VW Reports Biggest Annual Loss in Almost Eight Decades

Volkswagen reported its biggest annual loss in almost eight decades of history on Friday as the growing cost of provisions for the global emissions scandal pushed Europe’s largest carmaker into the red. VW almost tripled its provision for the costs of fixing cars to €16.2bn, a day after announcing the biggest car buyback proposal in history. The provision includes “pending technical modifications and customer-related measures as well as global legal risks”. For 2015 it reported a net loss of €1.6bn, its first net loss since 1993, versus a profit of €10.8bn in 2015. Analysts expected a loss of €2.6bn. VW admitted in September to equipping 11m cars worldwide with test-cheating software and on Thursday a US court accepted the outlines of a plan to repurchase, or offer to fix, 480,000 cars in the US, where the scandal was uncovered. On Friday, VW postponed the release of a comprehensive investigation of the emissions scandal being undertaken by Jones Day, which it hired in September. The carmaker had been expected to release the study by the end of this month, but because of the amount of research involved, and a criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice, VW said it would not be complete until the fourth quarter of 2016. Volkswagen said it regretted the decision but that a disclosure now would “significantly impair Volkswagen’s co-operation with the Department of Justice and weaken Volkswagen’s position in any remaining proceedings”.

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