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Posts Tagged ‘vw news’

Volkswagen’s Union Balks at Potential Cuts

Tensions between maker, union remain high.

by on Feb.14, 2017

VW boss Herbert Diess is clashing with the automaker's unions over its turnaround plan.

Volkswagen AG is facing new challenges as discussions with its employees union in Germany have been put on hold after company and union negotiators failed to reach agreement on the implementation of the company’s proposed turnaround plan.

The talks are tentatively scheduled to resume later this month but the failure to reach agreement with the unions at its major plants in Germany could have dire consequences for the company as its struggles to overcome the huge and still rising financial burden created by the two-year-old diesel emission scandal.

Global Auto News!

German unions generally try to avoid confrontations but the unions at VW have been frustrated with the company’s management ever since the scandal first came into public view in the autumn of 2015. Union leaders from IG Metal the principal German metalworkers union have said the responsibility for the diesel scandal clearly lies with the company’s management. (more…)

Who Knew What and When: Top VW Managers Turn on One Another

Former Chairman Piech accuses company of cover-up.

by on Feb.09, 2017

Ferdinand Piech, grandson of the company's founder, resigned as chairman due to a dispute with his successor, Martin Winterkorn.

Volkswagen is forcefully denying claims by its former chairman that other top company managers covered up its diesel emissions scandal.

Questioned during an internal investigation of the affair – which centers around VW’s admission it rigged two high-volume diesel engines to illegally pass emissions tests – former Chairman Ferdinand Piech reportedly told authorities he had advised board members about the subterfuge long before it was publicly revealed. In particular, Piech’s testimony appears to focus on Martin Winterkorn, the CEO forced out of the company in September 2015.

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VW, which has long insisted the scandal was the work of a “handful” of lower-level engineers, said in a statement that it has “unequivocally and emphatically rejected all assertions made by Ferdinand Piech as untrue.”

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VW Updates Atlas for Weekend Warriors

VW shows off an array of lifestyle options for new SUV.

by on Feb.08, 2017

The VW Atlas Weekend Edition replaces the old pop-up top with an expandable cargo box.

The new Volkswagen Atlas will significantly expand the options for VW fans when it rolls into showrooms this spring. And now, the German maker is showing off a possible special edition designed specifically for weekend warriors who want additional cargo and entertainment options.

Dubbed the Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition, the go-anywhere concept is making its debut at this week’s Chicago Auto Show. It highlights an array of options VW plans to offer for the three-row SUV. And it just might be hinting at a special edition model to come.

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The Atlas is the third ute in the maker’s line-up, a much-needed addition considering the dramatic changes reshaping the U.S. automotive market. SUVs and CUVs – along with pickups and vans – now account for nearly two-thirds of the new vehicle market, and the trend shows little signs of slowing down.

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Latest VW Diesel Deal Could Be Even More Costly

German maker could pay $4b, triple initial pricetag, if it can’t fix 3-liter engine.

by on Feb.01, 2017

A line-up of Audi TDI models. The automaker may have to boost its reserve to cover the diesel scandal.

The settlement covering a rigged, 3.0-liter turbodiesel could cost Volkswagen as much as $4 billion if it cannot come up with the necessary fix for nearly 60,000 vehicles whose engines were rigged to illegally pass U.S. emissions tests – at least three times more than the initial settlement calls for.

The impact of the scandal – which previously saw VW agree to pay out $14.7 billion to cover nearly 500,000 vehicles using a smaller diesel engine – continues to grow, and to spread. German mega-supplier Robert Bosch GmbH now has negotiated its own settlement, which will require it to pay $327.5 million to American owners of VW diesels.

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Meanwhile, VW’s Audi division is now examining whether it has set aside enough money to cover its share of the burden. It has already set the figure at 980 million euros, or $1.06 billion at the current exchange rate. Audi sold a number of different models in the U.S. using both the 2.0- and 3.0-liter turbodiesels.

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Toyota Cedes Global Sales Crown to VW

VW sold 10.31 mil vehicles in 2016, a 3.8% gain.

by on Jan.30, 2017

Despite the sales hit it took due to the diesel scandal, Volkswagen overtook Toyota for the global sales crown.

It’s official: Volkswagen Group became the world’s best-selling automaker in 2016, toppling king-of-the-hill Toyota by more than 150,000 vehicles worldwide.

If anything, analysts suggested, the German maker’s lead would have been even larger were it not for VW ongoing diesel emissions scandal. Demand in the key U.S. market took a double-digit dip last year, but the “people’s car” company still managed to deliver a 3.8% global increase, buyers around the world taking delivery of 10.31 million products sold under a range of marques, from entry-level Seat to ultra-luxurious Bentley, as well as the flagship Volkswagen brand.

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By comparison, Toyota delivered 10.18 million vehicles last year, a more modest 0.2% year-over-year increase. The Japanese giant had snatched the sales crown from long-time leader General Motors in 2009, ceding the title only once during the past eight years. (more…)

Automakers Look for Options, Weigh Costs Under Trump

Carmakers, car buyers, car workers might all feel the impact.

by on Jan.27, 2017

Pres. Donald Trump signing an Executive Order. He plans to enact a 20% Mexican tariff.

The increasingly contentious battle between the Trump Administration and Mexico could lead to some significant collateral damage, notably including both carmakers and car buyers.

With the Mexican government rejecting a White House demand to pay for a border wall, President Donald Trump now wants to not only negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement but impose a 20% tariff on good imported from south of the border. After making extensive use of NAFTA to set up a network of manufacturing operations in Mexico, automakers could be among the hardest hit.

Beyond the Headlines!

But there is, for now, widespread disagreement about how to respond to the Trump plan. Japanese automakers Nissan and Toyota say they are looking for ways to increase U.S. production. Ford’s CEO, after meeting with the new president this week, is rejecting the idea of building any new U.S. factories. Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler’s chief executive says it may be time to rethink the possibility of a merger with domestic giant General Motors.

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Former VW CEO Under Increasing Scrutiny

Prosecutors asking what Winterkorn knew and when.

by on Jan.27, 2017

Ousted VW CEO Martin Winterkorn during a presentation at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, ousted following the revelation of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions rigging, may have known about the subterfuge far earlier than he has so far acknowledged, according to German prosecutors.

If that proves true, the life-long VW executive could face potential criminal charges on both sides of the Atlantic. After announcing a $4.3 billion settlement of a criminal investigation of the automaker earlier this month – a deal that was accompanied by six criminal indictments — U.S. Justice Department officials said they might yet bring charges against other VW employees.

In the Know!

The German investigation further challenges claims by the automaker that only a “handful” of low-level engineers knew about the plan to use rigged software to help VW’s diesel engines pass tight U.S. emissions standards.

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Battle Over Ethics Raging on at VW?

Integrity chief resigns in wake of latest diesel settlement.

by on Jan.26, 2017

Christine-Hohmann-Dennhardt is leaving Volkswagen a little more than a year after she signed on to help VW clean up its diesel mess.

Just weeks after Volkswagen AG agreed to pay more than $4 billion to settle the U.S. criminal investigation into its diesel emissions scandal, the German maker’s ethics chief has resigned.

Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, who has served as VW’s head of integrity and legal affairs since Jan. 1, 2016, said she is leaving the automaker as part of a “mutual agreement” considering what were described in a corporate statement as “differences (over the) understanding of responsibilities and future operating structures within the function she leads.”

Global Auto News!

But with additional legal challenges remaining, including the possibility of additional criminal indictments against VW executives all the way up to the top levels of management, Hohmann-Dennhardt’s departure leaves more questions open than answered. (more…)

VW’s Ex-CEO Winterkorn Under the Microscope

Denies hiding diesel scandal from investors.

by on Jan.19, 2017

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn remains a target of investigators in Germany.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn testified that he had no advance warning of the company’s diesel emissions cheating despite some concerns he intentionally misled VW investors before the scandal broke wide open in September 2015.

Winterkorn has been under a cloud of suspicion in recent months as prosecutors in both Germany and the U.S. have dug ever deeper into VW’s rigging of diesel emissions tests. As part of a $4.3 billion settlement between the company and the U.S. Justice Department announced last week, six VW employees were indicted for their alleged role in coming up with the so-called “defeat devices” used in the automaker’s 2.0- and 3.0-liter engines. Now, the focus turns to whether top management tried to conceal what they knew.

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“As CEO I took political responsibility,” the 69-year-old Winterkorn said during a German parliamentary inquiry on Thursday, adding that, “this step was the most difficult of my life.”

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VW Not Horsing Around With Diesel Allegations in Germany

German maker fighting back against recent ruling.

by on Jan.18, 2017

Volkswagen is now dealing with the repercussions of its diesel emissions scandal at home now.

Just as Volkswagen AG appears to be in the final stages of settling its diesel-emissions scandal in the U.S., the automaker is facing a load of trouble in its home country.

A panel of three judges in the German city of Hildesheim ruled that the automaker must take back a Skoda Yeti with the 2.0-liter TDI engine purchased in 2013 and pay the owner more than $28,000 for it.

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Suggesting the emission scandal was a scam and comparing it to another recent high-profile event in which horse meat was used in lasagna, the court said, “VW intentionally committed fraud and can’t defend itself by saying it hasn’t clarified who was responsible for software that allowed the vehicle to cheat on emissions tests,” according to Bloomberg. (more…)