The four most populated cities have joined together to put a ban on diesel. Mayors of Athens, Madrid, Mexico City, and Paris announced their commitment during the C40 Mayor’s Summit in Mexico City Friday. Mayors of the US’ larger cities pledged Climate Leadership as well, despite president-elect Donald Trump’s position on climate change.
The World Health Organization says seven million deaths each year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. The diesel ban was made to address concerns about air quality, as diesel engines emit particles into the air at ground level as well as emitting nitrogen oxides. Mayors said the ban would encourage cities to promote walking, cycling, and alternative fuels for diesel-using trucks, taxis and delivery vehicles.
News of the ban has brought a new wave of concern to Volkswagen, who was caught cheating on emissions tests for diesel vehicles. With the ban promising to ban all diesel fuel cars by 2025, VW has about 8 years to completely transform their brand, image, and do a total overhaul on their vehicle lineup. However, they have about one year to roll out their first step, in my estimation, to hold relevancy.
We live in a fast-paced business world. Businesses rocket to success much more rapidly than we have seen before, and fall off nearly just as fast the moment they are replaceable. Long standing businesses get a bit more time to crash, but that does not mean they can last forever. Volkswagen and Samsung have both had a rough 2016, and need a swift makeover before their fans are swept away by the next ‘it’ car, phone, tv, laptop, SUV etc.
Both need to hinge their future brand on moving forward with more sense of pride in caring for the world: the people and the resources. Weaving this thread into their mission statement, so it becomes a target to hit, just as profit margins and savings are sought after. Samsung needs to ensure its investors, fans, and customer base that they care about the safety of their employees and consumers. Regulations and product testing needs to be more transparent to ensure stringent testing and product reliability are upheld. Volkswagen on the other hand, will need to stand behind a greener future. They need to invest in diesel fuel alternative businesses to have a hand in the solution, and start winning over their customers again. They also should focus their future success toward an eco-friendly, electric or other green alternative lineup of vehicles. VW will need to tap into engineers who can either greatly improve upon the current trends in green transportation, or engineer something different and better altogether.
Every move these businesses make over the next year will be huge. It will either mark their colossal demise, or the prolific transition from one business market to the next, positioning themselves to lead the future.