oxygen), but the only real solution is a de-NOx calalyst in the outlet. For small diesel cars (the majority of cars here in Belgium), that means a higher price, added to the higher price of diesel cars already. All small car manufacturers lobbied against an obliged diesel outlet smoke filter/catalyst at the European Union, until now with success…

      • Thanks for that Ferdinand, interesting. I knew PSA was big in diesel engine supply, but not that big. Well aware of the NOx issue with increasing temperatures/pressures in diesels. I wonder if that is why Mazda with it’s “Skyactive” engines dropped their diesel compression ratio to 16:1?
        Went to school there in Tevuren. Miss the chocolates and the fries and mayo.

    • One has to be a bit careful here: no car emits what the test results says. These tests are based on ‘typical use’ with (in the case of the EPA) more than 100 different drive cycles for various vehicles and applications (i.e. taxis, commuter cares etc). Not one of them is realistic enough to give an ‘answer’ that is predictive of performance in use. Just because in actual use it doesn’t match the test result doesn’t mean there is any cheating at all. VW’s cheat was very specific: It assumed that if the rear wheels are not turning, it was being tested, and dialed back the NO production.
      This contextuality issue is a problem with many lab tests. It is much worse in some cases or countries, but typical of tests for nearly all small devices and appliances. The root cause is simple: the tests are all based on ideas from tests of fixed-installation, large scale boilers like power stations. The test methods are all extensions of the old fixed plant, concentrated emission source thinking that comprised the first pollution control test methods. The same problem exists for all wood stove tests, hydronic heaters, anything you can name. The test result does not predict performance in typical use. Manufacturers do not produce clean, efficient products, they produce products that will pass the EPA tests and nothing more. They are never subject to ‘real tests’. Why? Because that is how the EPA and ANSI work.
      Engine management systems can be programmed to do anything you want so….they do it.
      Looking to the future, co-firing a small amount of propane in a diesel engine greatly improves performance and reduces emissions. It works particularly well on turbo-diesels. The idea that urea injection is the only solution is incorrect. There are already at least 9000 diesel engined vehicles in the USA using propane as a performance enhancer (a large increase in torque and power) which perfectly offsets the problem that will be created by dialing back the throttle as VW is about to do.

      • Like with many add-ons to cars, even wheels and tyres, most countries I have lived in will not test a vehicle for registration purposes if modified, or those modifications would have to be certified. Most people would simply disconnect those, non-standard, items at test time. And most insurers won’t insure a car modified if the modification is not recognised by them, such as propane for diesels and nitro for petrol engines. If you had those items fitted, and you were involved in a crash, your insurance would automatically be void and you would be personally liable for any damage (Certainly in the UK and Australia).

  11. Doggy car manufacturers vs doggy environmental protection agencies. What a fight between titans in the art of manipulation! As i explained many times but nobody wanna listen, the unece r101 emission standards prescribe the measurement of the co2 and the computation of the fuel consumption by using a formula theoretically valid for a prescribed c/h ratio hydrocarbon fuel. As the strongly variable pump gasoline may have a very different c/h/o ratio from the unspecified test gasoline (gasoline actually is a mixing of hydrocarbons plus up to 10% ethanol and up to 3% methanol) nobody knows any more which is the fuel consumption of a car if not + or – 40%. Of the co2 i dont care as it is only an excuse to force us to accept the big brother society. Btw vw is doggy as the others.

  12. Not a surprise to me.
    It was quite obvious from day one, that all the manufacturers were doing this. VW NOX figures were broadly similar to other car manufacturers. You are not telling me that VW engines were soooo much worse than other manufactures, that they and only they had to fiddle the tests. Now that the info that other manufacturers have fiddled the data is coming out, the VW share price is bound to rise.
    The noughties (2000 to 2010) were the era of lies and deception, mostly perpetrated by Blair but taken up with enthusiasm by Obama. Everything in government became a dream rather than reality – including medical, educational, taxation and police targets. And the pen-pushers responded with dream figures to suit the dream world, while politicians pretended to believe the dream figures because they burnished their image.
    But it was all a dream. Trouble is – it was this same dream world that allowed the AGW dream to flourish. It should have been slapped down in 2001, but it continued to grow into an ugly and unruly teenager.
    R

  13. I’m not in any way bothered by, shocked by, or surprised by VW. In fact, they did exactly what they were required to do: made their vehicles pass a specific test. ALL vehicles pass specific lab tests that may or may not be useful in the real world, including rollover, passive restraint, collision, etc.
    In fact, I’ll even go another step, and say that I’m GLAD VW did what they did. I think most EPA requirements are more for show than benefit, nitrous oxides are not a huge problem and are not likely to become so.
    As an owner and fan of turbo cars for decades, I’m well aware that the majority of actual operation is in the “gentle” range, and only a small amount is in the “go fast” range. I would buy VW stock at the depressed price, but I really don’t like the company for other reasons.

  14. Frankly I don’t care what they did because I don’t care why they did it and that’s the crux of the the matter.
    I suspect there are many like me.

  15. With the European Union rupturing at every seam and both China and Russia apparently on an expansionary course, along comes the US government, taking action which could put an already Green policy- weakened ally and Free World power into a major economic tailspin…
    what could possibly go wrong?

  16. Indefatigablefrog points out :
    “And, to think, that VW execs. seem to have blamed the entire episode on the devious antics of just a couple of engineers.”
    If that is the case there is something something seriously wrong with the scheme of industrial standards . As most will know from experience there are international standards , ISO series which cover manufacturing and other commercial activities to protect the consumer and the companies themselves. The ISO 9000series covers quality management , ISO14000 covers environmental management and so on.
    Wnen the company I worked for applied for an earlier version of ISO9001 we, in the R/D dept, had to have our notebooks, minutes of technical review meetings and actions proposed and carried out available for inspection . The point is that there had to be a line of management from the Lab and Design offices through the technical director to the Company Board for the ISO standard to be awarded.
    There is no way that VW could be awarded ISO 9001 if such a crucial design feature was not revealed at technical Review meetings , discussed , and if passed , the results of that decision made clear to the top executives.
    And yet VW were indeed awarded ISO 9001 , in July this year
    https://www.tuv-nord.com/en/press-releases-575-tuev-nord-awards-quality-management-certificate-to-volkswagen-114894.htm
    So either something is wrong with the process of awarding ISO9001 , raising questions about the integrity of ISO generally , or those VW execs were being “economical with the truth”

    • “mikewaite
      October 11, 2015 at 12:58 am
      Wnen the company I worked for applied for an earlier version of ISO9001 we, in the R/D dept, had to have our notebooks, minutes of technical review meetings and actions proposed and carried out available for inspection .”
      You mean BS5750? Yeah, all I was told to do by my “management” was if the “examiners” asked a question about BS5750 I was to say “I refer you to my BS5750 co-ordinator”. Certainly was a lot of BS back then.

      • Patrick , yes it was BS5750 , but our experience was rather different . The inspectors took one product already in production and traced it from the initial funding for development through to the point where it was passed to Production . That final step is of course a Board decision and i presume that the same is true of the VW engine . There is surely no way the CEO/directors of VW could be unaware of the design implications of their new product if ISO9001 is a really important measure of quality management.
        No, something smells here, and it is not just the acrid taste of excessive nitric oxide fumes.

    • ISO9000 is a strange beast which says NOTHING AT ALL about quality. Only that you have set up a quality system, and the inspections are supposed to confirm that you adhere to it. But your quality system can be as ambitious or unambitious as you like – you basically write it yourself. It has spawned a huge industry of paperchasing which has required the employ of a vast army of extra penpushers and, for a big outfit like VW, which would have these systems in place anyway, probably isn’t much of an extra burden. But for smaller companies (and even sole traders, schools, burger vans, market stalls, sports clubs, local councils, churches, doorstep salesmen and the lady who takes in your washing can have it if they wish) it is just a big game which will cost you money. Lots of ‘inspectorates’ have jumped on the bandwagon and have invented yet another parasitic industry to be dealt with.
      One of the biggest annoyances in running a small company is having to reply to the steady flow of forms from your customers or prospective customers, asking if you have a quality system (because they have to fill out a form about you to put in their ISO9000 log)! ISO14000 started out with the same philosophy but is perhaps a little bit more relevant to its supposed subject matter. Both are entirely voluntary, in UK at least, and for now.

      • mothcatcher,
        Exactly right. In the U.S., NIST evolved into ISO9000, but it didn’t really do much. Quality has a lot to do with reputation, and top quality firms protect their reputation for quality. They don’t need an ISO9000 bureaucracy to ‘fix’ things.
        Deming got Japan on the quality track after WWII with his six-sigma approach. Their automotive and tech products set the standard for quality. Other companies tried to emulate the Japanese, but they didn’t have the benefit of being reduced to rubble and building a new system from the ground up.

  17. did this surprising speech by the Mercedes/Daimler boss get covered in the US?
    15 Sept: Speech by Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche stops Frankfurt motor show in its tracks
    by Joshua Dowling, NewsCorp
    IT was a speech like never before at a motor show.
    Dieter Zetsche, the colourful boss of conservative luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz, was applauded by international media after interrupting his speech about future cars and instead made a heartfelt plea on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of displaced refugees fleeing the Syria conflict zone.
    In a completely unexpected departure from proceedings, and moments before he unveiled a space-age car for the year 2030, Mr Zetsche launched into a monologue about the displaced people entering Germany…
    “Some people believe that immigration endangers a country’s future perspectives. I’m convinced that the opposite is the case.”
    Mr Zetsche said taking in more than 800,000 people “is undoubtedly a herculean task for Germany” but added “in the best-case scenario, it can also be a foundation for the next German economic miracle — just like the millions of guest workers were for our economic miracle of the ’50s and ’60s.”…
    “Another example comes from Silicon Valley,” he continued in front of a stunned and silent media more accustomed to hearing about cars.
    “The ancestors of (Google founder) Sergej Brin, (Tesla founder) Elon Musk and (Yahoo founder) Jerry Yang didn’t arrive in America on the Mayflower either,” Mr Zetsche said with a grin.
    “I read recently that a quarter of America’s fastest growing companies of the last few years were founded by immigrants. That also applied in particular to IT companies,” he said…
    “Anybody who knows the past isn’t allowed to turn refugees away. Anybody who sees the present can’t turn them away. Anybody who thinks about the future will not turn them away.”…
    And then he unveiled a hi-tech car that was almost as surreal as the speech he just gave.
    http://www.news.com.au/technology/speech-by-mercedes-benz-boss-dieter-zetsche-stops-frankfurt-motor-show-in-its-tracks/story-e6frfrnr-1227527632681

  18. Cheap shares for the grab of a market leader in car manufacturing?The cars are not bad, its just the software. That can be replaced. VW is here to stay.

    • If the software is updated to remove the cheat then the cars will not meet emission standards. That is a serious problem because they will have to be given a pass by the EPA (unlikely IMO) or reduce performance (that would upset a lot of owners). Or even recall several million autos for a hardware fix. VW will survive but we haven’t seen the last of this issue.

      • Steve,
        Obviously, the software update will be such that the car always runs in clean mode. We know it can do that because it does it on the dyno. Having the Lean NOx Trap engaged full time costs diesel but satisfies the EPA. Customers, not so much.

  19. But what if all diesel cars (not just from the VW group) are caught up in this firestorm, then all car makers that make diesel cars (and that is nearly all car manufacturers) will be affected such that VW will not lose out to its competitors, and as long as the world wants cars there is no reason why VW will not flourish, in particular if it does not lose market share to its competitors and if the stock value is presently depressed due to the scandal, there is a strong case that the stock may be considered cheap and thus a buying opportunity.
    It is difficult to see how this will all pan out. Whilst VW has breached the directives and hence may be liable to fines, it may not end up having to pay damages to customers (which could have far worse financial consequences for the company) since those customers may find it difficult to establish damages and a quantifiable loss. Particularly so, if the bulk of other car manufacturers have similarly breached the directives since a customer will be unable to suggest that had he known that VW were cheating he would instead have bought a BMW or Mercedes, or whatever if it is found that those companies have similarly breached the directives. And let’s face it, the bulk of buyers do not buy cars on the basis of emissions, if anything it is because of marque, style, performance, comfort, reliability, cost and financial incentives. Those who are particularly concerned about emissions buy electric or hybrids, not appreciating that such cars are responsible for just as much CO2 as petrol cars; it merely being that the CO2 is emitted at the power station rather than at the end of the exhaust pipe.

  20. The most consistent feature of stock markets is not absolute price reflecting true value, but volatility created by financial professionals to speculate profitably at the expense of the inexperienced investor.
    There is nothing surprising about this rise, it is volatility created by the money markets to make money.

  21. Of course VW shares will recover.
    With the exception of the “Won’t Someone Pleeze think of the Childrens” usual suspects who probably still believe that margarine is better for you than butter, all sentient organisms have by now realised that this whole load of BS is based on just another load of numbers plucked out of the air by a bunch of overpaid underqualified interfering busybodies in receipt of sacks of brown envelopes and justified by dodgy computer games models.

  22. Off topic, but there is a headline in the Telegraph today that claims that Lyme disease cases have quadrupled because of climate change.
    Oh my God, it seems almost mandatory to blame climate change for everything in order to get published, future funding, promotion, headlines, etc.
    I have lived for 70 years in the UK without perceiving any change in the local climate which is perceptible. It may be true, as I am told, a fraction of a degree warmer than the little ice age but I don’t remember that far back.
    When we read the article (if we haven’t already screwed it and flushed it down the toilet where it belongs) we see that other, more feasible causes are mentioned: increasing numbers of housing developments in rural areas; immigration from countries in central and eastern Europe where the infection is more common; possible transmission through blood transfusion. But Hey, a journalist won’t get headlines for saying boring things that.
    Vomit

    • Mike, I live in the country here in Canada and our dogs have increasingly come down with ticks in the past 3-4 years. The number of ticks on their ears went from zero 6-7 years ago to 3-4 per year. We’re also seeing more deer around – the likely cause.
      Our one dog fell ill and at the vet’s office they confirmed 3 cases of Lyme disease in dogs this year, first time in 20 years according to the aging vet. Our dog ended up having only a bacterial infection and recovered.
      If you believe the Earth has warmed during the past 40 years then you would expect Lyme disease in northern climates to increase as deer migrate slowly north. There isn’t much hunting around here anymore as the cities have expanded closer to the rural communities and most of the rural land is monoculture (soybeans and corn). Much of the forested areas is private land not available to the hunters. So the hunters go further north. Perhaps the UK has an increasing deer population as well.

      • It is also more likely that for the first time doctors in UK are using blood tests that can detect Lyme disease instead of telling the patient in the allowed 10 minutes that they have what is going around at the moment here is a prescription for red and yellow capsules from the pharmacist.

  23. It is possible that the majority of Brits couldn`t give two hoots about the `scandal`, with Jeremy Clarkson and top gear having the moral high ground the little testing people dont stand a chance.
    Just wait till they ban all petrol engined lawnmowers due to `emissions`

    • er..um, the EU is currently going for motorised lawn mower regs for annual test, like a car.
      I in Uk don’t give too much of a toss about it but there are plenty extremists that do in UK. What bothers me is many countries outside of the West neither give a toss nor comply. Cats are taken off mostly and likely back street chipping is rife..if you can avoid the bombing etc?

  24. If I owned a lot of shares in VW and the stock tanked, I would be very bullish in the short term. Very, very bullish.

  25. Naturally, no MSM has made the obvious point that the real villain here are the regulators, how,after 30 years, still don’t seem to know how to conduct simple emission testing. Instead of tailpipe testing, they accepted tests by monitoring the engine computer, which was a very stupid strategy..

  26. When auto corporations are forced to comply with unrealistic measures that cannot be achieved without loss of performance or a big upswing in prices – guess what? They have to cheat – to both obey the global masters and also keep their market share.
    So why not also cheat to show their share prices are rising…hmmm?

  27. Now Is an excellent time to purchase VW stock.
    Buy low, sell high…. Wow, what a concept.
    VW has the world’s largest car distribution and production network, incredible technology, great engineers, the largest production capacity in the market, one of the highest R&D spends in the market, a P/E ratio of just 5.8, a dividend of almost 4%….
    VW is a steal at this price. Load up the VW van at these prices. You’ll double your money in 2 years; perhaps less..
    Sure, VW made a mistake, but at least their cars weren’t exploding on impact, they were merely cheating on arbitrary emission standards.
    In 20 years, we’ll be driving electric cars recharged by electricity generated by thorium reactors, which makes these pollution standards and CAGW moot.

    • Might be good to wait a couple of quarters. VW might seem too big to fail, but their shares are largely held by municipal entities in Germany…their reaction is hard to predict. The total cost of recalls and civil penalties has been estimated to be around $22b. That’s a lot of cash, and would likely force VW to sell several components to raise money. MAN, SCANIA, Lamborghini, Bentley, etc. could go on the block. I don’t think we have seen the bottom for VW shares…we shall see.

      • Data– From experience, it’s usually best to wait until a bottom has been reached after a “crisis” to buy.
        $25/share was most likely the bottom seeing the jump after it hit $25. It’s impossible to guess tops and bottoms. Let the pigs try to guess those because they’re usually the ones that get slaughtered.
        A P/E of under 6 is a rare and fantastic buying opportunity with a company of this quality.
        Never look a gift horse in the mouth… A 50% drop means a 100% ROI when the stock just reaches it’s pre-crisis price…

  28. Data– I hope you get a better price, that would be great, but it’s difficult for a quality company with $5/share profits to trade below $50/share; especially with 4% dividends.
    BTW, you won’t be buying my shares, you’ll be buying someone else’s shares trading on emotions rather than with their brain.
    Good luck!

  29. Sam…
    Just some stuff from The Fool attached below. Loss of trust, loss of brand equity, loss of share and sales, massive fines and sales incentives. Doesn’t sound pretty at all.
    I won’t be buying VW any time soon. After an ethical breach of this magnitude, how could anyone trust them? What else might be out there? Corrupt business practices in other markets, maybe?
    I don’t think you fully appreciate how important brand integrity is in the auto industry. VW used to be a strong global brand, but not any more, sadly.
    You seem to have your strategy, and good luck with it. I am going to watch with interest, but I think I can find better investments, thanks.
    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/10/11/why-volkswagen-groups-woes-could-get-even-worse.aspx?source=eptcnnlnk0000002+

  30. Fine them billions. EU tries to do the same to every successful American company. I.e. Intel because they didn’t charge enough to keep AMD profitable. Google because they make to much etc…
    This is flat out fraud, time for EU to get a taste of their own medicine. Personally tired of the holier then thou attitude of western Europeans.

    • US isn’t a great country for free enterprise either.
      Apple vs. Samsung? Patented iPhone shape? Complex issues decided by obviously incompetent juries?
      Google vs. Oracle? The Supreme Court refuse to even hear the case?

    • It’s worth remembering that Europeans didn’t want to impose sanctions on Russia, and only did so under enormous pressure from the United States.
      http://tapnewswire.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/putin-merkel-obama-caricature1.jpg
      The sanctions hurt Europeans at least as as much as they hurt Russians.
      When General Motors and Merck killed people in the United States with their defective and dangerous products in order to remain “very successful American companies”, the western media didn’t explode with contrived outrage. The discrepancy between the crime and the punishment points to a political motive, having nothing to do with the vehicle emissions or any perceived risks arising from them.
      “F*** the E.U.,” said Victoria Nuland during February of 2014.
      The E.U. returned the sentiment in full yesterday:

      Burning your friends isn’t the best way to keep them.

  31. Can someone please tell me what this so called “scandal” is all about?
    I have read 10’s of articles now, and it doesnt add upp.
    My conclusion is;
    There is no scandal. Just lots of government officials and journalists, who cannot be explained how a computer works.
    It seems the most popular journalist version is that the VW computer has “manipulated” the data sendt to EPA?
    That doesn’t add up, unless the EPA is so silly that they dont measure the emissions themselves.
    The last time I was on a test stand, the test facility put a hose on the exhaust pipe, and measured themselves.
    So the journalist version of what the scandal is, surely must be wrong?
    I think the scandal is as follows; (But please, correct me if I’m wrong)
    -Someone says to the engineers; When the customer press the pedal to the floor, we want horsepowers!
    -Someone else says; We want to minimize emissions!
    -Someone else says; We want a minimum of fuel consumptions !
    And so on.
    The engineers realize that many of these demands are contraditory.
    So it is best to put the controller software into different “modes”. Like, sporty mode, or, cruise mode, etc.
    So the controller is programmed to recognise how the user operates the car. Is he accelerating a lot? Cruising? Relaxed, continous constant speed?
    And then from that, optimising the settings to achive what the computer things the user wants at the moment.
    Then, at the test-stand, they have a standard test.
    I dont know how the test looks like, so I cannot say for sure, but it wouldnt surprise me if they do exactly the same each time, otherwise there would be no repeatability.
    The controller recognise the “driving pattern” and selects a mode to optimize emissions; Perhaps it is a constant pedal-usage, cruising.
    Next another test-facility is using the pedal a lot, the controller will optmize for horse-power.
    And gets a different emission result.
    Now, where is the scandal in that?
    Then you might say;
    So why did the VW bosses resign?
    I have no idea. The vague reports in the media on what the scandal is, and VW’s response is …..strange.
    Perhaps the VW bosses has some advisors who said:
    Listen; There is no way anyone can explain to the government officials, the journalists and the lawyers about how a computer works. Better take the bonus’es and resign.

    • It was claimed that the car is measuring its speed. Or air pressure. Or steering wheel movements.
      There are almost as many stories as journals.

  32. VW admitted to knowingly evading the emissions regulations. Regardless how you feel about the regulations, this is both illegal, unethical, and ultimately unnecessary, since the technology to fully comply is available on their other diesel cars. If the VW executives knew, they should be fired for willful lawbreaking. If the VW executives did not know, they should be fired for incompetence and breach of fiduciary trust. Then sued, or fined, or jailed…or all three.
    They announced recalls in China yesterday…this is just the beginning. Whatever emerges from this process will not look much like the VWAG we see today.

    • It wouldn’t surprise me if my theory is correct.
      I that case they have done nothing wrong; They just resign, take the bonus’es and go.
      Easier for everyone.
      Just like top politicians do.
      Instead of explaining to all the officials how a computer works; Will take too long.
      Where exactly did “VW admitted to knowingly evading the emissions regulations” ? I am interested.

      • Try googling “VW admits knowingly evading emissions regulations”. About 10^6 hits. Honestly, I’d be astounded if your theory was right, because you clearly have not done your homework.
        You are entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts…

  33. Why are the shares still rising (108 and up !), even now it’s clear 3.000.000 cars need a (possibly costly) technical solution, VW owners may have to be financially compensated and VW possibly faces a15.000.000.000 $ fine ???

  34. hopefully we the public shall be told at some point who (makes and models) are over polluting ,I don’t believe other manufacturers used the same software however the coding is quite difficult to read and suspect some form of wrong doing has been the norm for many years with most ,surely the standards are either unrealistic or tests simply silly….The standards have been improving for years, it is not only nox we should be looking at since petrol engines emit a more deadly substance in small numbers ,I expect in few years this is going to be the focus ,until a viable solution exists (no fossil fuel) a steady and realistic program would be far more beneficial than imposing strict false standards:..

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