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VW Expanding SUV Offerings with New T-Roc

Maker adds much needed small ute to portfolio.

by on Sep.11, 2017

Volkswagen adds another much-needed utility vehicle to its line-up with the new T-Roc.

Volkswagen’s quest to be a bigger player in the U.S. market has fallen short due to a shortage of sport-ute and crossover offerings. The German maker’s been remedying that with a spate of new vehicles, such as the new Touareg, Atlas and now, the T-Roc.

The small crossover helps the company fill one of the fastest-growing niches in the American market. It will debut in Europe this fall with an American debut coming next year for less than $25,000 to start.

Beyond the Headlines!

“The T-Roc sets a new benchmark in the booming SUV segment,” said Herbert Diess, chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand continues. “With its functionality, dynamic handling and technology, the T-Roc embodies all good Volkswagen qualities and will further boost our SUV campaign.” (more…)

Volkswagen Pushes I.D. Crozz Closer to Completion

Fourth member of I.D. family is an SUV.

by on Sep.11, 2017

The second version of VW's I.D. Crozz made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Volkswagen unveiled an edgier version of its I.D.-based SUV, I.D. Crozz II, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, proclaiming it will be the fourth member of the “I.D.” family, hitting showrooms in 2020. It made its debut at the Shanghai Motor Show in April.

The I.D. Crozz will be a four-door SUV featuring all-wheel drive and, of course, zero emissions. It shares its EV architecture with the three other members of the I.D. family, according to VW. The new Crozz will travel more than 300 miles on a single charge, employ a fully digital display and offer autonomous driving capabilities.

Product News!

The Frankfurt model will more closely resemble the final product, with distinctive exterior than the previous concept, aimed at making it look more like a rugged sport-ute than a crossover. Lending to that masculine look are 21-inch wheels and uniquely sculpted LED headlamps. (more…)

VW Planning 10-Year Comeback for the U.S.

Strategy includes -- what else -- more SUVs.

by on Sep.01, 2017

VW CEO Herbert Diess and former US chief Michael Horn at the unveiling of the new Tiguan.

Nearly two years after Volkswagen admitted rigging the diesel engines on 11 million vehicles to illegally pass emissions tests, top company officials have laid out a series of steps they hope will help rebuild both trust and demand in markets around the world, notably in the U.S., where the diesel scam cover-up first was revealed.

Special discounts of up to $9,000 will be offered to get current diesel owners in Europe to trade back in on another VW model, while the German automaker said it will expand its array of SUVs coming to the ute-crazed American market, senior officials said, following a VW board meeting at the company’s plant in Chattanooga, TN.

Breaking News!

“The brand suffered a lot worldwide, we are suffering still. And for sure we are not through,” Herbert Diess, VW’s global brand boss said, adding that, “We can’t win America over in two years time. It’s a 10-year plan.”

(more…)

As VW Engineer Sentenced to 40 Months Former CEO Faces New Allegations

Winterkorn said to have been told about diesel cheating earlier than first claimed.

by on Aug.25, 2017

VW diesel engineer James Liang was the first to plead guilty in the VW diesel scam case.

A one-time Volkswagen engineer who admitted playing a key role in the German automaker’s diesel emissions scandal has been sentenced by a Detroit federal judge to 40 months in prison and faces a $200,000 fine.

That was significantly more of a penalty than federal prosecutors originally had sought for James Liang, the first VW employee to plead guilty in a case that has now cost the company nearly $30 billion and led to the recall or buyback of millions of diesel-powered vehicles sold in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world.

The Last Word!

Separately, a former Volkswagen quality control engineer has told German prosecutors that he advised then-CEO Martin Winterkorn about the diesel rigging scandal on July 27, 2015. That was a month ahead of when Winterkorn and other members of the VW board had previously said they learned about the problem, and nearly two months before the scam was revealed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (more…)

Hippies Rejoice: VW Putting I.D. Buzz Electric Microbus Into Production

Both passenger and commercial versions of long-range EV van planned.

by on Aug.19, 2017

Volkswagen confirmed the rumors that it's bringing the I.D. Buzz, better known as the Microbus EV, to market.

The Volkswagen Microbus was an icon of the Hippie era. Could the German maker score again in an age when the youth generation is focused on environmental issues? It’s certainly hoping so, as it confirmed widespread rumors that it will put a modern version of the Microbus, the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz, into production.

First shown at the January 2017 North American International Auto Show, the I.D. Buzz Concept picked up on many of the classic microvan’s design cues, starting with the relatively blunt nose and flat roof. But instead of the rear-mounted engine of the classic Microbus, the I.D. Buzz will rely on a pure battery-electric drivetrain.

EV News!

“After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, ‘please build this car,’” Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said at a presentation today, ahead of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The location, he added, made sense, since “The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle.” (more…)

VW Exec Pleads Guilty in Diesel Scandal

Schmidt becomes second VW employee to plead guilty.

by on Aug.04, 2017

Former VW manager Oliver Schmidt pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

As expected, Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt pleaded guilty for his role in the German automaker’s diesel emissions scandal. The plea came today in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

He is the second VW employee to plead guilty to charges related to the diesel scam, 62-year-old James Robert Liang the first to do so last September.

Stay in the Loop!

Schmidt is expected to face up to seven years in prison and a fine of between $40,000 and $400,000 after admitting to conspiring to mislead U.S regulators and violating clean air laws, as part of the plea agreement, according to Reuters. (more…)

Audi Slashing $12b in Costs to Cover Electrification Goal

Luxury marque needs to offset cost of diesel emissions scandal.

by on Jul.31, 2017

Audi showed off its e-Tron Sportback Concept at this year's Shanghai Motor Show.

As it shifts away from its long dependence on diesel powertrains, Audi is looking to rapidly ramp up its electrification program, but the luxury arm of Volkswagen Group will have to slash spending to cover the costs of its new technology.

Audi intends to cut costs by 10 billion euros, or $12 billion, by 2022 to support its aggressive shift to electrification, according to a report by Germany’s Handelsblatt business publication.

News You Can Trust!

That money will help it bring to market five all-new battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well as a range of plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids, according to the report.

(more…)

First Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

Is bigger better?

by on Jul.31, 2017

Challenging the Front Range, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is longer, roomier than the original.

We’re off to a rocky start – as in the Rocky Mountains – as we head off for a day’s drive in the all-new 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. To get a sense of what the new ute can do, VW has dropped us off in Denver and suggested a long and winding route that takes us well into the majestic Colorado countryside.

Tiguan has been the anchor of an otherwise anemic line-up of SUVs from the German maker, a problem Volkswagen hopes to address in the coming year with a complete shake-up of its utility vehicle line-up. Its original offering, the big Touareg, is set to disappear, replaced by the more mainstream, American-made Atlas.

Reviews You Can Trust!

Though smaller than Atlas, the Tiguan we’re driving will have to do the heavy lifting for the brand. It’s meant to replace a decidedly dated first-generation base model, one VW has hardly updated in more than a decade. The 2018 is more than just a refresh, however, getting an entirely new platform that allows it to grow larger – while also more lavishly equipped. In an unexpected move, however, VW has decided to keep the old model in production for the time being, targeting buyers on a budget, albeit with a new name.

(more…)

Renault-Nissan Alliance Leapfrogs Toyota, VW, to Become World’s #1 Automaker

Hits mid-year with big lead, lots of momentum.

by on Jul.28, 2017

Badass warrior? Nissan and Alliance partner Renault have leveraged a lead in global sales.

The auto industry has a new king-of-the-hill – at least for the first half of the year. A dark horse not all that long ago, the Renault-Nissan Alliance handily outsold both Volkswagen and Toyota and continues to gain momentum going into 2017’s second act.

It had been largely a two-horse race until recently, Volkswagen last year pulling off an upset due to a series of problems hammering Toyota. But Nissan has rapidly gained speed and last year’s effective takeover of troubled Mitsubishi Motors Corp. helped put it over the top.

Industry News!

For the first half, the Euro-Asian Renault-Nissan Alliance sold 5,268,079 vehicles, compared to Volkswagen’s 5,155,600 and Toyota’s 5,129,000. All three makers are on track to top 10 million for year. But General Motors, which had long ranked at the top of the sales charts, now lacks well back in fourth and unlikely to even make 9.5 million for the full year without picking up its pace.

(more…)

Volkswagen Gets Diesel Fix Approval in US

Company reports global sales expected to rise for 2017.

by on Jul.27, 2017

Volkswagen got approval from the EPA and CARB to implement its proposed fix for its faulty diesel engines.

Christmas came in July for Volkswagen as it seemingly unwrapped good news about diesel modifications in the U.S. as well as its earnings and sales as if they were presents under the tree.

“Volkswagen is pleased that it has received regulatory approval to offer affected customers in the United States an approved emissions modification (AEM) for approximately 326,000 Generation One 2.0-liter TDI vehicles with automatic and manual transmissions,” the company announced today.

News Now!

The Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board approved an emissions modification proposed by VW that will reduce nitrogen oxides emissions from model year 2009–14 diesel Jetta, Golf, Beetle and Audi A3 vehicles. (more…)