Plenty of stories have tried to crowded out of the headlines, but the omission scandal is one that just will not go away. News this week that Martin Winterkorn, the former chief executive of the VW group, is facing charges in Germany alongside four other, unnamed directors. The charges allege that he knew nearly 18 months before the story broke about the illegal software that the manufacturer had fitted. And that he authorised a software update a few months later that, it is alleged, tried to cover up the fraud.
VW has already paid €29 million in fines, so the company has not escaped unscathed. Though the cynic would say that, despite recent falling sales, their global market share is going up and that it has done them no harm. This is much less likely for any of the directors, as a guilty verdict could open them up to as much is 10 years in jail. Not a great way to end your career, especially as the US is also seeking to indict him.
And talking of ending careers, Carlos Ghosn is suffering a pretty torrid time in Japan. Having gone on the offensive last month, he has since been rearrested and his wife has flown to Japan to testify in court. Reports say that he will remain in jail for some time to come, something that is consistent with Japanese justice. Things do not appear to be improving for him.
Many of my clients have reported a pretty good first quarter, despite the gloom and doom in the economy and the wider global picture. A bit like last year, however, they have noted that April has been at best sluggish. It seems like someone has locked the showroom doors. Maybe it is time that manufacturers started re-calendarising their budgets, as the fall off in the second quarter seems to be a pattern that repeats itself regularly. It is looking like quite a long haul to December already.
Have a great weekend, good luck with the Easter egg hunt on Sunday.
Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.
Tallulah Bankhead (1903 – 1968)
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC), ‘Nicomachean Ethics,’ 325 B.C.
Life is like getting dropped off in the middle of the woods, and then year by year, gradually walking home.
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