Marketing

Volkswagen issues statement in support of U.S. women's soccer team equal pay lawsuit

Volkswagen is a major sponsor of U.S. soccer.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The U.S. women's national team (USWNT) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) citing gender discrimination a year ago following the revelation that women's team members are paid significantly less than the men's team despite winning the World Cup in 2015 and 2019. The men's team placed 15th in 2014 and did not qualify for the tournament in 2018.

The lawsuit, which named 28 team members as plaintiffs, filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles, and they are seeking class-action status over "institutionalized gender discrimination" toward team members. The lawsuit was filed under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

One of the examples of disproportionate pay cited in the lawsuit states that U.S. Soccer paid $5.375 million in bonuses to the men's team in 2014 yet, when the women's team won the World Cup in 2015, they were only paid $1.725 million in bonuses.

A motion filed on behalf of the USSF challenged the lawsuit, saying, "The point is that the job of [a men's national team] player (competing against senior men's national teams) requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength than does the job of [a women's national team] player (competing against senior women's national teams)."

The wording in the motion was met with immediate criticism, not just by the plaintiffs but by the sponsors of the USSF, including Coca-Cola, Deloitte, and Volkswagen, the latter of which released a statement this afternoon:

"We at Volkswagen of America are disgusted by positions taken by U.S. Soccer and they are simply unacceptable. We place great emphasis on gender inclusivity and equality and require our partners do the same. We stand by the USWNT and the ideals they represent for the world. We demand that U.S. Soccer rise up to these values. #DriveBigger"

The outrage promoted an apology from USSF President Carlos Cordeiro.

When the lawsuit was originally filed last year, women's team member Alex Morgan said, "Each of us is extremely proud to wear the United States jersey, and we also take seriously the responsibility that comes with that," Morgan said, also in a news release. "We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility. As players, we deserved to be paid equally for our work, regardless of our gender."

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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The ID. Buzz enters production in Europe soon.

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is one of the most anticipated EVs in a sea of desirable and exciting new vehicles. With retro styling and an all-electric powertrain, the van promises to be a funky, futuristic people-hauler with plenty of new tech. Today, VW handed out specs and information on the van during its global launch.

Volkswagen ID. BuzzInterior and exterior design ooze retro style. Volkswagen

Two configurations are available: A five-seat passenger version and a three-seat cargo version. Both ride on Volkswagen's modular electric drive platform (MEB), and both are rear-wheel drive. Power output lands at 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque, and the van's top speed reaches 145 mph.

Inside is where the magic happens. The passenger van features five seats, and in top models the seats come with massaging functionality. The three-person bench seat in the second row can be folded flat or folded 60/40, and the seat slides up to 5.9 inches front to back. Six-passenger seating is standard, but an extended wheelbase seven-seat configuration will be offered.

Inside, a ten-inch digital gauge cluster is standard, and pairs with a ten-inch infotainment touchscreen. A 12-inch display is available, and touch controls handle climate controls and audio volume. Rather than a traditional gear selector lever, Volkswagen uses a stalk mounted on the steering column. The Cargo version gets special storage functions, including a removal center console and several storage bins.

Volkswagen ID. BuzzBoth passenger and cargo configurations are offered.Volkswagen

ID. Buzz Cargo production starts in Europe early this year, with production of the standard van following shortly after. The European launch is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022, and the van will launch in North America in 2024. Volkswagen has not yet nailed down the model year for the new van, and will release more information closer to its release.

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