Volkswagen announced last month that English, not German, would be the official language spoken at the company. VW has instructed bosses to begin exchanging in English, whatever their native language, although factory staff may speak in whatever tongue they choose among themselves.
The move away from German is fitting in that the company really isn’t just German anymore. It owns controlling shares of automakers in France, England, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, and Sweden; its manufacturing reach is even broader. Realistically, any gathering of workers from these disparate nations would take place in English anyway, whatever the company’s official language, so the shift is sensible from a practical perspective.
Volkswagen is not the first major automaker to make the switch to English. For example, last year Honda announced that it would abandon Japanese as its official language by 2020, replacing it with English.
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