Arab Today, arab today volkswagen hometown seeks respite
Last Updated : GMT 10:05:12
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

From scandal in Christmas cheer

Volkswagen hometown seeks respite

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Volkswagen hometown seeks respite

Wolfsburg's Christmas market on Porschestrasse is named after Volkswagen's founder
Wolfsburg - Arab Today

Christmas carols ring out in the northern German town of Wolfsburg, while production lines at the sprawling Volkswagen plant remain silent for a three-week break.

The hometown of the German auto giant is hoping the season's festivities will provide some respite from the global scandal that broke three months ago when VW was exposed for having installed pollution-cheating software in its diesel engines.

Like towns throughout Germany, Wolfsburg -- which owes its very existence to the iconic carmaker -- has an annual Christmas market packed with wooden cabins selling doughnuts, hotdogs and mulled wine to throngs of visitors.

The market is in Porschestrasse or Porsche Street, named after the car company's founder.

"Visitor numbers are up this year. More people are coming to the Christmas market," said Joachim Schingale of a Wolfsburg marketing group which is in charge of attracting tourists to the town situated 200 kilometres (124 miles) west of Berlin.
One vendor, Johnny Traber, grills salmon on firewood at a stand he has run for the past four years.

"For the moment, there's no difference to last year," said the 40-year-old from Duesseldorf.

- 'Crisis already over'-

For this time of year, the weather is unseasonably mild and sunny. And perhaps it adds a little to the positive feeling that's tangible in the town of 124,000 residents.

The massive scandal -- triggered when VW was forced to admit in September that it had installed so-called defeat devices in 11 million diesel engines worldwide -- does not seem to have permanently dented morale in Wolfsburg.

"The crisis is already over," said 76-year-old Peter Philipp.

When the scandal broke, his friend Lothar Schroeder, who worked for VW for a quarter of a century, was "shocked" and "disappointed" like everyone else, he said.

People were scared they would lose their jobs.
"But that hasn't been the case. There haven't been any redundancies," said his wife Heidrun, 72.

At the City-Galerie shopping mall, manager Janine Marz noted that "of course, at the beginning, there was uncertainty about possible fallout from the scandal, but at the moment, I don't see any repercussions." .

Under the Christmas baubles and lights, the mall is packed with shoppers.

"We're very happy. The shopowners say business is comparable to last year," she said.

- Town budget worries -

Wolfsburg is a young town, which only sprang up after the Volkswagen factory was built back in 1938.

"For the past 70 years, people have been living here alongside a gigantic manufacturing plant. That has both its advantages and its drawbacks. But everything has always turned out OK in the end," said Schingale, whose tourist office is 80-percent financed by the town authorities.
Wolfsburg has, however, warned that the office's budget, which has doubled over the past five years, will be frozen at best next year.

The VW plant employs more than 70,000 people and the local business tax it pays makes up the lion's share of the town's finances. So Wolfsburg is worried that the vast financial costs facing the carmaker will also hit its own coffers.

At the end of September, the town's mayor announced an immediate freeze on spending and hiring. And the 2016 draft budget presented this week estimates a drop of around one-third in tax revenues and a 40-percent cut in investment.
"We don't really know where we're headed," Wolfsburg's finance chief Thomas Muth told the local press recently.

Volkswagen said that it expects worldwide sales of its own VW brand to fall this year for the first time in a decade. Employees will have to forego a 2016 bonus.

Still, VW loyalty remains.

Lothar and Heidrun Schroeder, who live in the nearby town of Helmstedt, plan to come back to Wolfsburg in January to collect their new car. The model?  A Volkswagen, "of course."
Source :AFP

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today volkswagen hometown seeks respite Arab Today, arab today volkswagen hometown seeks respite

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Laptop ban sparks ire

GMT 09:02 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Laptop ban sparks ire
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes

GMT 08:35 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes
Arab Today, arab today AT&T, Verizon join Google ad boycott

GMT 10:30 2017 Thursday ,23 March

AT&T, Verizon join Google ad boycott
View News in Arabic - Business: أخبار الاقتصاد
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemen children dream of school

GMT 07:25 2017 Friday ,24 March

Yemen children dream of school
Arab Today, arab today MP submits a petition to dismiss university head

GMT 06:21 2017 Friday ,24 March

MP submits a petition to dismiss university head
Arab Today, arab today Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry

GMT 04:51 2017 Friday ,24 March

Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design

GMT 13:22 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design
Arab Today, arab today Renault Trezor wins design award

GMT 11:56 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Renault Trezor wins design award
Arab Today, arab today Merna Waleed praises her work with Soad Hosni

GMT 07:03 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Merna Waleed praises her work with Soad Hosni
Arab Today, arab today 2017 already marked

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked

GMT 07:12 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"

GMT 22:00 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Number of unwedded girls amounts to 2.5m

GMT 10:34 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 07:03 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Spider Venom May Offer Hope to Stroke Victims

GMT 10:18 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Kuwait's tourism industry to be worth

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday