Volkswagen will delay or cancel all nonessential investments as the German company struggles with the fallout of its massive emissions scandal, the company’s new CEO Matthias Mueller said Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. The confirmation came just after the company’s labor representative called for a review of all projects and investments.
“We will review all planned investments, and what isn’t absolutely vital will be canceled or delayed,” Mueller reportedly said at a staff gathering of over 20,000 employees at the company’s headquarters in the northern German town of Wolfsburg. “And that’s why we will re-adjust our efficiency program. I will be completely clear: this won’t be painless.”
This was the first time the company, which employs 60,000 people at its main factory, showed signs that it could face job cuts. However, Mueller also said that he would do everything to limit the scandal’s impact on the company's headcounts.
"Technical solutions to the problems are within view. However, the business and financial consequences are not yet clear," Mueller said, according to Reuters.
Volkswagen is under huge pressure to tackle the scandal that has brought down the company’s market value by 42 percent since Sept. 18, forcing its long-time CEO Martin Winterkorn to step down. The German automaker was found to have installed so-called "defeat devises" on its cars that would reduce emission levels during tests.
“We will need to call into question with great resolve everything that is not economical," Bernd Osterloh, head of Volkswagen’s works council, said according to Reuters. “Together we will convince the financial markets of Volkswagen's strength.”
Volkswagen revealed that as many as 11 million vehicles carry the emissions-rigging software.
On Tuesday, a letter sent to German lawmakers stated that 8 million of its diesel vehicles in the European Union had been equipped with software to cheat on emissions tests.
Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Volkswagen of using software that allowed its diesel vehicles to emit pollutants above legal limits except when they were subjected to emissions tests.
On Tuesday, Volkswagen shares were down nearly 1 percent during afternoon trade in Frankfurt.