Volkswagen chief predicts 'renaissance' in US business

Frankfurt (AFP) –


Embattled German auto giant Volkswagen believes it may have a second chance in the United States despite being at the centre of a massive emissions-cheating scandal, its chief executive said Tuesday.

"Of course, we must and will face fines" in the US and to some extent "we are certainly the underdog there," Matthias Mueller told the German news agency DPA in an interview.

"But the great thing about the US is that they sympathise with the underdog. In America, there is the possibility of seeing a renaissance by hard work. And that's what we're going to do," the CEO said.

It was the US authorities that exposed VW for installing so-called defeat devices in some of its diesel engines, sparking a scandal of global proportions last September.

VW subsequently admitted to installing such devices into 11 million vehicles worldwide, plunging the group into its deepest-ever crisis with potential fines and legal costs running into tens of billions of euros.

Asked whether VW could survive the scandal, Mueller replied: "Certainly. And very well."

Mueller, who was hired to resolve the scandal, travelled to the US in January.