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Posts Tagged ‘VW diesels’

VW Cheating Scandal Reveals “Systemic” Problem

Crisis could pull the plug on US diesel sales, warns AutoNation CEO.

by on Sep.23, 2015

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson sees the scandal as a "systemic" issue inside VW.

Less than a week after the EPA revealed that Volkswagen had cheated on emissions tests involving its popular diesel models, the automaker has been taking a beating. Its stock price has collapsed; authorities around the world are launching probes; and potential buyers appear to be steering clear of its showroom.

The situation has been growing worse by the day, CEO Martin Winterkorn resigning on Wednesday, with VW indicating a broader personnel shake-up likely. That’s no surprise, says Michael Jackson, CEO of the country’s largest auto retailer, Auto Nation. The crisis, he says, could not have been triggered by just a “few bad apples,” but reveals “systemic” corruption at Germany’s Volkswagen AG

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Meanwhile, the impact is likely to extend beyond VW itself, Among other things, it could short-circuit the nascent revival of the American diesel car market. “This is another black eye for diesel,” Jackson told


After Nearly Killing the Diesel, GM Brings it Back

Chevrolet launches Cruze diesel, considers other options.

by on May.24, 2013

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel will have the highest highway mileage rating of any non-hybid passenger car sold in the U.S.

The company that all but killed the diesel engine is now hoping to bring it back.

For the first time since 1986, General Motors began selling a diesel-powered passenger car this week, and company officials say that a successful launch of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel could convince them to add additional “oil burners” to the line-up.

“We’ll be watching very closely,” said Chris Perry, vice president of marketing for the Chevrolet brand, adding that with the launch of the Cruze Diesel, Chevy hopes to give some “real competition” to the European makers that currently dominate the small but growing U.S. diesel market, especially Volkswagen.

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Diesels were a significant part of the U.S. market in the late 1970s and early 1980s as American motorists struggled to deal with rising fuel prices after two Mideast energy shocks. But the market took a tumble late in the ‘80s, in part due to some major quality problems with GM diesels, especially an Oldsmobile engine that had a tendency to fail catastrophically.


Diesel Industry Adds 1.25 Mil Jobs to U.S., Claims New Report

Industry worth $480 bil annually.

by on Sep.28, 2011

Audi of America can barely keep up with demand for diesel products. CEO Johann De Nysschen is shown here with the A3 TDi, the 2010 Green Car of the Year.

Diesels are big business, or so claims an industry trade group that today revealed new research that finds that when you add up everything from engine manufacturing to the production of fuel it generates $480 billion annually and supports 1.25 million jobs.

The timing of the report couldn’t be better for proponents of “oil burners.”  After years of largely being ignored by American consumers, diesels are starting to gain traction in the U.S. market, sales of existing models like the imported Volkswagen Jetta TDi surging, while General Motors has announced plans to launch a diesel-powered version of the compact Chevrolet Cruze that could deliver better highway mileage than the best of today’s hybrids.

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“Diesel is a major economic factor and job creator in the U.S. economy and is vital to America’s economic recovery and growth,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  “Diesel not only provides jobs in the manufacturing and refining industries, it provides equipment and engines to our agricultural, mining and construction industries, and transports virtually every commodity available to American consumers.


GM Confirms Chevrolet Cruze Diesel for 2013; Could Get 51 MPG

Will other makers follow with diesels of their own?

by on Jul.22, 2011

Chevy will add a diesel to the Cruze line-up for 2013.

General Motors has formally confirmed it will add a high-mileage diesel to its Chevrolet Cruze line starting with the 2013 model-year.

The long-rumored diesel is likely to be an adaptation of the 2.0-liter VCDi direct-injection “oil-burner” already offered in Europe on their version of the Chevy compact.  Insiders report that the diesel could deliver as much as 51 miles per gallon – significantly more than the current Cruze Eco and in line with the Toyota Prius Hybrid.

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For its part, GM won’t do more than confirm plans to add the diesel, but that is a distinct reversal of the company’s long-standing opposition to the technology.  Former GM car czar Bob Lutz, in particular, had argued that the cost of meeting U.S. emissions standards was too high.


Chevrolet looks at optional 50 mpg diesel Cruze.

GM Could be First Domestic Maker to Offer “oil burner” in Compact Passenger Car.

by on Jul.12, 2011

Is a 50 mpg Chevy Cruze diesel in the works?

General Motors appears to be reversing its long-standing resistance to the use of diesel power for its passenger car line-up – and may soon introduce an “oil burner” into its Chevrolet Cruze line-up, which would give the compact model hybrid-level fuel efficiency that could approach 50 mpg.

Like many manufacturers, GM has been wary of diesels despite their chart-topping mileage.  The key issue has been the cost of meeting ever-toughening emissions standards.  But the industry giant has also been concerned whether U.S. motorists would be turned off by diesel’s other disadvantages.

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The change in mindset might reflect the continuing growth in demand for diesel-powered offerings now provided by most of the German makers, some Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz models seeing diesel options climbing to nearly a third of their powertrain mix.

While several GM officials declined to comment on the record, they privately confirmed that the high-mileage technology is starting to win converts among senior management, especially with the Obama Administration pushing for fuel economy standards to jump from 37.5 mpg in 2016 to as much as 56.2 mpg in 2025.


A Quarter Century of Mileage Misers

Who Needs Hybrids?

by on Jun.14, 2010

The latest Honda Insight delivers Top 10 mileage, but some of the most fuel-efficient cars of the last quarter century have relied on gas or diesel powertrains, not hybrid power.

Who needs hybrids?  Though gasoline-electric powertrains certainly raise the bar when it comes to fuel efficiency, you don’t always have to go quite so high-tech, as a review of the last quarter-century’s biggest mileage misers will reveal.

More than half the cars on the EPA’s Top 10 list of Rated Fuel Sippers used conventional gasoline technology, rather than hybrid powertrains.

As almost any motorist can tell you, the government mileage rating on your window sticker is only an estimate, calculated under carefully controlled conditions.  “Mileage,” as they say, “may vary,” often by quite a bit when it comes to real-world driving.  And the EPA’s Top 10 Real-World Fuel Sippers reveals that traditional power is even more dominant, accounting for six models on the list.

(Increased fuel Economy will carry a steep price. Click Here for more.)

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The original, 2-seat Honda Insight tops both charts.  The 2000 model-year version, with its 3-cylinder 1-liter hybrid powertrain was rated at 49 mpg City/61 Highway, and a Combined mileage rating of 53.  Tracking real-world driving, the EPA says the 2004 through 2006 version of the aluminum-bodied Honda Insight delivered a user average of 70.4 mpg, compared with a government Combined rating of 52 mpg.


VW Expecting More Diesel Growth

Reliability “perceptions” still a problem, says VWoA’s Jacoby.

by on Jan.13, 2010

Volkswagen is betting its expanding diesel line-up will help it reach its goal of 800,000 sales, in the U.S., by 2018.

While industry leaders continue to hedge and debate the potential for diesels in the U.S. market, it’s full-speed ahead for Volkswagen of America.

The German maker’s diesel-powered products continue to gain ground, encouraging VW to add the powertrain as an option on even more of its models, going forward, said Stephan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen of America.

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“With any new vehicle that arrives with a diesel option,” said the executive, during a speech at the annual Automotive News World Congress, “we estimate 20 to 30% of the mix will be diesel.”


First Drive: 2010 Volkswagen Golf

Setting a tough benchmark - but commanding a high price.

by on Oct.13, 2009

All-new, sixth-generation versions of the Volkswagen Golf and the VW GTI are just reaching U.S. showrooms.

All-new, sixth-generation versions of the Volkswagen Golf and the VW GTI are just reaching showrooms in the U.S.

American motorists have long had a love/hate relationship with Volkswagen, but which way will they swing when the 2010 Volkswagen Golf rolls into showrooms?

The German carmaker was the first offshore brand to make a serious foray into the American market, its little Beetle becoming an icon of the Hippie era.  But despite the initial success of the Bug’s successor, the Rabbit, VW sales soon crashed, as Baby Boomers shifted loyalties to a new generation of higher quality Asian imports.

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In the late 1990s, Volkswagen staged a significant comeback, but despite the arrival of the completely redesigned “New” Beetle, that success was relatively short-lived, in large part due to owner frustrations over seemingly endemic quality problems.