CES 2016: Volkswagen starts with an apology

Volkswagen has had some great moments during 60 years in the US. Diesel emissions isn't one of them

Volkswagen BUDD-eAs the Volkswagen Group emissions scandal rumbles on, new CEO Dr. Herbert Diess wasted no time at VW’s CES 2016 keynote apologising to the assembled crowd of media and Volkswagen enthusiasts.

“The current issue around diesel engines is nothing to be proud of. We are truly sorry.

“Volkswagen is disappointed this could happen in a company we love.”

He added that 2016 will be the year of putting it right. And “we are focused on making sure this can never happen again at Volkswagen.”

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The scandal even threatened Volkswagen’s very attendance at CES 2016, admitted Dr. Diess. Speaking to Consumer Technology Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro on stage, he said the car giant had doubts as the scandal broke.

“When we spoke in September, we wondered whether to do it. But we decided to: we feel it’s a good thing.”

New Volkswagen

Dr. Diess then quickly moved on to outline how Volkswagen has changed, and is changing, in response to the emissions crisis. Enter New Volkswagen.

This initiative is “redefining every aspect of VW”. It’s about affordable electric mobility, he said. Fully connected cars. Affordable advanced driving. Intuitive cars that can serve as a second home on wheels.

Enter the BUDD-e (pictured above), the concept EV to take it beyond dieselgate, and the e-Golf Touch, which showcases Volkswagen’s next-generation infotainment system (bringing tech like gesture control to the masses).

“Cars will become the most important device in the internet,” said Dr. Diess. Before then promising nearly all of the features packed into the new e-Golf Touch on show at CES 2016 will become a showroom reality “before CES 2017”.

“The best days of the car are yet to come,” he said. He will be hoping New Volkswagen means the same for VW too.

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