Volkswagen launches Ameo, top executive apologises for scandal

Leading European automaker Volkswagen on Tuesday unveiled its sub-compact sedan, the Ameo, marking its entry into the highly-competitive segment.

The new, sub-four-metre model will be manufactured at its Chakan plant near Pune and has been designed for the Indian market. The car was launched by Jurgen Stackmann, head of sales and after sales, Volkswagen AG.

The top executive apologised to its customers and dealers in India for the inconvenience caused by its involvement in last year’s global scandal relating to cheating of emission tests.

Stackmann said the company was determined to win back the trust of its customers by voluntarily recalling all disel cars with EA 189 engines. The carmaker will have to pay billions of dollars in fines for the incorporating cheating devices in about 11 million cars worldwide.

According to the senior executive, all Volkswagen cars in India comply to emission norms. Referring to Ameo, he said production is expected to begin in the first half of 2016. Volkswagen has invested nearly Rs6,000 crore in its India operations at Chakan.

“I am fully aware that the most important task for Volkswagen is to solve the global emission levels issue,” he noted at the launch. “We made some big mistakes and I am truly sorry and I apologise to our valued customers, authorities, dealers. I assure you, we are committed to making things right.”