The Volkswagen emissions scandal may have damaged the company’s reputation and stock prices, but the brand’s social media following has sky rocketed.
Volkswagen has been battling a crisis after it admitted to rigging as many as 11 million cars, models from 2009-2015, worldwide with software which would only meet environmental regulators during laboratory emissions testing.
The company initially released a statement which blamed the “moral and political disaster“ on “the unlawful behaviour of engineers and technicians involved in engine development”.
The scandal put Volkswagen at the top of Facebook and Twitter news feeds. According to data from social analytics company Meltwater, there were 131, 104 conversations about the Volkswagen scandal between the 13th September to 13th October. According to Meltwater: 4 per cent of this discussion was positive, 51 per cent was neutral and 45 per cent was negative.
A study by automotive research company AutoPacific found 64 per cent of US vehicle owners no longer trusted Volkswagen, only 25 per cent held a positive view of the company compared with 69 per cent prior to the scandal.
Despite all this bad press, the global Volkswagen Twitter has grown from the crisis; @Volkswagen has surged from 40,000 before the scandal to 46,500. The company’s USA Facebook page ‘likes’ has followed a similar pattern. Eventually Volkswagen could use this increased following to its advantage, but for now it probably should just keep quiet.