VW accused of ruining Mexican crops with weather-altering know-how


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Volkswagen has been accused of ruining crops planted close to one in every of its factories in Mexico by utilizing know-how to change the climate.

Native teams have accused the German automaker of inflicting a dry spell with hail cannons that shoot sonic booms into the air to forestall the formation of hail. The units are used to guard vehicles parked exterior the manufacturing unit from dents attributable to hailstones.

Following the complaints, Volkswagen has promised to scale back its use of the cannons at its Puebla manufacturing unit.

“Regardless that there isn’t any proof that using these units causes a scarcity of rain, Volkswagen (VLKAF) of Mexico determined to switch its operation with a view to keep a harmonious relationship with its neighbors,” an organization spokesperson instructed CNN.

“Volkswagen … [has stopped] utilizing these units of their computerized mode, and is barely working them manually, when the meteorological circumstances decide the approaching fall of hail,” she stated.

The automaker stated it now plans to put in “anti-hail nets” over greater than 150 acres to guard its vehicles. It stated it might proceed to make use of the cannons if wanted.

02 volkswagen cars Mexico
Volkswagen builds lots of of hundreds of vehicles at its manufacturing unit in Puebla, Mexico.

The automaker has round 15,000 employees on the Puebla manufacturing unit, which manufactures fashions together with the Jetta, Beetle, Tiguan and Golf. A whole bunch of hundreds of automobiles are produced on the plant every year.

Native activists stated the cannons had broken crops within the area.

“We’re blissful to know that as a bunch we’ve got raised our voices in opposition to using hail cannons by VW Mexico,” one group stated in a statement posted on Fb (FB).

01 volkswagen cars Mexico
Volkswagen employs hundreds of employees in Mexico to construct lots of of hundreds of vehicles every year.

Mike Eggers, the proprietor of a hail cannon producer in New Zealand, stated the know-how is commonly incorrectly blamed for stopping rain.

“In actuality, the know-how is not round rain, it is round hail. And there is a distinction. A considerable distinction,” he stated.

The cannons have been used for many years, most frequently to guard crops.

— Marilia Brocchetto, Claudia Rebaza and Max Ramsay contributed reporting.

CNNMoney (London) First revealed August 23, 2018: 12:38 PM ET

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