Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘vw news’

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…)

VW Fires Exec Who Ok’d Diesel Emission Tests on Monkeys

VW “drawing the consequences” of the disclosure about the tests.

by on Jan.31, 2018

VW fired a top executive for his role in testing the effects of diesel emissions on monkeys.

A new scandal at Volkswagen AG already has claimed one company’s top representatives.

Thomas Steg, head of external relations and sustainability, was relieved of his duties after acknowledging that he knew the company was using live monkeys to test the effects of emissions from diesel vehicles.

News Now!

Steg, a former government spokesman, who worked for German chancellor Angela Merkel and her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder, is the first person to be relieved of his duties as VW said it was “drawing the consequences” of the disclosure about the tests, which have rocked the German car industry and government.  (more…)

German Automakers Funded Emissions Tests on Monkeys and Humans

“No ethical way justifiable,” said spokesman for German Chancellor Merkel.

by on Jan.29, 2018

VW Chair Hans Dieter Poetsch criticized researchers who exposed humans and monkeys to diesel exhaust for extended periods.

As part of a research program on the impact of exhaust emissions, three German automakers sponsored experiments that exposed humans and monkeys to diesel fumes, a project that the chairman of Volkswagen AG today called “totally incomprehensible.”

The revelation of the program conducted by the University of Aachen further tarnishes the reputation of VW, as well as rivals Daimler and BMW, at a time when they all have been accused of rigging diesel emissions tests. At least one vehicle used in the project was a VW Beetle that had been among those equipped with one of the company’s rigged diesel engines.

Safety News!

VW’s Hans Dieter Poetsch described the project as “totally incomprehensible” and called for it to be “investigated completely and without reservation.” (more…)

Debugging Volkswagen: SUVs Supplant Sedans, Hatches

But no more tongue-twisting model names.

by on Jan.17, 2018

One of the first jobs for VW Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken was revealing the new Atlas.

Things didn’t look very good when Hinrich Woebcken landed in the U.S. two years ago as the new CEO and President of the Volkswagen Group of America. The automaker had just acknowledged cheating on diesel emissions tests and was not only facing the prospect of paying billions of dollars in fines and settlements but a collapse in its U.S. sales as it was forced to pull off the market all of its popular diesel models.

“The only reason dealers didn’t kill me was that I was the new guy,” the German-born executive said, only half joking, during a presentation at the Automotive News World Congress on Tuesday afternoon.

Subscribe for Free!

These days, dealers are a lot more sanguine about Woebcken, and VW in general, though the VWoA chief cautioned that the automaker has a long way to go before he can claim success rebuilding its U.S. operations. (more…)

VW Topples Toyota, Likely Led Global Sales Chart for 2017

But Volkswagen’s top U.S. sales exec resigns over weak N.A. performance.

by on Jan.08, 2018

Volkswagen captured the top global sales slot by replacing its lost diesel sales with new SUVs.

Volkswagen appears to have narrowly retained its sales crown for 2017, fending off assaults by both Toyota and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, based on preliminary sales numbers.

The German automaker sold 10.7 million vehicles worldwide, according to in-house estimates, ahead of Toyota’s 10.35 million. If the VW numbers hold up when a final tally is reported it would mark the second year in a row that it nudged past its Japanese rival. But the Renault-Nissan Alliance also closed the gap last year and could be poised to challenge both VW and Toyota in 2018.

Global Auto News!

Despite VW’s strong global performance, a senior U.S. sales executive has tendered his resignation due to weak demand in that critical market last month. (more…)

VW Begins Installing 2,800 Charging Stations Across US

Move is part of its restitution for dieselgate.

by on Dec.18, 2017

VW is installing 2,800 chargers across the U.S. as part of its dieselgate penalties. They won't be limited use by Volkswagen owners.

Volkswagen’s been fined and penalized to the tune of about $30 billion for its dieselgate scandal and now some cash is going to be put in to practice as the company announced it will begin installing 2,800 electric vehicle charging stations around the U.S.

Through its Electrify America subsidiary, VW will spend $2 billion to install the chargers at about 500 sites in 17 of the largest cities across the U.S. The first stations should be functional by next summer, according to the company.

Plug in With a Free Subscription!

The company will spend $800 million of the $2 billion in California, where the bulk of electric vehicles are in service. However, several other “non-EV” areas will see charging stations installed in areas like housing developments or office complexes. (more…)

VW Confirms 2020 U.S. Launch of All-Electric SUV

Crossover will be based on I.D. Crozz concept.

by on Nov.29, 2017

Volkswagen plans to bring an all-electric sport-ute to the U.S. in 2020 based on the ID Crozz.

As it continues to shift away from diesels to battery-electric vehicles, Volkswagen has confirmed plans to introduce a new all-electric SUV in 2020 that will target the U.S. market.

Based on the I.D. Crozz concept first unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show last April, the new ute will be one of 30 battery-electric vehicles the German maker plans to introduce worldwide by 2025. VW said last week it is investing over $40 billion to support that push, as well as the development of autonomous and fully driverless vehicles.

Subscribe Now!

The launch of the I.D. Crozz-based SUV and a battery-electric microbus dubbed the I.D. Buzz “will help Volkswagen to kick off an EV revolution in the United States,” said Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. (more…)

Volkswagen Bolstering Product Line-up in Brazil

Carmaker readying for emergence from economic doldrums.

by on Nov.20, 2017

Volkswagen officials unveiled the new Virtus sedan for the Brazilian market.

Brazil has been something of a conundrum for automakers.

It is one of the world’s largest automotive markets, but the country’s economy was in the doldrums until this year. So as carmakers waited for the country’s economy to come back to life, they settled for a long game that has pushed the return on investment out into the future.

Subscribe Now!

General Motors elected to hold on to its Brazilian business despite losses that would have seemed to have put the operations on the chopping block just like Opel. (more…)

VW Investing Over $40b on EVs, Autonomous Vehicles

German automaker ups ante in increasingly costly tech battle.

by on Nov.17, 2017

The VW I.D. Crozz concept will become a production battery-electric SUV.

Volkswagen AG said Friday it will spend over 34 billion Euros, or $40 billion between now and 2022 on electrified powertrain technology, autonomous vehicles and other futuristic concepts, aiming to leapfrog key competitors like General Motors and Toyota.

VW already announced plans to offer electrified variants of every model sold by its dozen passenger car brands, including 50 all-electric models, between now and 2025. It also is developing electrified commercial vehicles.

Plus in With a Free Subscription!

“We are laying the foundation for making Volkswagen the world’s number-one player in electric mobility by 2025,” Chief Executive Matthias Müller said. “The entire automotive industry is facing fundamental changes in the coming years, which will provide great opportunities, but also require us to put in tremendous efforts.”

(more…)