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New Volkswagen CEO halts non-essential investment to get ready for massive diesel recall


Some estimates suggest that Volkswagen could spend close to $90 billion righting the wrongs of its dirty diesel engines, a staggering figure by any measure. That's going to require some adjustments — and Matthias Müller, the Porsche CEO tapped to replace Martin Winterkorn, is starting to acknowledge them.

Speaking at a company event today, Müller said that "anything that is not absolutely necessary will be cancelled or postponed," noting that "it is not possible to quantify the commercial and financial implications [of the diesel emissions scandal] at present." He didn't go into details on what kinds of investments might get the axe, but he also spelled out that the forward-looking projects presented recently at the Frankfurt auto show (the beautiful Porsche Mission E, for instance) were important, and that the company "cannot afford to economize on the future."

In the meantime, though, Müller said that the company is getting close on a roll-out of its recall plan for owners affected by the emissions scandal — it better be, considering that a plan is due to be filed with the German government tomorrow — and that some vehicles would be fixable via software alone, while others would additionally require hardware modifications. By any measure, this is going to be a long, expensive process for one of the largest automakers on the planet.

Verge Video: The Volkswagen scandal, explained