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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Excellent recap of VW, its structure and culture
The research quality is excellent, and the author does not leap to conclusions that aren't fact based. There are some highly technical areas that are overly simplified, but I suppose that keeps non-engineers engaged in the book. The tension and drama of the Porsche and Piech families is brought out in an insightful way.
Clearly, Ferdinand Piëch is the main focus of this book.
I have owned and driven at least one VW since 1971. I've built and rebuilt several air cooled (Ghia, Thing, Dune Buggy) and enjoy my '74 Thing and '91 Vanagon camper. My wife enjoyed our '06 Passat VR6 4mo wagon and '11 Tig. My work car is a '14 TDi SEL. In between, there were other cars I try to forget.
The company has been late to the US market in so many ways, and de-contented their US made vehicles below my point of interest. I love the drive and feel of their vehicles, and this book explained how they came off the rails. It will be a steep hill for them to climb in the US.
- Mark Grady
A great "too big too fail" story. Just great.
- Amazon Customer