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Arndt G. Kirchhoff to the withdrawal of head of VW Winterkorn

Arndt G. Kirchhoff talks about the consequences of the VW affair for the automotive industry and the future of the Diesel engine in an interview published in the daily paper ‘Rheinische Post’ on 24th of September.

Mr. Kirchhoff, are you surprised about the withdrawal of head of VW Martin Winterkorn?

With regards to the dimension of the defraud this decision seemed to be inevitable. Nevertheless, this is a big loss. Martin Winterkorn is one of the best engineers of the German automotive industry. He also always stood for quality in the German automobile construction. Besides this is the opinion of all automotive suppliers.

What has VW to do now?

VW needs a quick and comprehensive enlightenment. Of course, such products must not be introduced to the market.

How big is the damage for the automotive industry?

The damage for the entire German automotive industry is of course there. What has happened does not comply to the set of values of our industry. We do not want to work like this and must not work like this. The misbehavior of the responsible persons at VW will be avenged. Though I plead for not putting the whole industry under general suspicion. Made in Germany is a hallmark of quality in the automobile construction. At the IAA we just experience that the German automotive industry combines the art of engineering and digital innovative power in an unique way. Regarding topics like new mobility and the networked car, German companies are leading. That should soon be again in the focus in future.

Is the Diesel engine jeopardized as a product?

No, the Diesel engine is a good and clean product in case it is released from nitrogen. That also functions well at Bosch. Nevertheless, the adjustment of the Diesel engine to the exhaust system takes place through the corresponding automotive company. And in this case VW has acted illegal and that way changed the product. The Diesel engine is not the problem but the manipulation.

But does not the whole industry apply tricks with regards to the exhaust emissions? The test results are considerably better under laboratory conditions than the consumption and exhaust emission figures in daily life.

The emission tests are standardized and are certified by auditors like DEKRA or TÜV. The individual driving behaviour depends on the way of driving and the terrain and therefore always leads to deviations – upwards or downwards. That can be realized when looking at the fuel consumption.

M. Bröcker is responsible for the interview

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