Rising from its annual shareholders’ meeting in Germany Tuesday, auto conglomerate, Volkswagen (VW), has given strong impression on aggressive plans to grow manufacturing of electric cars, saying plans have gone far on being the first German carmaker to produce battery cells for electric cars.
The VW chief executive, Herbert Diess in his remarks, promised with “vehemence” to shift the public’s attention towards the future as the German carmaker continued to face criticism for the diesel emissions scandal.
According to him, “There is no alternative to battery-powered electric motors for the foreseeable future.”
However, a number of shareholders focused on the continuing fallout from the diesel emissions scandal that broke more than three years ago. Lawsuits from investors and customers, as well as investigations of former executives, are ongoing.
For instance, Ingo Speich of German fund management firm Union Investment, argued that “Volkswagen is still being chased by justice which is part of a class-action lawsuit against VW for failing to alert investors of the looming 2015 scandal in a timely manner”.
Whereas some investors criticized the lack of adequate dividend payments despite VW’s robust quarterly results, a number of shareholders planned to withhold their support for VW’s executives and supervisory board during a vote later Tuesday.
But withholding support will have little real impact as more than half of voting rights are held by the Porsche and Piech families. Another 20 per cent is owned by the state of Lower Saxony.