VW is the leader of the ranking list of companies in the Public Value Atlas. The data collection for the Public Value Atlas took place between July and August 2015, before the VW group’s manipulation of exhaust emission measurements was uncovered. Between 1 and 10 October, a second survey was conducted after the event with a total of 777 respondents to again measure VW’s public value contribution and that of a further four companies from the automotive industry, as well as Bosch. The course of the survey matches that of the main survey. At least 270 respondents evaluated each of the organizations, which were again surveyed, according to the four public value dimensions.

In the additional survey, VW received a noticeably worse evaluation compared with the one before the diesel-emission scandal. With a public value score of 3.30, in comparison to the public value score of 4.35 in the main survey, VW’s rating declined strongly, and ended in the bottom group of all the organizations. Furthermore, the opinions of VW’s public value contribution were more divided than in the survey a few months earlier. In particular, the morality dimension fared worse. Further, Audi’s public value contribution decreased, and its moral-ethical dimension lost the most ground. But, at the same time, 90 of 100 respondents believe that Germany would be worse off without VW.

Comparison Volkswagen

Comparison Audi

The evaluations of BMW, Ford, and Bosch remained about the same. In the additional survey, all three obtained similar public value scores with slight improvements. Daimler also benefited: It slightly increased its public value contribution in comparison to the main survey.

Comparison Bmw

Comparison Ford

Comparison Bosch

Comparison Daimler

The additional survey shows that the measurement of companies and organizations’ contribution to public value is reliable and stable, and the results can be replicated in repeated measurements, which, for example, the BMW and Ford scores illustrate. It is also evident that companies’ conduct has a direct effect on public value contribution, which the evaluations of VW and Audi, for example, illustrate.

Respondents most frequently chose comprehensive explanations, as well as transparent and honest communication, in answer to the question regarding what would currently be the most appropriate behavior for VW.
Almost all respondents indicated that top managers in Germany should, in their position, orientate themselves stronger to public value (97 of 100). For 82 of 100 respondents, trust in the public value orientation of top managers in Germany declined in general, due to the VW diesel-emission scandal, and 84 of 100 respondents are concerned that jobs will be lost as a result of this scandal.
In addition, 87 of 100 respondents believe that the values and virtues of German industry will suffer lasting damage due to the VW diesel-emission scandal.

The following resulted as well:

  • 71 of 100 respondents indicate that they perceive themselves as average to well informed regarding the VW diesel-emission scandal.
  • 57 of 100 respondents indicate that the VW diesel emission scandal does not fundamentally change their assessment of VW’s public value contribution in Germany. 
  • 67 of 100 respondents find that VW is, and remains, a German model company.
  • 47 of 100 respondents indicate that they now find diesel passenger cars less attractive as a result of the VW diesel-emission scandal.
  • 85 of 100 respondents estimate that the VW diesel-emission scandal will have a negative impact on the public value contribution of VW in Germany.
  • 83 of 100 respondents are of the opinion that the VW diesel-emission scandal will negatively influence the public value contributions of the entire automotive industry in Germany.
  • 80 of 100 respondents share the opinion that legislators should use the VW diesel-emission scandal to generally demand a public value orientation of companies, backed up by appropriate regulations.