EMISSIONS SCANDAL

Volkswagen will maintain its Spanish investments, says industry minister

José Manuel Soria says €3.2 billion will go to Catalonia Seat plant and €1bn to Navarre facility

Trucks outside the Volkswagen plant in Navarre.
Trucks outside the Volkswagen plant in Navarre.EFE

Volkswagen has told the Spanish government that its investment program in Spain “is guaranteed,” according to Industry Minister José Manuel Soria.

In an interview on the Cadena Cope radio station on Friday, Soria said that he has met with Matthias Müller, the new CEO of the embattled automaker, who assured him that VW will maintain its investment plans for Spain despite a recent announcement of global cutbacks.

The Catalan plant is planning to produce the new Seat Ibiza and León models, while the Navarre facilities will manufacture the new generation VW Polo

In early October, the German group admitted that 683,626 automobiles in Spain were equipped with the tampered EA 189 Euro 5 diesel engines, which come with software that reduces emissions during regulatory testing, but not on the road. The company brands affected are Volkswagen, Seat, Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

“Although they still have to take these decisions to a few internal committees, it is guaranteed that they will maintain their program,” said the minister, who gave investment figures of €3.2 billion for the Seat plant in Martorell (Barcelona) and approximately €1 billion for the Volkswagen plant in Landaben (Navarre).

More information

The Catalan plant is planning to produce the new Seat Ibiza and León models, while the Navarre facilities will manufacture the new generation VW Polo. These programs come with associated state aid “to encourage innovation,” said Soria.

The German automaker is designing an action plan to provide solutions for the diesel vehicles containing the emissions-modifying software at their local car dealerships from January 1.

On Tuesday, Müller had said at a meeting with workers at company headquarters in Wolfsburg that the company would review all global investments and cancel or postpone those that were not strictly necessary.

English version by Susana Urra.