VW To Hire A Climate Activist To Keep Bosses Under Control

Sun 15th Mar 2020

German car manufacturer is looking to escape its dirty ‘dieselgate’ image by appointing a full-time, in-house climate activist.

In a month where Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth was openly critical of green campaigners, calling out young activist Greta Thunberg, VW are going in the opposite direction and even giving their new employee access to the boardroom.

Speaking in the Financial Times, Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Group said: “I’m looking to hire an activist,”

“We have so many ideas, but they take too long to implement in our big organisation, so I need someone really aggressive internally.” “We are too slow,”

“We have established management teams in strategy departments, in communication departments, and many others and I think we need some more internal challenges.”

Diess confirmed that the new employee would have a direct line to VW’s highest executives and while many will see this is a public relations exercise, the company have certainly been beefing up their green credentials since the emissions scandal of 2015. They have a goal of producing 22 million electric cars by 2030 and are investing €30 billion in electric mobility.

But not all motoring executives agree with VW’s policy, JLR’s outgoing Ralf Speth said campaigners add nothing to the argument, saying: “Greta [Thunberg] created the wake-up call for many companies and people. But on the other hand, this kind of very populistic criticism — we destroyed her life, killed this and that — is not justified because we also created a better life. Wealth, health, education — the world is getting better.

“There is still a lot to do. But populism should be combined with ideas to make it better. There is no contribution, no ideas, just: ‘You’re all stupid.’ ”

While Land Rover may be contributing their fair share of emissions with their gas-guzzling SUVs, Jaguar on the other hand have been praised for their groundbreaking I-Pace which has won global awards.