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Posts Tagged ‘vw of america’

VW Reorients Its US Operations in Wake of Crisis

Maker invests $7B in products, plants.

by on Sep.14, 2016

VW's North American cheif Hinrich Woebcken said the automaker is committed to the U.S. market.

Volkswagen of America’s new boss is confident the automaker can and will rebuild its North American business in the wake of the emission-cheating scandal.

The scandal has cost VW billions in fines and settlements, cuts sales substantially and left many of the company most loyal customers with vehicles that lost value and require major repairs.

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Hinrich Woebcken, who took over the role of president and chief executive of VW Group’s operations in North America this past winter, said during a session with reporters at the preview of Volkswagen’s 2017 model line that Volkswagen has prepared a plan for a comeback in the wake of the company’s disastrous emission cheating scandal. (more…)

Workers to Decide on Union at VW Plant

Move could be breakthrough for UAW's efforts to organize "transplants."

by on Feb.03, 2014

UAW President Bob King has secured a vote at VW's Chattanooga, Tenn. plant to establish a works council.

In a potentially groundbreaking development that could determine the long-term viability of the United Auto Workers Union, workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. will vote this month on whether to let the union represent them.

Virtually every major “import” now operates at least one U.S. assembly plant – some today producing the vast majority of the vehicles they sell in this country at these “transplant” factories. So far, the UAW has failed to gain a foothold as makers like Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz have actively resisted organizing drives.

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That has led to a sharp decline in the union’s membership and severely weakened its financial base, leading some analysts to warn that unless the UAW can crack into some of the transplants its future could be in danger. (more…)

Volkswagen’s Top US Executive Stepping Down

Browning’s departure comes as maker’s U.S. sales plunge.

by on Dec.13, 2013

VW Group CEO Jonathan Browning -- shown here at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

Volkswagen’s top American executive is leaving the automaker — a move that comes at a time the German maker is struggling to reverse an unexpectedly sharp slump in U.S. sales.

The 54-year-old Jonathan Browning’s departure comes just over two years after he took over Volkswagen Group of America at a time when a new plant in Tennessee and a flood of new product appeared to be driving the maker towards an ambitious goal of reaching 800,000 U.S. sales annually by 2018.

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But even as U.S. car sales have surged to their highest level in six years, Volkswagen has reported a 5.2% decline for the year, demand plunging an even more disconcerting 16% in November compared to year-earlier numbers.


Booming Sales Put Volkswagen of America Back in the Black

First profit in over a decade.

by on Mar.29, 2013

Workers at the new VW plant in Tennessee have had trouble meeting the growing demand for the American-made Passat.

For the first time since the original Beetle dominated the American import market, Volkswagen of America is moving solidly back into the black.

The German maker’s U.S. sales and marketing arm had steadily lost sales, share – and lots of money – ever since Asian rivals like Toyota and Honda became dominant forces in the market back in the late 1970s. In fact, VW’s decline was so severe that the maker came close to abandoning the U.S. in the early 1990s.

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But, over the last several years, it has picked up significant momentum with a mix of new products, aggressive marketing – and the addition of its first U.S. factory in decades, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


Volvo Chief Suffers Mild Stroke

Stefan Jacoby says he expects to be back in about a month.

by on Sep.24, 2012

Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby suffered a mild stroke last week.

Volvo President and CEO Stefan Jacoby will take a leave of absence for about a month after suffering a mild stroke.

Jacoby, 54, said in a statement that he was fortunate that the stroke he suffered last week wasn’t more serious.

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“I was lucky that it was a mild stroke,” Jacoby said. “I am currently experiencing limited movement abilities in my right arm and, to some extent, also in my right leg.

Read on to find out how Volvo will proceed in the near future and the challenges facing the automaker.


VW Product Blitz Could Include New 7-Seat SUV and Bulli Microvan

But diesels are driving big gains for the German maker.

by on Aug.24, 2011

The sporty new Golf R joins VW's U.S. line-up for 2012.

With a goal of more than doubling sales – to 800,000 a year – by 2018, Volkswagen officials are rapidly ramping up the maker’s U.S. line-up and expect to have several new offerings roll into dealer showrooms over the next few years, including a 7-passenger SUV and possibly a production version of the popular Bulli microvan concept.

But the maker’s secret weapon may be its increasing reliance on diesel powertrains, which are gaining converts at a rapid rate.  Facing the prospect of tough new fuel economy regulations, Volkswagen is betting on the latest generation of oil-burners — though it will also be rolling out an array of electrified offerings, including hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, the maker’s top U.S. executive told

“Our challenge is to dig deeper” and come up with new products “appropriate for the U.S. market,” explained Jonathan Browning, the British automotive veteran who signed on as CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America last year.


The good news, he suggested, is that there is a deep well of product available within the global VW portfolio.  Even better, the long-ignored U.S. subsidiary is now high on the radar screen in Wolfsburg, which sees a strong presence in the States as essential to Volkswagen’s global ambitions.  By 2018 the maker intends to be selling 10 million vehicles annually worldwide, a target that could position it as a serious challenger to both Toyota – the global leader for the last several years – and General Motors, which is expected to regain the sales crown this year.


VW Sales Top 4 Million in 1st Half of 2011 – Positioning Maker as Global Number 2

Time to “stay on the accelerator,” says CEO.

by on Jul.14, 2011

New products like the 2012 Passat are helping VW target global leadership by late in the decade.

Despite posting a record 4 million sales for the first half of 2011, Volkswagen AG needs to “stay on the accelerator” if it hopes to achieve its goal of being the world’s largest carmaker, the company’s CEO says.

The maker is counting on growth in the U.S., as well as emerging markets like China, India and Brazil, to keep the momentum going, added another senior executive, who said that VW’s multi-brand strategy is giving the maker a distinct advantage over the competition.

“Volkswagen continues to stay on the accelerator in all markets and vehicle segments,” said Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn.

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The company posted a record 7.2 million sales in 2010, and has been forecasting growth of another 5% this year, but the actual pace is exceeding expectations.  The core Volkswagen Group gained 12% during the first half of 2011, to sell 2.53 million cars, trucks and crossovers.  That pushed total sales of the group’s dozen brands to more than 4 million.

That appears to have positioned VWAG as the globe’s second-largest automaker, behind General Motors but ahead of Toyota, which has lost more than a half million units of production since Japan was struck by a devastating series of disasters on March 11.


New VW Engine Plant Confirmed in Mexico

German maker will redevelop an existing site in central Mexico.

by on Sep.22, 2010

The VW expansion given current U.S. sales and Japanese competition appears extremely ambitious.

The Volkswagen Group confirmed this afternoon that it will build a new engine plant in Silao, Mexico as part of its long-term expansion strategy in North America. (See Paul Eisenstein’s New Mexican Engine Plant to Support VW’s Chattanooga Assembly Line )

Beginning in 2013, the new plant in Silao will supply the latest generation of engines to VW vehicle plants in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Puebla, Mexico.

Volkswagen Group has previously said it is planning sales of one million vehicles in the U.S. – including 800,000 VWs – annually by 2018. The core element of this ambitious strategy is vehicles tailored to the demands of U.S. customers, such as the all-new Jetta and the New Midsize Sedan (NMS). Year-to-date VW brand sales are 173,000 units.

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The all-new Jetta is built in Puebla and the NMS will be produced in Chattanooga beginning next year. Both vehicles have a high degree of localization.


New Mexican Engine Plant to Support VW’s Chattanooga Assembly Line

Part of $4 billion U.S. expansion campaign.

by on Sep.22, 2010

Published reports out of Mexico suggest Volkswagen will build a new engine plant about 250 miles from Mexico City.

Volkswagen is reportedly planning to announce, later today, that it will add a new engine plant in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.  The facility is expected to supply powertrains to the automaker’s new assembly line in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is part of a $4 billion investment campaign aimed at tripling VW sales in the U.S. by 2018.

The Chattanooga plant is scheduled to begin building an all-new model that VW has said will be critical to its effort to revitalize the American market, which peaked at roughly 600,000 sales a year in the early 1970s but is currently running at less than half that volume.  The ongoing question has been where the engines for that vehicle, codenamed NMS – for New Midsize Sedan — would come from. (See Ken Zino’s Mexican President Visits VW’s Puebla Plant)

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Jochem Heizmann, a member of the automaker’s Executive Council, gave a hint during a trip to Mexico, in July, saying VW planned to invest $1 billion in that country over the coming three years.