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 through the use of 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 stop the formation of hail. The gadgets are used to guard vehicles parked exterior the manufacturing facility from dents brought on by hailstones.

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

“Despite the fact that there isn’t any proof that using these gadgets causes a scarcity of rain, Volkswagen (VLKAF) of Mexico determined to change its operation in an effort to keep a harmonious relationship with its neighbors,” an organization spokesperson instructed CNN.

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

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

02 volkswagen cars Mexico
Volkswagen builds a whole lot of 1000’s of vehicles at its manufacturing facility in Puebla, Mexico.

The automaker has round 15,000 employees on the Puebla manufacturing facility, which manufactures fashions together with the Jetta, Beetle, Tiguan and Golf. A whole bunch of 1000’s of automobiles are produced on the plant every year.

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

“We’re completely happy to know that as a gaggle we now have raised our voices towards using hail cannons by VW Mexico,” one group mentioned in a statement posted on Fb (FB).

01 volkswagen cars Mexico
Volkswagen employs 1000’s of employees in Mexico to construct a whole lot of 1000’s of vehicles every year.

Mike Eggers, the proprietor of a hail cannon producer in New Zealand, mentioned the know-how is usually 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 mentioned.

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 printed August 23, 2018: 12:38 PM ET

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