CARMAGEDDON: Volkswagen's unravelling has wiped billions off car industry shares

Volkswagen’s fast-escalating emissions scandal has investors are dumping shares of automakers and parts suppliers. The German company alone has lost nearly one-third of its market cap – or almost $US30 billion – in two days this week, but billions more have been erased off market values of companies listed in the U.S. and Europe.

Here’s the latest:

which began Friday after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused VW of using software that could cheat emissions tests for some of its diesel engines.

  • Volkswagen says 11 million cars could contain the software, and that it is setting aside more than $US7.3 billion because of the situation.
  • France is calling for an industry-wide investigation, Reuters reported, while the UK’s transport secretary also called for a pan-European probe, according to the Guardian.
  • Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn denied a report in German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel that he will be out by the end of the week.
  • Winterkorn made the statement in a video, in which he also says everything is on the table to resolve the crisis.

Investors are worried about the broad impact on the industry, and potential for the crisis to spread to other carmakers. Fiat-Chrysler has already denied having similar technology in place, and Porche’s U.S. representatives say that it tests its cars separately. Porsche is part of Volkswagen Group, but its North American division is a separate company.

VW SharesGoogle FinanceVolkswagen shares on 9/22/15

Here’s what the market reaction looks like:

  • Volkswagen’s shares dropped almost 20% on Tuesday.
  • BMW tumbled almost 8%, while Fiat-Chrysler fell 4%.
  • In the U.S., General Motors tumbled about 2% while Ford fell more than 3%.
  • Autosuppliers are in the red too: BorgWarner has tumbled 6% today, and Tenneco is off almost 8%.

BorgWarner and Tenneco are most exposed because of their involvement with Volkswagen diesel engine and emissions control technology, Bank of America analyst Douglas Karson wrote in a note to clients. BorgWarner counts on Volkswagen for 17% of its revenue, while Tenneco gets about 8% from VW, according to Karson.

“BorgWarner supplies turbochargers for Volkswagen’s diesel engines and Tenneco supplies VW with emissions controls technology,” Karson wrote.

But other large auto parts suppliers are also hit. Canada’s Magna has dropped almost 6%, while Germany’s Continental is down about 3.5% today.

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