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Faster, Higher, Farther: The Volkswagen Scandal

Jack Ewing, Joel Richards · 1 HN comments
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Amazon Summary
A shocking exposé of Volkswagen's fraud by the New York Times reporter who covered the scandal. In mid-2015 Volkswagen proudly reached its goal of surpassing Toyota as the world's largest automaker. A few months later, the EPA disclosed that Volkswagen had installed software in 11 million cars that deceived emissions-testing mechanisms. By early 2017 VW had settled with American regulators and car owners for $20 billion, with additional lawsuits still looming. In Faster, Higher, Farther, Jack Ewing rips the lid off the conspiracy. He describes VW's rise from "the people's car" during the Nazi era to one of Germany's most prestigious and important global brands, touted for being "green". He paints vivid portraits of Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch and chief executive Martin Winterkorn, arguing that the corporate culture they fostered drove employees, working feverishly in pursuit of impossible sales targets, to illegal methods. Unable to build cars that could meet emissions standards in the United States honestly, engineers were left with no choice but to cheat. Volkswagen then compounded the fraud by spending millions marketing "clean diesel", only to have the lie exposed by a handful of researchers on a shoestring budget, resulting in a guilty plea to criminal charges in a landmark Department of Justice case. Faster, Higher, Farther reveals how the succeed-at-all-costs mentality prevalent in modern boardrooms led to one of corporate history's farthest-reaching cases of fraud - with potentially devastating consequences.
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> I don't think you fully appreciate how massive volkswagen is, as an organization. There is literally no place for whims and feelings at a company that big.

I do, I worked for VAG during Dieselgate and got a first hand look at the sheer monstrosity of a Megacorp that it is when dealing with the processes, and actually it has a long history of doing just that. In fact the way they got the engineers on board for the cheat device wasn't through a committee or board, it was upper management intimidating engineers to comply by way of threatening their continued employment there.

Furthermore, they could have gotten away with it after the first alarms were sounding off that they were being investigated, but they decided to keep doing it anyway.

It's really eye opening after having gone through the chaos of it all it first hand working within the TDi buy back program and dealing with Bosch and VW corporate in the early phases of the program, while doing a customer facing role and then reading Jack Ewig's book [0] now.

As for Tesla lay offs, they do this when they expand their lineup, it's like a calibration thing at this point.

Right after Tesla model 3 roll out which failed to meet its targets in '17 [1] which incidentally was days after my first round of interviews at Fremont they started to lay people off. These layoffs extended to 2018 ultimately led to shedding off 9% of total workforce by 2018 [2] when M3 ramp up was the only thing that could stop the never ending hemorrhaging that was likely to bankrupt Tesla if they didn't. I know this because that was the time that they asked me if I was still interested in the role and if I'd want to re-apply and take another round of interviews. I declined and told them I'd made efforts since then to make my way to SpaceX instead, the recruiter understood and kindly wished me well.




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