The Latest: Protester disrupts VW at Geneva auto show

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

GENEVA (AP) — The Latest on the auto show taking place in the Swiss city of Geneva (all times local):

10:25 a.m.

A cheeky protester dressed as a Volkswagen mechanic disrupted the automaker's media presentation at the Geneva auto show on Tuesday, exemplifying the German company's nagging image problem following an emissions scandal.

The protester alluded to Volkswagen's cheating on U.S. emissions tests revealed last year. Holding a wrench and a prop labeled "cheat box," the protester walked on stage and looked under a display car as a Volkswagen executive spoke.

In German-accented English, he said CEO Matthias Mueller "said it was OK as long as no one finds out about it." Security guards then escorted the man away.

Volkswagen admitted to U.S. regulators in September it had used illegal software in its so-called "Clean Diesel" engines, allowing the cars to pass laboratory emissions tests while spewing high levels of harmful nitrogen oxide when operating.


9:35 a.m.

BMW's CEO introduced new versions of the company's big luxury sedan at the Geneva International Motor Show and cautioned that sales growth in Europe and China will only be modest this year.

Harald Krueger showed off a new plug-in hybrid of the 7-Series, saying customers who wanted to set an example were asking for a low-emissions vehicle. For those wanting top performance, the company is rolling out a version with a 12-cylinder, 610 horsepower engine that can accelerate to 100 kph (62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds.

Krueger said Tuesday the company expected "moderate sales growth" this year after a record year in which the company sold 2.2 million cars. He said he expected sales growth in Europe and China only in the lower single digit percent range.