Arab Today, arab today when vw catches a cold german town wolfsburg gets pneumonia
Last Updated : GMT 00:22:28
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

When VW catches a cold, German town Wolfsburg gets pneumonia

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today When VW catches a cold, German town Wolfsburg gets pneumonia

Media wait outside main gate of Volkswagen
Wolfsburg - AFP

From the local museum to the main football stadium to the theme park down the road, everything in the German town of Wolfsburg has something of Volkswagen.

As the German auto giant slides deeper into an emissions cheating scandal, the little northern city home to the group's headquarters is gripped by anxiety and rage.

"The residents are angry, sad and disappointed," said Carsten Steinbach, 55, parked outside the town's football stadium -- Volkswagen Arena.

The Wolfsburg native, a taxi driver of three decades, had himself worked for 13 years at Volkswagen. Two of his children are still employed there.

Underlining the reliance of many in Wolfsburg on the auto giant, Steinbach admits that beyond the ire at the deception carried out by VW, "there is also fear, because it's our bread and butter".

"Here we say that when Volkswagen catches a cold, we get pneumonia," said Steinbach, whose taxi is a Volkswagen, as are more than half of the vehicles parked on the city's streets.

And most of his clients are people travelling to and from the VW headquarters.

Wolfsburg's fate became inextricably linked to Volkswagen as early as in 1938, when the first factory building the iconic Beetle opened.

Visitors to the town about 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of Berlin are greeted by a massive version of VW's blue-and-white circular logo at the main rail station, leaving them without doubt that this is Volkswagen town.

In all, 73,000 people work in Wolfsburg for the company across several sites -- the administrative headquarters, at the research and development office or the factories where the latest Golfs or Tiguans are made.

Thanks to the corporate giant, the town of 124,000 inhabitants boasts an unemployment rate that is lower than the national average.

But the pollution cheating scandal has also left the town vulnerable.

- 'Ghost town' -

After the United States announced the probe against Volkswagen, Wolfsburg mayor Klaus Mohrs quickly said that it was "in the interest of the town" for the issue to be cleared up rapidly.

Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn's resignation on Wednesday made frontpages of German newspapers, but the Wolfsburger Nachrichten went further to ask what would be the financial repercussions on the town's budget.

"The entire population makes money off VW. When it's not going well at VW, they pay less taxes to the town and the town would have less money and would be able to afford less investment. So that affects all of us," said Angelika Hupetzky, 55, a specialist technician at Volkswagen.

The fear of pay cuts, or worse, job cuts, was palpable.

And it's not just for those who work directly for Volkswagen, like Hupetzky and two of her children. But also others who work for concessions or suppliers of Volkswagen.

"Everything here depends on Volkswagen," said Hupetzky.

At Autostadt, a theme park dedicated to cars, spokesman Tobias Riepe said there has "not been any changes" in visitor numbers since the scandal broke.

The theme park, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, attracts more than two million visitors a year.

Nevertheless, the director of Autostadt, Otto Wachs, told the park's 1,000 employees that they "will convince the public and customers of the quality of its products despite this difficult phase".

Wolfsburg residents just want the nightmare to be over.

"I don't think that Volkswagen would be the only one" to cheat, said retiree Achim Schoenebrunn, 59, adding that he believes that "everything will work out eventually".

But Wolfgang, 63, who would not give his family name, said the risks were palpable for everyone in the city.

"If Volkswagen leaves or does badly, Wolfsburg will become a ghost town," he said.

 

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 when vw catches a cold german town wolfsburg gets pneumonia Arab Today, arab today when vw catches a cold german town wolfsburg gets pneumonia

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'

GMT 11:59 2017 Friday ,24 March

Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'
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
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
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 07:38 2017 Friday ,24 March

Pass health bill Friday or he'll move on

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

US, Britain ban laptops on flights

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