Setting an example
In every country, the score is fairly close to this average, with the French showing the highest degree of indulgence (62%).
This judgement is severe, even more so than the results of the Observatoire’s 2017 survey, when only 56% of respondents expressed a negative opinion on the makes involved.
Statements moderated by reality
But once again, these statements are moderated by reality. From 2015 to late 2016, Volkswagen stock certainly dropped 63%, but between 2015 and the first half of 2017 its market share only declined by some 3 points in Germany. The slump was restricted to 2 points in Europe, where Volkswagen remained number one, way ahead of the pack. All other makes, also involved in the scandal, recorded higher volumes and market share over the same period. Dieselgate and its cortege of glib press statements did leave some traces… until the next survey was conducted. In 2017 Observatory, only 1 respondent out of 2 planned to rule out the incriminated makes. Clearly, not all of them did, and will not do so in the future.
It is also true that the makes generally react fast and powerfully. Caught in the act on the environmental front, Volkswagen counter-attacked. The group announced an investment of 20 billion euros to bring no less than 80 electric models to market by 2025 with the aim of reaching 25% of its future sales based on this energy source. This redemptive race for eco-friendly cars now being run willy-nilly by all manufacturers will be costly, but is sure to be profitable. 3 motorists out of 4 say they are attentive to the environmental efforts made by the makes, with the Chinese showing the highest degree of concern (95%) – and the worst urban pollution.
Profitable it will be, especially since the alternative models brought to market will sacrifice nothing to reliability or design, while remaining competitive. Tesla, which has already won its bets regarding design and quality, will attempt to prove this with its upcoming model 3. This stylish and widely accessible electric car may just be the touchstone of a massive disloyalty event.