SEATTLE -- These days, Volkswagen executives talk more about winning back trust than market share.
It has been that way ever since the diesel emissions scandal cast the brand known for happy hippie-mobiles into a basket of deplorables, alongside Enron, Lance Armstrong and Bernie Madoff.
Yet as the scandal approached a milestone -- it has been one year since the EPA went public with a notice of violation and sales of VW's diesel cars were halted -- VW last week was entertaining a gaggle of car reviewers, journalists and bloggers here to show off the new Golf Alltrack wagon.
The timing reflects what VW's U.S. boss Hinrich Woebcken sees as the best way back for a beleaguered and scandal-tainted brand: "product, product, product."
"One thing which is great about your country is you guys give people who did a mistake a second chance," said Woebcken, the obscure German who was brought in from BMW to lead a restructured North American operation at VW and steer a U.S. turnaround. "I believe we have today, with that car, a good start for this momentum."