When the beetle conquered hearts, it was said: it runs and runs and runs. Today would be more appropriate for the VW Group: it jams and jams and jams. The share price is a tragedy. In Russia, it was precisely because of the politically intolerable situation that the business was sold off. It doesn't work on the product side either.

Yes, VW, Audi and Skoda are widespread, everyone knows someone who drives a car out of the house. But the accumulation of image-damaging incidents must be thought-provoking. First case, VW Bus T7 with gasoline engine, ordered 19 months ago. Delivery date postponed five times. In the meantime it has been built. And he is waiting for delivery in a warehouse near the plant, where many new VWs are parked for weeks because there are no trucks for onward transport.

Second case, VW Bus T7 Diesel, delivered after six months, the delivery situation is apparently erratic. 2000 kilometers on the speedometer, failure of screen, assistance systems, parking beepers. Appointment at the workshop: in three weeks. The technical editors are familiar with the phenomenon of system failure, it occurred during the test in the ID 4. CEO Oliver Blume has just replaced the top management of the software division, and he will know why.

Ingolstadt manages the standstill

Third case, Skoda Enyaq, ordered in 2021. To this day, the customer is waiting for a delivery date. Fourth case, Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid, ordered in February 2022. Announced for August 2023. Will he come then? Ingolstadt manages the shutdown, the Q5 Hybrid is currently no longer available to order.

On the distant horizon, VW is holding out the prospect of an electric car for 20,000 euros, while brand boss Thomas Schäfer is struggling to keep the 25,000 euros for the ID 2025 small car planned for 26/2. Its schedule is already shaky because the development department is working out changes to the battery. The messed-up interiors, especially of electric cars, have to be reworked at great expense, which now costs not only time and resources, but also more money, as if it had been done properly from the beginning.

If all this is a toxic mixture of bad luck in the geopolitical situation and the time of Herbert Diess as CEO, then there are probably two lessons to be learned. Supply chains must be forged more robustly, especially in the upcoming electric age. And the Chinese can do economy cars better, VW, Audi or Skoda must not lose their brand essence. This does not include reliability in the last place, both technically and in terms of schedule.