Volkswagen executives have apologized for the diesel emissions scandal to try and placate angry shareholders. As Hayley Platt reports, it’s also pledged change to haul the carmaker out of its worst business crisis.
Shareholders have a right to be angry - the emissions scandal has cost Volkswagen billions. A new strategy was unveiled last week, but then came another shock. German prosecutors are investigating former CEO Martin Winterkorn and brand chief Herbert Diess for effectively manipulating markets by delaying the release of key information. (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPOKESMAN FOR THE ASSOCIATION OF CRITICAL SHAREHOLDERS, MARKUS DUFNER, SAYING: "This was supposed to be a new beginning for VW but it doesn't look like it, even though VW proclaimed electric mobility. There are still personnel issues to clarify, especially with Mr.Poetsch, as the company's chief investigator." Hans Dieter Poetsch was finance chief until a few months ago. He's the supervisory board Chairman now and survived what was effectively a vote of no confidence. (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOLKSWAGEN SUPERVISORY BOARD CHAIRMAN, HANS DIETER POETSCH, SAYING: "Nobody here could have imagined that this company could get into a situation like the one we are experiencing at the moment. I would like to apologise to you for disappointing your trust." Poetsch also promised to examine damage claims against current and former management board members. But it may not be much of an olive branch. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS, HEAD OF GLOBAL EQUITIES, MATTHEW BEESLEY, SAYING: "There are clearly lots of questions still unanswered when it comes to Volkswagen. Who decided what, when and where and how the company is going to continue to rebuild, it's very tarnished and damaged brand equity." Numerous legal battles are also being fought and millions of cars will need to be recalled. This was the first AGM to deal with the fallout from the emissions scandal - it won't be the last.