Obama and Merkel to avoid VW stand at Hanover trade fair

Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were to avoid the Volkswagen stand in Hanover, dpa learned ahead of the US president's visit to the world's largest industrial trade fair on Sunday.

Europe's largest carmaker is under a cloud as a result of an emissions scandal that broke in the United States last year.

According to the schedule, Obama and Merkel were to visit three halls in at the fair - but not Hall 15, where the VW stand is based.

The omission is noteworthy, as Germany's largest company has traditionally been on the route of major political visits in the past.

While no reasons were given, it was widely assumed that Obama wished to avoid any symbolism, given that the US authorities are involved in legal proceedings with VW as a result of the manipulation of emissions from its diesel-powered cars.

The US president was however set to meet VW chief executive Matthias Mueller, who was to be present at the official opening on Sunday evening and at the official dinner in the Herrenhausen castle.

VW is facing penalties that are likely to run to billions of dollars in relation to manipulated software in around 580,000 diesel-powered cars in the US.

Globally the company fitted more than 11 million vehicles with software that made emissions appear lower than was actually the case.

Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 12:53

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