Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Could VW fines lead to a dirtier planet?

I note that VW is cutting $1bn a year from its investment budget as it strives to balance its reputation-and-fine ravaged books.
Let's imagine that the rest of the car industry takes this as an opportunity not to get ahead, but to take its collective foot off the gas too on investments. After all, they face many margin pressures of their own.
So perhaps the consequence of VW cutting back is that the whole industry will cut back - perhaps $10bn of investment gone per year for the next three years.
What was that $30bn being invested in? New more efficient, less polluting, more recyclable carrs - and the plant to make them.
The consequence of VW being fined for cheating on emissions may well be a less clean planet than might of been had nothing been done.
Surely the aim is a greener planet?
To that end the concept of punitive fines - and the attendant public furore around them - is not doing its job.
Perhaps instead VW should be directed to ring-fence greater amounts of investment for innovation in green technologies, that may actually have the consequences intended.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?