Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller tells an earnings press conference the carmaker could post solid growth this year even as it grapples with its diesel emissions scandal and strategic repositioning. Hayley Platt reports.
Putting on a brave face for the cameras - VW executives face investors just days after announcing a 4.1 billion euro loss for 2015. And there was plenty to discuss - not least of all its liabilities for the so-called Dieselgate settlement. The carmaker now warning that it could face further bills beyond the 16 billion euros earmarked. (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOLKSWAGEN CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MATTHIAS MUELLER, SAYING: "Software manipulations on diesel engines meant that boundaries were overstepped and rules were broken. This hurts us and we are deeply sorry, also because we know that we have disappointed a lot of people, people who trusted Volkswagen. We take on our responsibility and we are working with all our might on strengthening trust again." In its annual report published on Thursday, Volkswagen says it may need to sell assets to cover risks. Though Mueller told reporters VW was not considering a sale of its truck business. And says a return to growth is possible. (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOLKSWAGEN CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MATTHIAS MUELLER, SAYING: "Despite all the strains in recent months Volkswagen's operational business is perfectly healthy. In the business year 2015, we sold about 10 million cars to clients worldwide." The company is fighting back with cost cuts across the group. It's going to stop making unprofitable models. And streamline parts of its operation. SOUNDBITE (English) IG, MARKET ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "Yes they've been caught for breaching environmental guidelines but most people still look at their cars and think it's still a good vehicle, it still does the job I need it to do and we can move part of those wrong doing issues." But with an expected civil settlement in the U.S. and an ongoing Justice Department investigation - there's still a long road to recovery.