We are very sorry to keep on talking about the Volkswagen scandal that hit the headlines in September 2015 but, as more information is unveiled, the more we have to talk about really. This time round, the most recent news concerns the bonuses received by VW’s bosses in 2015.


It has just been reported that the current and former Volkswagen executives have received huge bonuses for 2015 despite the emissions scandal and the company’s biggest recorded losses in history. The company set aside €63 million for 12 past and present executive board members. This is a staggering amount of money considering the tens of billions lost due to the recent scandal. The company may argue that there has been a 30 percent freeze on performance related pay but still, tens of millions have been spent.

Volkswagen’s former boss Martin Winterkorn, who resigned after ‘taking responsibility for the irregularities’ took home a cool €16.6 million before tax. This is a ridiculous amount of money to pay a man who led Volkswagen into its darkest period to date by cheating emissions tests. Winterkorn reportedly earned €9.3 million through his resignation and subsequent termination of his contract. Then, he earned €7.3 million through his annual salary of which, €5.9 million was performance related.

What part of Martin Winterkorn’s performance equates to a €5.9 million bonus? Since the scandal reached the headlines in September 2015, the company has seen a loss of around €16 billion (to just fix the scandal) but, this figure is expected to double. VW have also seen a €400 million loss in the restructuring of their fleets and, a €4.1 billion loss in their sales. The company has also seen a 40 percent drop in their stock market value since September 2015 too. How does all that justify such a huge bonus?

We are sorry that we keep on talking about the Volkswagen emission scandal. We promise that we will stop soon…