Volkswagen can’t seem to stay away from controversy. Now, they’ve been accused of ruining the crops near one of its Mexican factories by using hail cannons to change the weather.
Trouble in Mexico
Local groups in Mexico are irate with the German automobile manufacturer for creating a dry spell with their hail cannons. VW uses the sonic booms to stop the local air from forming hail in an effort to protect their cars parked at the factory.
To alleviate complaints, VW promised to reduce their cannon usage at the Puebla factory despite the lack of evidence that using them leads to less rain. Volkswagen says that their relationship with the locals is more important to them and they wish to maintain a close-knit community.
While they won’t discontinue the usage altogether, they’ve turned off the automatic mode. Now, they only operate them manually, when there’s a threat of hail according to meteorological conditions. The company also plans to install some anti-hail nets over the 150 acres to further protect the cars from harm.
Hail Cannons Doing Harm in Mexico?
VW uses their factory in Puebla, Mexico to build hundreds of thousands of vehicles. There are currently about 15,000 employees on site to produce the Beetle, Jetta, Golf and Tiguan.
Local activists are adamant that the use of hail cannons stopped the rain and caused the crops damage, despite evidence showing otherwise. The owner of the cannon company in New Zealand, Mike Eggers says they’re being incorrectly blamed for the weather issues.
Instead, he says that the technology of his product has nothing to do with rain; just hail. To him, there’s a distinct difference between the two so the cannons couldn’t be stopping the rain. In fact, hail cannons were first produced as a way to protect the crops from hail.
Either way, it’s nice to see VW playing well with others. Now, it will be interesting to see if the rain starts back up now that the hail cannon usage is reduced.