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Volkswagen Delivers Solid Profit Despite Diesel Scandal

U.S. buyback program set to get underway.

by on Oct.27, 2016

The Porsche Macan helped drive big profits for the brand - and for parent Volkswagen AG.

As it begins to see its massive diesel scandal fade into the rearview mirror, Volkswagen AG reported Thursday a big jump in third-quarter earnings.

The German maker had a net, after-tax profit of 2.34 billion euros, or $2.55 billion. By comparison, VW went 6.7 billion euros into the red a year ago as it set aside funds to cover fines and legal costs triggered by the revelation it had rigged emissions tests on its 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel engines.

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On Tuesday, a judge in San Francisco gave final approval to a nearly $15 settlement with U.S. and California regulators covering the smaller of the two powertrains. That includes up to $10 billion to buy back the 475,000 Audi and Volkswagen brand vehicles sold in the U.S. using that engine. VW says buybacks are likely to begin by mid-November, though the maker still hopes to come up with a technical fix for at least some of those vehicles.


Lotus Readying a New Model

Sport-ute, sedan would mirror efforts from Porsche

by on Mar.10, 2015

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has the company is taking a common sense approach to recovery, which now likely includes an SUV.

Less than a year ago senior leaders at Lotus were scrambling to determine if the British sports car maker could keep going. What a difference a few months makes; now they’re trying to decide if they should add a sedan or a sport-utility.

“I’m a bit torn between an SUV and a four-door sports car – but in the end I can see that the SUV has the bigger market,” Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales told Reuters. “We’d do an SUV that is very light, very fast on the track and has outstanding handling.”

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Regardless of the choice, it sounds like Porsche could be in line for some competition for the Panamera, Cayenne or Macan, which is exactly where Gales drew his inspiration from for the new product plan last fall. (more…)

Honda CR-V Nabs SUV of the Year Honor

Motor Trend picks small SUV over Macan, X4 and others.

by on Oct.15, 2014

Honda's CR-V captured its second award of the year: Motor Trend's SUV of the Year. It was also named Compact Crossover of the Year by Texas autowriters.

As the leaves on the trees change color it means the new season is upon us: automotive vehicle award season, that is, and Motor Trend kicked it off by declaring the 2015 Honda CR-V is SUV of the Year.

The choice is somewhat surprising given the competition included: the Porsche Macan, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Lincoln MKC, Nissan Rogue, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Volvo XC60 Subaru Outback and BMW X4 and X5.

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“Some years, a vehicle wins our calipers almost unanimously,” wrote Frank Markus, Motor Trend’s technical editor, in the story about the winning CR-V. “This year our jury entered the final discussion split almost down the middle.” (more…)

Porsche Spices Up Cayenne for 2015

New SUV borrows E-Hybrid platform from Panamera.

by on Jul.24, 2014

The 2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo is one of four models available in the maker's portfolio for the SUV.

Sport-utilities have been zipping off dealer lots this year and Porsche looks to take advantage of that by finally unveiling an update to its popular Cayenne SUV that’s already sold half-a-million copies since its introduction in 2002.

While the 2015 model does get some freshening on the outside, it’s the number of choices in the Cayenne portfolio that catches the eye. For the third iteration, the Porsche presents four options in the U.S.: Cayenne Diesel, Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo, and Cayenne S E-Hybrid, which is the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment.

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In fact, Porsche brags that it is the only automaker with three plug-in hybrid models in its line-up – the other two being the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the 918 Spyder. Borrowed from the aforementioned Panamera, the new Cayenne E-Hybrid pairs a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 333 horsepower to an electric motor with 95 hp for a combined 416 hp. (more…)

Porsche Working Up Plans for 7th Product Line

A “Baby Panamera” is just one option as Porsche considers “a cornucopia of ideas.”

by on Feb.20, 2014

Porsche CEO Matthias Muller showing off the new Macan during a presentation at the maker's manufacturing center in Leipzig, Germany.

Even as they prepare to launch their latest all-new product, the compact Macan sport-utility vehicle, Porsche’s top executives are already mulling over plans for what could soon become their seventh unique model line, has learned.

A variety of options are under consideration, CEO Matthias Muller revealed during a series of conversations at the Leipzig complex that recently began producing the new Macan.  Among the possibilities is a smaller version of the German maker’s current four-door sedan which some are referring to as a “Baby Panamera.”


“We have six models but should have seven,” Muller said during a casual dinner at the sprawling Porsche center which recently went through a 500 million Euro expansion to take on production of the Macan. The maker, he added, will soon move forward on the new product program.


Compact Crossovers Commanding Big Car Prices

Pushing $110,000 with the new Porsche Macan.

by on Nov.25, 2013

Porsche reveals the new Macan at the LA Auto Show.

American motorists have long lived by the mantra, “bigger is better.” And that’s been fine for automakers, as well, as they’ve traditionally tied prices – and profit margins – to the size of the vehicles they’ve sold.

But with the steady run-up in fuel prices, Americans are downsizing at a pace not seen since the twin oil shocks of the 1970s.  Indeed, compact crossovers have become the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. market – echoing trends in other key markets around the world.  And while you can still get a reasonably good bargain on some of these smaller, mainstream CUVs, the industry has been fracturing the traditional equation that measures price by the pound and inch.

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That’s especially true in the luxury end of the spectrum where manufacturers are charging into the compact crossover segment.  Just last week, Lincoln and Porsche entered the fray at the L.A. Auto Show.

Porsche has had a history of challenging conventional wisdom.  It proved naysayers wrong when it launched its first crossover-utility vehicle for the 2004 model-year, then did it again with the four-door Panamera – today, the brand’s best-selling models.  Now, it’s hoping to score again with what’s been called the “baby Cayenne,” the compact Macan.


Porsche Breaks New Ground with Compact SUV

Macan puts storied German maker in all-new market segment.

by on Nov.20, 2013

Porsche is breaking new ground with the Macan: it's the maker's first-ever compact sport utility.

Porsche is expanding upon the success its Cayenne sport-utility has enjoyed over the years with the introduction of the Macan, the German maker’s first-ever compact sport utility vehicle.

A quick look at the vehicle immediately reminds observers of the aforementioned Cayenne, but it also borrows some of its style from classic Porsche design cues.

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Aside from the classic swoops and curves, the Macan is certainly part of the Porsche family in one other very important way: performance. In fact, you can have your Macan in two forms: Macan S and Macan Turbo. The pair is perhaps better described as fast and faster. (more…)

Porsche Macan to Debut in LA

Downsized SUV to become Porsche’s 5th model line.

by on Nov.08, 2013

The Macan is expected to become the best-selling model in the Porsche family.

The Porsche Macan will make its long-awaited world debut at the upcoming L.A. Auto Show, one of many global and North American product introductions the maker has scheduled for the annual event.

Set to become Porsche’s fifth product line, the Macan will target the compact crossover niche, one of the fastest-growing segments in both the U.S. and global automotive markets.

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Named for an Indonesian tiger, the Macan is a downsized counterpart to the long-popular Porsche Cayenne and is based on the same platform as the Audi Q5.  Porsche has promised it will “combine all sports car characteristics with the benefits of an SUV.”


Over 50 Models Set for Debut at LA Auto Show

New Mini, Porsche Macan among products confirmed for show.

by on Aug.02, 2013

The production version of the Macan will take its formal bow at the upcoming LA Auto Show, organizers have announced.

Automakers aren’t the only ones vying for attention.  Auto shows are also battling it out, in this case to land the vehicle previews that will get them not only headlines but hordes of both the media and the masses.

The Los Angeles Motor Show appears to have done a good job convincing manufacturers to come to Southern California this coming November, organizers announcing they’ll have “more than 50” new products to reveal for the first time. That includes a mix of conventional vehicles as well as the green machines the LA show has become increasingly known for in recent years.

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“As the first major North American show of the season, Los Angeles sets the tone for 2014, and we expect that automakers will pull out all the stops to excite new-car buyers. In virtually every category, from the greenest electric vehicle to high-horsepower performance models, the technological advancements we are seeing today eclipse all previous automotive eras,” said Terri Toennies, the LA Auto Show’s new General Manager.


Volkswagen AG Planning $65 Billion, 3-year Investment in Auto Operations

“The man focus will be on new vehicles,” says maker.

by on Nov.23, 2012

The new Porsche Macan will be one of many new products funded by the new investment program.

Volkswagen will invest $65 billion, or €50.2 billion, over the next three years in its bid to become the world’s best-selling automotive manufacturer.

The spending spree will cover a wide range of investments – including what the maker terms “property, plant and equipment,” but it also emphasizes that “the main focus will be on new vehicles.” The dozen automotive brands operated by Volkswagen AG already market about 250 different models but the German company has already revealed plans to significantly expand that line up with everything from high-mileage Volkswagen sedans to new SUVs for the Porsche and Bentley brands.

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“This investment is the key to the Volkswagen Group’s innovation and technology leadership,” said VWAG Chairman Martin Winterkorn. “It enables us to further strengthen our competitive position and ensure that we are fit for the future.”