The Wrong Way to Beat the Competition

What We Learned in 2015: Never bet your brand, at least not the way Volkswagen did by cheating on emissions test

Written by PROFIT Staff
Photo: Alexander Koerner/Getty ImagesPhoto: Alexander Koerne/Getty

It was a huge risk to take for the sake of bragging rights: Volkswagen manipulated software and added components to its diesel cars as part of an elaborate scheme designed to thwart emissions tests and claim greater fuel efficiency over its competitors.

When the first signs of trouble emerged in 2014, VW dismissed the results; it would take another year and another barrage of tests before the automaker fessed up to its deceit.

“It’s hard to fathom that they would jeopardize such a huge company,” says Rebecca Lindland, senior director of Commercial Insights for Kelley Blue Book. But, she says, one or two miles per gallon can make all the difference in advertising and promotion of a vehicle.

Despite the breach of consumer trust, market watchers expect VW will recover: Only 0.5% of the company’s revenue is directly tied to the affected diesel engines.


Do you think Volkswagen’s brand can recover? What did you learn from the emissions scandal? Let us know by commenting below.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com