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Volkswagen CEO, Scott Keogh: "The Enhanced Incentives Congress Has Proposed For Unionized Automotive Plants Is Fundamentally Wrong

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Volkswagen Group Of America CEO, Scott Keogh was a guest on SiriusXM Business Radio's In The Driver's Seat and spoke with host Doron Levin about the two Congressional infrastructure proposals that Volkswagen supports, explained why he and Volkswagen are not happy with the enhanced incentives that Congress has proposed for unionized automotive plants, and discussed why now is the time for electric vehicles.

SiriusXM Business Radio's In The Driver's Seat hosted by Doron Levin examines the newest innovation and radical change to the automobile in a century. The full episode airs Tuesday, November 2 at 6:00 pm ET on SiriusXM's Business Radio (Ch 132.

Audio clips and interview transcripts are below.

Volkswagen Group Of America CEO, Scott Keogh, Weighs In On The Enhanced Incentives That Congress Has Proposed For Unionized Automotive Plants

"Look, I'm going to be quite blunt and straightforward.. I think it's wrong. I think it's fundamentally wrong. I think an American working in Chattanooga, Tennessee, or an American working in any plant in America should get the fair day in court. And there shouldn't be a bigger incentive. For this sake, as you know, it's upwards of $4,500 a car if it's union made versus non-union American made. I think they're American plants. We all want the same exact thing. I thought we did. We want electrical vehicles on the road because it's good for the environment. It's going to be good for American competitiveness. Two, we want these cars built in America and whether it's Tennessee, whether it's Michigan, whether it's Alabama, whether it's Ohio that's what we want. So I think it's putting the resources in the wrong place, on the wrong exposure. What are we doing about it? We're expressing ourselves. I think as an industry from Toyota and Nissan and ourselves, we've written a letter to Speaker Pelosi. We've spoken to various people in the government to express our point of view. We're not politicians. What we have done is invested billions of dollars in America with our plants in Chattanooga, with the SKI battery plants in Georgia, just across the border. And we're behind making this happen, American jobs for Americans. And I think it's putting the resources in the wrong place."

Volkswagen Group Of America CEO, Scott Keogh, Opens Up About 2 Congressional, Infrastructure Proposals That Volkswagen Supports

"Now, specifically to the government. I think there's two things that they've put on the table and we firmly support. Number one, continue to expand the incentives on the hood of the vehicle to make these prices dramatically more approachable for the American consumer. I think that's necessary for new technology, should guide the adoption. The second thing I think the Biden administration is right, is continue to double down on the infrastructure. I think the latest is they're looking to add something like 50,000 chargers across America. I think this is right because infrastructure builds trust. Even if I don't need the station, I see it, I feel good about it. It's like a warm blanket. I have this comfort factor. So that's what the government is looking to do, and we are behind it. We've been behind the government on two fronts. One, increasing the requirements because we do believe that we need a cleaner environment, but two, making sure we have the right affordability and the infrastructure to make it happen."


Volkswagen Group Of America CEO, Scott Keogh, Explains Why Now Is The Time For Electric Vehicles Audio

"I think the timing honestly is right now. And I think look at it pragmatically from a customer point of view. There's a couple of things you need to do. First and foremost, you need to hit a price point. You need to hit a price point that a consumer obviously can afford and is comfortable with. The second thing, of course you need is a package I'm used to buying whether it's an SUV or whether it's of course, a pickup truck. And then as you say, there's the infrastructure. So from my point of view, frankly, the time is here. And if I look at the consumer dynamic in America over the last five to six years, I've seen it take the following swings. It started with what the heck is that. It then transformed into no way in heck I'm never going to buy that. Then it moved to a place that says, perhaps maybe my next car. This is this classic, kick it down the road syndrome. If you look at the latest research that we have, 70% of American consumers are going to give an electric car, their next vehicle, a very authentic look. So I think this is huge. I think it's moving. If I look at the total market, I think it's worth noting last year, it went from just under 2%. Year to date so far this year it's 3%. It's up a hundred percent versus last year. So it is absolutely gaining momentum and I'm excited by it."