Since we launched our campaign to turn VW away from the Dark Side the response has been phenomenal. Over a quarter of a million people have joined the Rebellion and a huge proportion – over 40,000 of them – are Volkswagen drivers.
VW’s official response so far has been to act ‘surprised’ and point to their most efficient cars as proof of their environmental credentials.
We know the cars in their adverts are not the cars they are selling – less than 6% of the models sold in 2010 were their most efficient vehicles and even on those the company inflates the cost. But this campaign is not just about the cars, it’s about VW’s lobbying.
If we needed more proof of the company’s duplicitous attitude, this week we saw Volkswagen’s lobbying rear its ugly head, this time in the US.
In America - as in Europe - VW is at the heart of industry groups pushing hard against the fuel efficiency standards we need to cut our oil use. More efficient cars mean less oil, which means less drilling in fragile environments like the Arctic and less CO2 emissions (not to mention saving consumers money). Those emissions – as we well know – threaten the future of our planet.
But VW doesn’t seem to care.
Last week Volkswagen – through its US lobbying group, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers - ran adverts across key parts of the US to lobby against President Obama and his proposal for fuel efficiency standards. These adverts were aired in the parts of the country set to put maximum pressure on Obama – during a crucial time when he is seeking re-election. After an expose in USA Today the adverts were initially to be dropped, but VW and some other car companies stepped in and pushed its lobbying group to air them anyway. The tactics may be different, but it’s the same dirty lobbying VW is engaged in across Europe.
Listen to one of the lobbying adverts here:
Volkswagen clearly doesn’t want you to know about this dark side of the company. The adverts it spends hundreds of millions of Euros on annually only mention their efficient car models.
VW’s powerful and dangerous lobbying remains the company’s dark secret.
But – Jedi – we will rise to the challenge. Our Rebellion is getting stronger by the day.
This week we launch our campaign in Brazil and China, two of the markets Volkswagen is counting on to help it become the world’s biggest carmaker.
Together we can turn VW away from the dark side and into a force for good.
Volkswagen - ignore us at your peril. This is a Rebellion you cannot crush – we will only get stronger. You have been warned.
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>> Volkswagen's Dark Side: Stormtroopers invade the UK's Silicon Roundabout
>> Join the rebellion and turn VW away from the dark side