Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘Volkswagen’ Category

VW Ups EV Ante as it Places $25B in Battery Orders

German giant now outspending rival Tesla.

by on Mar.14, 2018

VW plans to have 30 fully electric vehicles ready by 2025, including models based on the ID Buzz and ID Crozz concepts.

As it ramps up plans to sell at least 3 million electrified vehicles annually by 2025, Volkswagen has announced orders for $25 billion worth of batteries and battery components – dwarfing the spending plans of all-electric competitor Tesla.

Longer-term, VW said it plans to more than double that total as it prepares to offer some form of electrified drivetrain for every vehicle in its line-up – including dozens of all-electric models. It plans to roll out its first three long-range battery-electric vehicles this year, including offerings from its Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi brands. It also will launch a new sub-brand, Volkswagen I.D., which will include in its portfolio the all-electric Buzz, a modern take on the automaker’s iconic Microbus.

News You Can Trust!

Among all 12 brands in the Volkswagen Group family, CEO Matthias Mueller said that there will be new battery-powered models launched “virtually every month,” as the new program ramps up, adding that “This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world.” (more…)

Volkswagen CEO Mueller Gets 40% Compensation Hike

Special breaks let him exceed caps on salary and benefits.

by on Mar.13, 2018

VW CEO Matthias Mueller received a 40% raise in 2017.

Volkswagen’s comeback from the diesel scandal is almost complete. Volkswagen Group reported record earnings for 2017 and this resulted in CEO Matthias Mueller seeing his compensation package jump 40%.

The 64-year-old Mueller’s contract expires in 2020.

Global News!

The jump in pay and other benefits to nearly $12.5 million, according to the company, may seem somewhat startling since it was only two years ago the German automaker was firing executives, eliminating bonuses and implementing a new, more restrictive set of rules for compensation. (more…)

VW Developing Unique, Premium EV Platform for Porsche, Audi, Bentley

BMW goes the opposite direction, abandoning electric-only platform strategy.

by on Mar.09, 2018

The Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo is just a "study" for now, but expect a production version to follow.

The Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo is one of the big hits of this year’s Geneva Motor Show and while officially a concept vehicle, the battery-electric crossover is expected to soon follow into production the Mission E coupe launching next year.

Both cars will ride on a specially developed platform, dubbed J1. Meanwhile, sibling brand Audi’s upcoming E-tron Quattro battery-car will use the same MLB architecture as its more mainstream models, like the A4, as well as the new Bentley Bentayga SUV.

Electrifying News!

But, going forward, Those three luxury brands are partnering up to develop an entirely new and unique platform they will share for all future electric vehicles, according to a senior company official. Codenamed PPE, for Premium Platform Electric, it will go into all Audi, Bentley and Porsche electric vehicles from 2022 on.


GM Boosting Bolt EV Production as Demand Surges

CEO Barra asking Congress to expand electric-car tax credits.

by on Mar.08, 2018

There's significant room to expand Chevy Bolt EV production at GM's Orion Assembly Plant.

General Motors plans to expand production of its first long-range battery-car, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, CEO Mary Barra said during an energy conference in Houston.

The Bolt has experienced stronger than expected demand in recent months, some analysts suggesting that is the result of the slow ramp-up of production for Tesla’s own mainstream EV, the Model 3.

Plug In Now!

Demand has also been buoyed by $7,500 federal tax credits that bring the base price of the Bolt down below $30,000. But under the current rules, GM is expected to soon see the credits phase out, something that could cut into demand, leading Barra to say that, “We feel tax credits should be expanded so our customers continue to receive the benefits going forward.”


VW Squashing the Beetle at End of Current Generation

“You can’t have a new, new, new Beetle,” says R&D chief.

by on Mar.07, 2018

The Dune Edition of the latest Beetle is shown with a Baja version of the original Bug.

Get ready to say buh-bye to the Beetle. Oh, you didn’t know they were still building it? Well, that may explain why Volkswagen is getting set to phase out the once-iconic coupe when the current, third-generation model reaches the end of its lifecycle.

Now, Volkswagen wouldn’t be Volkswagen without at least one icon in its line-up, but Frank Welsch, the brand’s R&D chief, told Britain’s Autocar that the focus will shift to the soon-to-be-reborn I.D. Buzz, an all-electric take on the classic Volkswagen Microbus that is due to market early in the coming decade.

Subscribe Now!

Noting that VW tried to revive the Bug with the “New Beetle,” and then redid it one more time, Welsch said enough is enough. “You can’t do it five times and have a new, new, new Beetle,” ad infinitum. In fact, the VW board did consider a way to keep the Beetle alive, but it turned thumbs down to the idea of an all-electric version during a product meeting last November.


VW Confirms New I.D. Vizzion Concept Will Reach Showrooms “By 2022 at the Latest”

Electric sedan will eventually add full autonomy.

by on Mar.05, 2018

The Vizzion Concept is set to become the fourth model in the new Volkswagen I.D. sub-brand.

Volkswagen has rolled out the fourth in a series of concept vehicles meant to preview the all-electric I.D. family it will launch by the end of this decade and, as with earlier models like the Crozz and Buzz, you can expect to see the big I.D. Vizzion sedan roll into showrooms “by 2022 at the latest,” the automaker said, at the big sedan’s official Geneva Motor Show debut.

Something of a battery-electric replacement for the VW brand’s old flagship, the Phaeton, the I.D. Vizzion concept offers a range of cutting-edge technologies, as well as an interior that can be transformed into a mobile living room when operating in fully autonomous mode.

Product News!

“The I.D. VIZZION shows what our brand is capable of in terms of technology, design and quality,” said VW brand boss Herbert Diess, during a showcase of new products by the various marques operated by the parent Volkswagen Group. “ It is the most personal, most emotional and most individual Volkswagen of all times. And it also shows that, even in the electric, self-driving future, we will be using desirable, expressive and individual automobiles – and not just uniform tin boxes.”


VW’s I.D. Vizzion Concept Could Change the Way We Travel

Rethinking what an autonomous and electric vehicle could offer.

by on Mar.01, 2018

Volkswagen's fourth I.D. prototype, the I.D. Vizzion, is headed to the Geneva Motor Show.

It’s become something of an industry mantra that the automobile will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50, and you need only walk into your nearest showroom to see that this is more than hype. Manufacturers already are rolling out what will soon become a flood of electrified vehicles and there are now at least a half-dozen models with significant, semi-autonomous capabilities.

What comes next? Volkswagen has been offering up some intriguing hints with a series of concept vehicles previewing the launch of its new, electrified brand-within-a-brand, and it will debut the fourth prototype, the I.D. Vizzion, at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

News You Can Trust!

The German automaker is already offering a few intriguing teaser images, as well as a short video that puts some perspective on the Vizzion. You can Click Here to check it out on YouTube. But to sum it up, the I.D. Vizzion concept vehicle illustrates what motoring might be like in an age of zero-emission, always-on Level 5 autonomous vehicles. (more…)

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Drop in February

Only Toyota, VW and Audi expected to see small increases.

by on Feb.23, 2018

Sluggish sales in the U.S. are expected to continue into February.

Carmakers are quick to point out that one month of sales figures don’t represent a trend, but analysts are now predicting that new vehicle sales are poised to slide again in February, following the drop in January.

Edmunds, a leading car shopping and information platform, is predicting 1.27 million new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. this month for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR of 16.8 million.

Sales News!

The figures reflects a 10.8% increase in sales compared with last month, but a 4.1% decrease from February 2017, Edmunds said. (more…)

Diesel Crisis May Have Been Just What VW Needed, Suggests US CEO

"The race is on," says Woebcken.

by on Feb.09, 2018

VW's U.S. chief Hinrich Woebcken told the Economic Club of Chicago that the company needed to "Americanize" to be successful.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or so goes the old saw. And it just might apply to Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal, suggested the automaker’s North American chief executive, despite costing the automaker about $30 billion in penalties.

During a series of appearances at the Chicago Auto Show, Hinrich Woebcken noted that after taking an initial, sharp hit to its sales after admitting it rigged more than 500,000 diesel vehicles sold in the U.S., VW’s sales rebounded in 2017, climbing 5% even as the overall American car market fell nearly 2%.

Subscribe Now!

“Maybe the diesel crisis helped convince (our) company to Americanize,” said Woebcken, during a speech to the Chicago Economic Club. Long known to American car buyers as “a sports car brand … a niche company,” VW recognized that, if it was going to recover, it had to “move into the heart of the American market.” (more…)

VW Arteon Makes American Debut

Return of the coupe-like sedan.

by on Feb.08, 2018

Volkswagen's Arteon sedan makes it North American debut at the Chicago Auto Show.

With the recent launches of the all-new Atlas and completely redesigned Tiguan, Volkswagen has made it clear it is shifting direction to catch up with the massive explosion of SUV and CUV sales. But it isn’t walking away from its more traditional passenger car segments.

We got a look at the updated Passat at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month and for the Chicago Auto Show VW is pulling the wraps off the Arteon, the replacement for its coupe-like CC sedan. Okay, yes, we’ve already seen the Arteon in Europe, but for the Windy City show we’re getting a first look at the American market model.

Product News!

And like the old CC, “The Arteon is Volkswagen’s brand shaper,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen. “This car is the spiritual successor to the CC, but it is bolder and faster. Arteon has the style and performance of a luxury Gran Turismo for about the price of a fully loaded midsize sedan.” (more…)