Volkswagen faces shareholder wrath at AGM

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FRANKFURT: Embattled German auto giant Volkswagen will face the wrath of its shareholders at its annual meeting on Wednesday as it struggles to steer itself out of an unprecedented engine-rigging scandal.

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Nine months after the “Dieselgate” affair, when it emerged VW had installed emissions-cheating software into 11 million diesel engines worldwide, the former paragon of German industry is still nowhere near drawing a line under its deepest ever crisis.

The costs of the affair are still incalculable and it is not yet known whether VW’s own internal investigation will pinpoint the major culprits behind the scam.

But small shareholders are likely to use the upcoming AGM in the northern city of Hanover to let off steam at the way management has handled the affair, even if the power those shareholders wield remains limited.

They hold just 11 percent of the voting rights in VW, while the founding families Porsche and Piech hold 52 percent, the regional state of Lower Saxony 20 percent and the Emirate of Qatar 17 percent.

Ulrich Hocker, head of the DSW association of small shareholders, told Agence France-Presse he has been attending the company’s AGMs for the past 20 years and he expects this one to be “very different, very contentious.”

AFP

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