Oh dear. Unless you have been living under a rock lately, you will know that Volkswagen has been caught with its pants down. If you are feminine minded, it is the same as being caught with your knickers at your ankles. The amount of fines alone has the potential to put the business on its knees. And that's before we get to the tricky issue of customer trust and damage to the brand. If everyone is to be believed, sales are about to be decimated and the business will die. This would be a real shame because being a car enthusiast, I love Lamborghini and Porsche and if VW suffers so do these brands as they are owed by VW.
So what is this article about? Well, everyone in business will tell you that business is all about customer service, efficiency and money. This is true but as VW is finding out it is actually really about honesty and integrity. And its entire business now rests on this.
The problem is the entire industry is doggy. Yes, VW did something that was absolutely wrong but the whole industry, including government regulators has been doing this to us for years and years -- and all of a sudden only VW is the demon.
You see, all those headline economy rates and clean engines were crap. Governments around the world allow car manufactures to change their cars before they get tested. They are allowed to tape the gaps between the wing and the bonnet of the car so that it makes the car more aerodynamic. Ever done that when you decided go to the supermarket to buy your bread and milk? Didn't think so. They can remove the alternator to make the car more efficient. Do you even know what one of these is? Apparently, you need to take it off every time you drive so make your car more efficient. Want to pass noise tests? Let the car coast and switch the engine off. These are just some legal ways to pass tests regulated by governments.
If anything, governments told the car manufactures that it is OK to cheat. So guess what, they cheated and now they have been caught, governments are happy to point the finger and fine them. Yes, VW went a step further but the culture developed in the business was it is OK to be dishonest. And I am sure VW are not the only ones.
But it actually gets worse because all the pollution in the air is not because of VW engines. They come from trucks and buses and believe it or not lots of cows. These are the ones that are killing the polar bear and all our kangaroos.
To make matters worse, most people bought a VW because they liked the car and the company. Very few bought them because the NOX pollutant was low. But VW are going through hell over something the customers do not really give two hoots about.
So the question is -- what is happening in your business? You see if you turn a blind eye to a few things that are not just right then the chances are the people in your business believe that this is OK and the few small things become bigger things. This is exactly what has happened in VW. Customers do not like to buy from companies that are doing the wrong thing. It will not matter how good your product or service is. So find out what is happening in your business and stamp out anything that does not look right. You may not realise but your entire business rests on this.
Photo Credits: Fortune.com