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Archive for the ‘Volkswagen’ Category

Former Ford Design Chief Mays Joining Whirlpool

Move has him following in footsteps of predecessor.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Ford's former design chief J Mays, shown with the 2015 Mustang, is taking a new job at Whirlpool.

Once Ford Motor Co.’s top designer, J Mays, is heading back to Michigan as vice president and chief design officer of Whirlpool Corp. of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Mays left Ford in 2013 after a long career in the automobile industry that included stints at BMW, Volkswagen and Audi before he joined Ford in 1997 as the company’s top designer.

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Before his appointment at Whirlpool, which makes a variety of home appliances, Mays has been working as consultant in a variety of areas, including in the movie industry. He also has been a visiting professor at the Royal College of Art in London. (more…)

German Automakers Enduring More Diesel Scrutiny

Government regulators continue investigation of companies.

by on Sep.19, 2018

An Audi A3 TDI Sportback, one of the vehicles that was equipped with a rigged diesel engine.

German automakers are facing more headaches and potentially huge fines as the fallout from the “Dieselgate” scandal continues to seep through the legal and regulatory system in Europe and North America.

Antitrust regulators from the European Union are investigating if major German automakers, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen AG conspired to limit the rollout of emission technology used on diesel-powered vehicles heavily promoted by the three automakers.

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In the latest twist to the three-year-old “Dieselgate” scandal, the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation this week. The investigation comes a year after it raided the companies and two years after it slapped a record 2.93 billion euro ($3.4 billion) fine on a group of truck makers, including Daimler, for fixing prices and delaying the adoption of cleaner engine technology, according to Reuters. (more…)

Volkswagen Reveals $6B “Electric for All” Plans

German automaker will debut five-door hatchback in 2019.

by on Sep.17, 2018

Thomas Ulbrich, left, and Christian Senger outline Volkswagen's plans for its MEB-based electric vehicles.

Volkswagen AG is readying to kick off its long-expected onslaught of electric vehicles from its MEB platform, revealing an investment of more than $6 billion for plant upgrades to produce more than 10 million EVs by the end of 2025.

The moves are part of what VW dubs its “Electric for All” plan, based off the flexibility of its modular electric drive, or MEB, platform. It’s expected to the base for as many as 27 model between now and 2025.

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“We will make electric vehicles popular and get as many people as possible excited about electric cars,” said Brand Board Member for E-Mobility Thomas Ulbrich. “The MEB is one of the most important projects in the history of Volkswagen – a technological milestone, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.” (more…)

Bye-Bye Beetle

Volkswagen unveils Beetle Final Edition, with "no immediate plans" for a replacement.

by on Sep.13, 2018

The last of the VW Beetles come in two "final edition" colors and styles, including convertible models.

The end is near – for the Volkswagen Beetle, that is, the automaker all but confirming rumors that 2019 will mark the last time the once wildly popular little car will roll off an assembly line.

Also known in various places as the Bug, and even the Kafer, it has had an incredible run, with only a brief stretch out of production, the Beetle has been a fixture on the road since 1938, when it was unveiled as part of Adolph Hitler’s plan to create a “people’s car,” or “volkswagen,” that was cheap and easy to produce. With nearly 22 million build since then, it is the longest-running model ever, though Toyota’s Corolla claims to beat it as the best-selling nameplate in automotive history.

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“The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America Inc. (more…)

Volkswagen AG’s Legal Woes Continue to Expand

Automaker enduring two diesel-scandal lawsuits in Germany.

by on Sep.13, 2018

Former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn is accused of failing to provide info about the diesel scandal soon enough.

Volkswagen AG’s legal woes from the fallout from rigging of diesel emissions tests continue to expand as it faces a class action lawsuit courtesy of a new law in Germany designed to protect the interests of consumers.

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations, or Vzbv, said it would undertake “pioneering work” with motorists’ lobby group ADAC, or General German Automobile Club, by filing for damages on behalf of Volkswagen owners with diesel engines.

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The class action was made possible after the German cabinet approved a law that allows consumer protection organizations to litigate on behalf of the consumers, avoiding the high costs of individual lawsuits.  (more…)

Investor Suit Against VW AG Gets Underway in Germany

Shareholders seeking $10.4 billion in damages.

by on Sep.11, 2018

The $10.4 billion investor lawsuit against Volkswagen AG is underway in Germany.

The trial to determine if Volkswagen AG executives disclosed critical information about the diesel scandal to investors in a timely manner has gotten underway.

Investors are seeking almost $10.4 billion, saying Volkswagen had not provided information they needed to decide what to do with their shares before the scandal became public.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen in September 2015 of manipulating diesel emissions, sending the shares sharply lower. The scandal also stranded billions of dollars in investment in diesel technology and shifted the entire industry’s trajectory away from diesel and toward battery electric vehicles. (more…)

Lexus, Volvo Tie for Top Spot in New Brand Survey

Overall, consumers slightly happier with ownership experience.

by on Aug.30, 2018

Volvo tied with Lexus for the top brand honors in the latest ACSI survey, receiving its highest score ever.

Vehicle owners in the U.S. are slightly happier with their ownership experience this year than last year, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index.

The index, which is the result of surveys of car owners on their overall service and product experience with specific auto brands, creates a score between 1 to 100. According to the latest edition, the industry-wide score for 2018 is 82, up from 81 in 2017.

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“Car owners are often highly satisfied—they’ve kicked the tires enough times that they’re happy with their decision when they buy,” said David VanAmburg, managing director at ACSI.  (more…)

Nissan Looks to Expand Production in China, Secure No. 3 Spot

Toyota, Honda and Ford also looking to grow sales.

by on Aug.20, 2018

Nissan President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa laid out plans to grow sales in China by 2022.

Nissan Corp. is wasting no time playing catch up with General Motors and Volkswagen AG in China, nor is it wasting money spending $900 million to ramp up its vehicle production in the country.

Working with its Chinese joint-venture partner Dongfeng Group, Nissan’s plans call for expansion of production capacity during the next few years to 2.1 million vehicles annually, according to Reuters.

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Currently, Nissan sold 1.5 million vehicles last year in China, trailing GM and VW which put out about 4 million vehicles each. It wants to sell 2.6 million by 2022, and secure the No. 3 spot in the country by then, according to reports. (more…)

Say Goodbye: 17 Models Going Away in 2019

But some nameplates will yet return from the dead.

by on Aug.17, 2018

Death is not permanent, at least in the auto industry. Some old nameplates will return in 2019, like Ford's Ranger.

We’ll be seeing a host of new models make their debut during the 2019 model-year, including Ford’s newly reborn Ranger pickup, the brand-new Subaru Ascent SUV and complete makeovers of the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500.

But there are also plenty of familiar products that will be waving bye-bye as the 2018 model-year wraps up or at some point during the 2019 season. The obituary list is rather extensive this year and, you likely won’t be surprised to learn, it’s primarily filled with sedans, coupes and sports cars, something that reflects the ongoing shift from passenger cars to light trucks.

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That said, some of the products that might be gone or going soon could stage a comeback in the future if market trends again shift. The Ranger is a good example. Ford killed it off in 2011, anticipating the demise of the midsize pickup segment. New arrivals, like the also-reborn Chevrolet Colorado, proved there was life left in the segment. Ford is also getting set to bring back the long-absent Bronco.

Here’s a look at the U.S. models about to drive off into the sunset:

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Can the Flintstones and Jetsons Sell America on EVs?

New ad campaign brings back two classic cartoon families.

by on Aug.13, 2018

The Electrify America ad campaign plays up the fun-to-drive aspects of battery-cars as much as their environmental benefits.

There’s an electrified revolution heading for your local showroom, with dozens of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles coming to market over the next few years. The challenge the industry faces is getting consumers to plug in. All forms of battery-based vehicles accounted for barely 3% of the total U.S. market last year.

Building awareness is a key goal for Electrify America, the project backed by $2 billion from Volkswagen, part of the settlement of its diesel emissions scandal. The 10-year effort makes its public debut this week with an ad campaign pitching the virtues of battery-electric vehicles. And to help get the message across, it’s borrowing the theme music from two Boomer-era cartoon shows, the Flintstones and the Jetsons.

We Keep You Plugged In!

The first spot, dubbed JetStones, features a number of new battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, and will air on national and local cable television, with a radio version running in both English and Spanish. At the same time, Electrify America will begin placing a network of high-speed charging stations across the country.

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