Volkswagen “Working to Make Things Right”

Will the PR effort be enough to push VW out of its rut?

Although the facts behind its scandal are still murky at best, Volkswagen is moving ahead with its crisis management plan. The embattled automaker ran a full-page ad in major newspapers this past Sunday which not only boldly declared, “We’re working to make things right.”, but also announced compensation for owners of affected vehicles in the form of a $500 Visa prepaid card, a $500 VW dealership gift card, and three years of free roadside assistance:

VW ad

Early reports say 100,000+ diesel owners have already accepted its offer. Of course, satisfying customers is only one side of this situation. Volkswagen also must find a way to bring its vehicles into compliance and convince regulators there aren’t any more dirty tricks up its sleeve. Thus far, its been “death by 1000 cuts,” with bad news slowly emerging piece by piece – a fact that makes it easy to imagine more bad news to come. With doubt being cast on VW’s 3-liter diesels (and no acknowledgement on VW’s part), we’re not certain this has changed. The ad and giveaway are good tools to use, but without making certain the bad news is out of the way so it can begin to rebuild, VW’s reputation will continue to remain in threat.

The BCM Blogging Team
www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com

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