Dieselgate - Heavy Fumes Exhausting the Volkswagen Group

I am staying a few days in Wolfsburg, where there is the headquarter of the Volkswagen Group. And I arrived by train to the car city - fast, comfortable and carbon neutral (which is an option for the ticket). Shaken by the Diesel Emission Scandal, Volkswagen Group and its brands are going through change. But you don't feel much of that in town. Yes, there are "reskilling" and "upskilling" programs for the staff and management. But it will take a while to distil the fuel out of people' blood and make it electrons. But still, given the resources put into making this change and the recent advances made, I am sure Volkswagen will live up to its commitments. Still, as the local newspaper "Wolfsburger Rundschau" reports today, the Diesel Emission Scandal is the largest in post-war German industrial history. At the early stage of it, I published a Business Case at ACRC (Asian Case Research Centre) on it, which is also distributed through Harvard Business School (click here, to download).

Arriving in the car city at the Wolfsburg train station

Arriving in the car city at the Wolfsburg train station

My journey is mainly one of joy and meeting friends. Sorry for those, which I did not see this time. It still is always quite busy for me in Wolfsburg. We will have more chances. But I did make a stroll through the Autostadt. Back when I worked in Wolfsburg, I witnessed this theme park and delivery center for cars coming into existence and did myself quite a few projects related to that. The changes I saw though, is that the brand pavilions are much more product oriented than before, and less communicating the brands. I personally regard this as a step back. It might be the result of a rather uninspired CEO, Martin Winterkorn, who ruled the club, while I was stationed in China from 2003 to 2014. I have not visited the Autostadt since then.

View on the old power plant of the Volkswagen Wolfsburg site, at the Mittellandkanal.

View on the old power plant of the Volkswagen Wolfsburg site, at the Mittellandkanal.

I always enjoy strolling through the "Zeithaus", which is a historical car museum, not just dedicated tho Volkswagen, but to the whole history of cars. It has a marvelous collection of iconic cars, and I photographed a lot of the exhibits.  If you like you can download all these photography from my fileserver by clicking here. If you are interested in the typology of cars, these photos will be a good reference, and if you like to repost them, please feel free to to so (of course I am happy if you give me credit by linking to this blog post for example).

Inside the Autostadt, with view on the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the Skoda Brand Pavilion (on the right)

Inside the Autostadt, with view on the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the Skoda Brand Pavilion (on the right)

This is an interesting novelty in the Autostadt. It is a rotating tunnel of flowers and called "Dufttunnel" (Tunnel of smell). 

This is an interesting novelty in the Autostadt. It is a rotating tunnel of flowers and called "Dufttunnel" (Tunnel of smell). 

Walking through the rotating "Dufttunnel". It is really a very nice experience of flower smells around you. Be careful some drops of irrigation water might fall on you. But this is a nice "tunnel view", isn't it? If you are interested in watching how the mechanics of this tunnel works on a video, you can download the video file here.

Walking through the rotating "Dufttunnel". It is really a very nice experience of flower smells around you. Be careful some drops of irrigation water might fall on you. But this is a nice "tunnel view", isn't it? If you are interested in watching how the mechanics of this tunnel works on a video, you can download the video file here.

A daytime view on Sarah Hadid's building in Wolfsburg, hosting the Phaeno science museum.

A daytime view on Sarah Hadid's building in Wolfsburg, hosting the Phaeno science museum.