Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has resigned after a meeting with his board, taking responsibility for the German carmaker's rigging of U.S. emissions tests in the biggest scandal in its 78-year history. Ivor Bennett reports
The writing was quite literally on the wall. The words above Martin Winterkorn at the Frankfurt auto show last week now all too true Volkswagen's CEO is on the move. His resignation came after a grilling by the company's executive committee, after which one member - Berthold Huber - hinted that further heads could roll. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF IG METALL TRADE UNION, BERTHOLD HUBER, SAYING: "In today's meeting we agreed that the events have to be fully investigated and that it's important that misconduct be punished." The revelation that Volkwagen rigged U.S. emissions tests has wiped more than 30 percent off its market value. And left its reputation in tatters. Not just in markets, but on petrol station forecourts too. (SOUNDBITE) (German) DIESEL-POWERED VW GOLF OWNER, UTE JALAS, SAYING: "I am really embarrassed right now to drive a VW diesel." (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSER-BY, PATRICK VINCENT, SAYING: "I wouldn't buy a VW in the next year, let's say." The scandal is being seen by some as the auto industry's Libor moment. But Jane Thomas from Emissions Analytics thinks any consumer backlash won't last long. SOUNDBITE (English) JANE THOMAS, GLOBAL SALES MANAGER, EMISSIONS ANALYTICS, SAYING: "I think people are more concerned about how much it cost to run their car rather than what comes out of the tail pipe in terms of urban air quality and air polluting gases. so I don't think it'll change people's behaviour significantly." Even so, Winterkorn's replacement will have a difficult job. One German paper is reporting it'll be Matthais Mueller - the current head of VW's Porsche business. The company's already set aside 6.5 billion euros to cover the costs of the crisis. but most analysts doubt even that will be enough.