International Business Strategy Case Study: The Volkswagen Scandal

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Some things have been changing lately. The international business game, influenced by a realistic but mandatory need of implementing sustainable development, revealed its newest must-be-applied rule. Little by little, companies have started to realise that there was no way around it. Corporate social responsibility imposed itself to turn the tables around in order to remind the world most powerful and leading companies that at some point a dollar bill can be eaten neither drunk. Unfortunately, it seems that rather than finally setting the record straight by developing sustainable action plans, some big players have decided to play the game at their advantage to maximise financial gains. Again, for some of them, CSR just became another trick…show more content…
Indeed, in December 2007, the group was committed to adopt a strategy that would position Volkswagen as a global economical and environmental leader, a pioneer. It was called « Strategy 2018 ». In 2013, CEO Martin Winterkorn explained to Forbes magazine, that: « the goal was to make Volkswagen “the world’s most profitable, fascinating, and sustainable automobile manufacturer” by 2018 ». If we forget one minute the Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen was truly working on developing technologies that would be environmentally friendly such as « clean diesel » under the « blue motion » label. The group also promoted car sharing in big countries such as China. Ultimately they were increasing the number of electric vehicles in circulation. I truly think that these initiatives were in sync with the current conjuncture and that the company was trying to set in motion a responsible strategy in order to influence the entire industry to shift toward a more sustainable development. I read that Volkswagen only cheated the emissions tests, focused on advertising eco-responsible cars, only to increase its sales and maximise profits. This would suggest a total and deliberate CSR misuse, to deceive customers. I allow myself to introduce a shade of doubt on that, and suggest that their initial strategy had unrealistic goals in spite of the technologies, that were not able to deliver the initial expected results. They should have scaled down their projections, as well as explaining them publicly, instead of planting the seeds of this monstrous scandal. They should have used full transparency right away instead of lying deliberately as they did. It is hard for me to integrate the fact that some of their cars were exceeding the US emissions standards by 15 to 35 times when the BMW did not. If the technology to avoid

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