VW CEO calls for economic stimulus to revive auto industry: TV

FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess wears a protective mask at the Volkswagen during a visitr at the assembly line after VW re-starts Europe’s largest car factory after coronavirus shutdown in Wolfsburg, Germany, April 27, 2020, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Swen Pfoertner/Pool via REUTERS

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) chief executive called for a broad stimulus package to revive the auto industry and the economy even as he defended the carmaker’s intention to pay a dividend.

“We need consumption, the economy needs to get moving again and an opportunity, perhaps the best opportunity is the car,” Herbert Diess told German television ZDF, adding that replacing older cars with more efficient ones would also cut pollution.

Diess reiterated the carmaker’s intention to pay a dividend for 2019 but said the company would consider cutting bonuses and shrinking the dividend if the carmaker ended up taking state aid. [nL8N2BK2H7]

“We will consider this and the formal decisions have not been taken. But for now VW wants to cope without state aid and the carmaker intends to manage through he crisis without tapping state aid,” Diess said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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