Wolfsburg’s Exhausting Affair, Emission Scandal of Volkswagen Rocks its Home City
The emission scandal of Volkswagen shocked all of us and more so, the millions of Volkswagen employees all over the world. But absolutely nothing can compare to what the residents of Wolfsburg have gone through. In 1930s, Hitler wanted to launch an affordable range of automobiles for common people; Volkswagen or ‘people’s car’ came into existence and with that its main headquarters and factory was built 200 km west of Berlin, which resulted in the city of Wolfsburg.
The city that has been standing on the strong base of Volkswagen since 1938 has been completely shaken and is now gripped with uncertainty, anger and fear. Wolfsburg’s future is currently as oblivious as the future of the company itself. The ‘Exhaust Affair’ of Volkswagen has certainly been very exhausting on the residents of the city.
1 Wolfsburg, all about Volkswagen
To understand the intensity of the scam’s effect on Wolfsburg, we must first understand what Volkswagen means to the city. There is no city that is as dependent on a company as Wolfsburg. Volkswagen is the largest taxpayer and employer of the city that houses 120,000 people, not to forget the VW Arena where Champions’ League football is played.
The VW Company is more than just a huge factory as they have contributed so much into banking, education, health and even the VW special sausages. The Autostadt or the car city attracts two million people every year and has become one of the main tourist spots.
2 Autostadt still the proud car city
Autostadt by itself attracts millions of people and is very popular for its car themed park. People are allowed to take a tour and understand and watch the mechanics of the VW cars. They can also buy the famous Beetle chocolates. But now everything has changed and the impact is nothing less than fatal.
According to sources, people are still keen on visiting the park but the residents and employees are sceptical about the future of Autostadt and Wolfsburg on the whole. If the situation doesn’t improve soon, only the car themed park will prevail as a symbol of a company that was once great.
3 The shocked residents trying to cope
“I am worried. It’s not good for Wolfsburg. Detroit stands as a negative example for what can happen: the city has collapsed. The same here is also thinkable,” Uwe Bendorf, an uncertain resident voiced out.
Most people are concerned about their future, as the Mayor has announced that, the budget of the city has been frozen for now and all the bills related to health infrastructure and various other projects are on a standstill. The future of the city is tied with the future of the VW Company and the consequences are inevitable. The residents have just come to accept the grave situation and are still trying to chalk out their options.
4 Anger channelized towards the group involved in the emission scandal of Volkswagen
Almost 72,000 million people of Wolfsburg are employed in VW Company. The employees at the lower levels are at the risk of losing their jobs. Even though the company has set aside $6.5 million for sorting the emission scandal, it can only be seen as the beginning.
Although, a new development has taken place, the employees are standing by VW and want to channelize their anger towards the small group that was responsible for the wrong doing.
5 What will the scandal cost for the city
November and the days ahead are very crucial for Wolfsburg and its residents as the investigations are on full swing and the much awaited November Bonus for the employees is round the corner. The emission scandal of Volkswagen has in a way brought the city’s development to a standstill.
What many fail to realise is that, it is not just the company that has a huge price to pay, but it will cost the city in many ways profoundly. The city is completely dependent on VW and the residents who want to move due to the uncertain future are sceptical about whether they can sell their properties and what could they expect.
The scenario is different for retired VW employees who have made Wolfsburg their home for many decades now. Where will they go? How can they leave their home and the VW space that they are so proud of?
The city is going through a spell of gloom and an emotional turmoil gripped with fear of displacement. The coming days will hold testimony to a city that shined so bright but went into crisis in a jiffy.