Responding to criticism, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said that the VW Group is creating the types of vehicles that consumers would like to purchase, which include items such as air conditioning, "electronic gadgets to enhance comfort and safety" and "high roof cars with higher air resistance and SUVs." He went on, saying, "it happens to be our job as manufacturers to satisfy our customers' needs".

The German magazine Spiegel quoted the German President Horst Köhler as saying the German auto industry has "not earned any admiration when it comes to environmental developments on the earth." Winterkorn responded, "I disagree with such statements. Politicians are fond of criticizing others. But responding just as sharply is generally not an option for us, because politicians are among our best customers. It isn't exactly a secret that they don't usually drive the most efficient cars".

When asked why VW does not offer a hybrid, and when they will start, Winterkorn said, "It won't be much longer. It'll happen in 2008. However, we had not expected this to become such an emotionally charged issue. People act as though the hybrid could solve all of our problems -- which is certainly not the case".

Of course, a hybrid will not solve all of mankind's problems, but few argue that they can help out a bit. Winterkorn also insists that, as a "business enterprise" VW must cater to the market. Toyota and Honda don't seem to have a problem selling their hybrid cars. The interview goes on, and was a very interesting read. I suggest following this link and checking it out yourself. Another post will discuss a new automobile that Winterkorn proposes later in the interview.

[Source: Spiegel]



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