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China Approves VW deal with JAC to Build EVs

Volkswagen plans to sell 400,000 EVs in China annually by 2020.

by on May.24, 2017

Going forward, VW plans to shift away from diesels and focus on battery models like this I.D. Crozz concept.

When Volkswagen AG says its future is electric, it apparently really means it. Chinese regulators approved a deal between the German automaker and Chinese automaker JAC to jointly build EVs in what likely will be the world’s biggest EV market.

The new venture has an approval to produce 100,000 electric vehicles annually, according to a report in Reuters. The deal is worth about $740 million, according to a VW stock filing.

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Since VW’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, the automaker has paid out more than $30 billion in fines and fees globally and reset its entire product portfolio to focus on electric vehicles and away from diesel-powered engines. (more…)

VW Wants to Win Back Enthusiasts with Array of Concepts

Six new prototypes debut at U.S., European events.

by on May.19, 2017

The VW Beetle Post Concept

Looking for something sporty but affordable? Volkswagen might have just the car for you though, for now, these six models are just concepts making their debut at two big summer events taking place in Europe and the U.S. this coming weekend.

The German maker has reason to roll out so many show cars in one big blitz. VW is still trying to recover from its diesel emissions scandal and, particularly in the States, it will no longer have those sporty oil-burners to offer anymore.

The Last Word!

But even as it shifts gears a bit, focusing more on conventional gas-powered models, it’s determined to show it has plenty to appeal to enthusiasts. Here’s what we’re seeing at both the GTI Meet in Worthersee, Austria, as well as the SOWO: European Experience in Savannah, Georgia.

SOWO features five show cars, including: (more…)

VW CEO Mueller Target of Criminal Probe

Despite concerns about role in diesel scandal, Audi CEO Stadler gets new contract.

by on May.17, 2017

VW CEO Matthias Mueller his now at the center of an investigation by German prosecutors over the ongoing diesel emissions scandal.

Already focused on a number of former Volkswagen employees, German prosecutors today said they are also investigating the possible role CEO Matthias Mueller may have played in the attempt to cover up VW’s diesel emissions scandal.

Specifically, Mueller and at least two others may have failed to properly informed regulators and investors soon enough once they learned that Volkswagen engineers had developed a so-called defeat device in an attempt to fool diesel vehicle emissions tests.

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Even while the probe expands, however, news reports from Germany indicate Rupert Stadler, the CEO of VW’s Audi luxury brand, will have his contract extended five years. Though well-rated for his handling of Audi overall, Stadler has come under fire for his own, alleged role in the diesel scandal. (more…)

VW’s Mueller Under Investigation Over Diesel Scandal

Move comes from his time as head of Porsche.

by on May.10, 2017

VW CEO Matthias Mueller is under investigation over his role in VW's diesel scandal while he led Porsche.

Volkswagen’s woes related to its diesel scandal continue as Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller is now under investigation in Germany.

Prosecutors are investigating the possibility that he did not fully disclose details of the company’s emissions scandal to investors, according to multiple reports.

Global Auto News!

Until now, Mueller managed to remain above the diesel investigatory fray. Other VW executives, most notably former CEO Martin Winterkorn, who denied any involvement, but resigned anyway, have been caught up in the churn of queries over the 2015 emissions scandal. (more…)

VW Declares “The Future is Electric”

German maker reveals e-mobility plans to investors – but declines to release diesel probe.

by on May.10, 2017

VW CEO Matthias Mueller plans to triple spending on alternative powertrain technologies.

Volkswagen executives had a lot to say about their plans to bring electric and high-efficiency gas vehicles to market over the next decade, during the German automaker’s annual shareholders meeting – but they were largely mum when it came to the specifics of an extensive internal probe into the company’s cheating on diesel emissions standards.

“The future is electric,” declared Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller, during the annual meeting in Hanover, not far from the automaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. And VW, he added, “intend(s) to be the number one in e-mobility by 2025.

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The German automaker plans to bring out 10 electrified models by 2018, and have 30 more battery-electric models in its product portfolio by 2025, said Mueller, expanding on VW’s earlier commitment to the technology. All 12 of the company’s brands are expected to add some electrified models.

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VW Sweetens Deals to Move Leftover Diesels

Low-interest loans, cash bonuses of up to $8,500 aimed to clear out inventory.

by on May.08, 2017

VW recently got permission from the EPA to update rigged 2015 diesels and sell them off.

While VW no longer plans to import diesels in the wake of its costly and embarrassing emissions scandal, the company has thousands of leftover models that it now has permission from the EPA to sell in the U.S. after making extensive powertrain modifications.

Getting wary buyers to snap them up is proving a challenge, no surprise for 2015 model-year leftovers. So, VW is offering some hefty incentives – including extended, zero-interest loans and up to $8,500 in cash – to get those products off showroom lots.

The Rest of the Story!

The diesels now meet tough U.S. emissions mandates. Originally, they carried a hidden “defeat device,” software code that was designed to detect when one of the vehicles was undergoing testing and revise the way the cars performed. In real-world conditions, however, they would produce up to about 40 times more pollutants – notably smog-causing oxides of nitrogen – than the law allows.

(more…)

Sales on Rebound, VW Delivers 44% Earnings Increase

CEO Mueller declines to discuss possible sale of Ducati, but says it is reviewing its brand portfolio.

by on May.03, 2017

VW's U.S. sales are on the mend and the maker hopes to build momentum with the new Atlas SUV.

There appear to be two strong signs that Volkswagen is finally leaving its diesel emissions scandal behind: rebounding sales and a surge in earnings.

Though the German automaker has yet to completely wrap up the diesel crisis – it has yet to negotiate a settlement with shareholders, for one thing – it saw first quarter earnings jump 44%, handily beating expectations. After taxes, VW is reporting a profit of 3.4 billion euros, or $3.7 billion, compared to the 3.1 billion euro forecast by industry analysts, according to data gather by FactSet.

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A variety of factors worked in VW’s favor, including stronger sales in the U.S., while “Our efforts to improve efficiency and productivity across all areas of the Company are also paying off,” said Chief Executive Matthias Mueller.

(more…)

Renault-Nissan Aims to Be New Global King of the Hill

Automotive apple cart in for an upset.

by on May.01, 2017

The Nissan Qashqai is getting a new look for Europe - and a new badge, the Rogue Sport - for the U.S.

In recent years, it’s been a three-way race to see which automaker would take the global sales and production lead, with Volkswagen pulling off an upset last year, toppling Toyota, while long-time leader has continued to lose momentum.

But there’s a pair of dark horses in the race and both hail from France, of all places. One, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, is already making its move, while the PSA Group, until recently considered an industry basket case, is also making its move.

By the Numbers!

About the only thing certain is that General Motors seems out of the running and comfortable slipping down the charts as it abandons its long-troubled European sales subsidiary. Beyond that, the race for leadership could be a real cliffhanger over the next several years.

(more…)

Judge Approves $2.8 bil VW Criminal Penalty

Largest criminal fine in U.S. history.

by on Apr.21, 2017

"A very serious and troubling case involving an iconic automobile company," said Judge Sean Cox.

A federal judge in Detroit Friday signed off on what could be one of the last big developments in the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, ordering the German maker to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty negotiated as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department last January.

The ruling now brings to around $30 billion the costs VW will incur after being caught rigging two of its diesel engines to illegal pass U.S. emissions tests – a figure that includes the price of buying back almost 500,000 vehicles sold in the country. Meanwhile, seven current and former Volkswagen employees have been charged with crimes connected to the scandal, while an investigation continues in Germany.

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“I just can’t believe that VW is in this situation that it finds itself in today,” said Judge Sean Cox, calling it a “very serious and troubling case involving an iconic automobile company.”

(more…)

VW Reveals I.D. Crozz, Promises to Launch Battery Car in China

Battery SUV is third I.D. concept.

by on Apr.18, 2017

Volkswagen's third concept vehicle in the I.D. EV line-up is the I.D. Crozz. The ute could be VW's first EV entry into China.

Volkswagen has pulled the wraps off the third of its I.D. battery-car concept vehicles, offering a hint of what might be in store when it launches its first electric vehicle in China later this year.

VW brand boss Herbert Diess has already promised to put 30 battery models into production by 2025, and many of them are expected to carry the new I.D. sub-brand badge. The German automaker is largely shifting from diesel to battery power in the wake of its emissions scandal. But it is also facing pressure from governments around the world – China, in particular – to adopt new zero-emissions technologies.

Global Auto News!

So far, VW isn’t saying which battery model will be launched in China this year. It is likely that it will go with an existing product, such as the e-Golf. But Diess is suggesting that the new I.D. Crozz is being viewed as more than just a concept, with the battery-SUV likely to reach showrooms no later than 2020. (more…)