Qatar Air Boss and Volkswagen Board Member Defends German Auto Maker – Nasdaq

Posted: Sunday, November 08, 2015





By Robert Wall

DUBAI–Qatar Airways chief executive and Volkswagen AG (VOW.XE) board member Akbar Al Baker on Sunday backed the
German car maker, which is embroiled in an emissions scandal, saying no company could meet the stringent standards set
by authorities.

“If you really analyze every single automobile manufacturer, none of them will meet the standards that are put forward
by the regulators,” Mr. Baker said at the Dubai Air Show.

Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen this month disclosed that the emissions infractions go beyond the 11 million
diesel-powered vehicles world-wide that contain the software allegedly used to cheat emissions tests. It said another
800,000 cars could be understating their carbon-dioxide emissions. The company faces billions of dollars in fines from
regulators and costs.

Volkswagen replaced its chief executive and has suspended a large number of employees over the scandal.

The Qatar Investment Authority, the Middle East country’s sovereign-wealth fund, is the biggest holder of Volkswagen’s
preferred shares and the third-largest owner of its common shares. Its position has lost more than $4 billion from its
holdings in the auto maker.

After the new revelations came to light, Volkswagen’s supervisory board said it was “deeply concerned” about the
discovery and that it would “consult on further measures and consequences.”

Still, Mr. Baker said “Volkswagen is a brand and this brand is not going to disappear,” adding the company “makes very
fine cars, very fine trucks, very fine buses. The product is first class.”

The airline chief executive, known for being outspoken and often highly critical of suppliers, such as planemakers
Boeing Co. ( BA ) and Airbus Group SE (AIR.FR), said the press’s treatment of Volkswagen was “unfair.”

“Every business has ups and downs,” he said.

Write to Robert Wall at robert.wall@dowjones.com

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  11-08-150918ET
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