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Posts Tagged ‘VW’

Volkswagen at Vanguard of Vehicle Advertising

Maker sponsors online programs for Museum of Modern Art.

by on Nov.14, 2014

Volkswagen is sponsoring the New York Museum of Modern Art's online programs.

When Chevrolet’s Rikk Wilde’s struggle through the presentation of the World Series MVP award to the San Francisco Giants’ Madison Baumgartner went viral it served as a poignant reminder of the pervasiveness of auto industry advertising.

At times, it seems automakers are determined to slap their names on everything from football stadiums, such as Ford Field in Detroit and the Mercedes-Benz Dome in New Orleans, to soccer jerseys, such as those of Manchester United, one of the oldest and best-known franchises in sports, which now sport the Chevy logo.

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Kia, on the other hand, has made a point of becoming a major sponsor of the National Basketball Association and Volvo is sponsoring an ocean-going sailing contest that will take months to complete. (more…)

In Gear: VW Creates 10-speed DSG Transmission

What’s next? An 11-speed?

by on Nov.12, 2014

The seventh-generation Golf could be a prime candidate for VW's new 10-speed transmission.

Volkswagen was the first automaker to put a dual-clutch gearbox into production and with the technology becoming increasingly commonplace, the German maker hopes to jump back into the lead with the debut of a new 10-speed transmission.

VW unveiled the new 10-speed DSG at a preview of an array of new, high-efficiency powertrain technologies, part of its so-called “Think Blue” program. Its stated goal is to become the world’s most sustainable automaker by 2018.

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There are three parts to the Think Blue project, according to VW, “Developing efficient products and technologies, actively involving people to promote environmental awareness and supporting environmentally relevant and initiatives globally.” (more…)

Three Chinese Automakers Expect to be Global Players

Industry official predicts exports to emerging markets.

by on Oct.16, 2014

The Geely Gleagle is one of the products that makes Chinese government officials believe three Chinese automakers will be globally influential.

China’s fast-growing automobile industry should be able to create at three strong globally competitive carmakers in the years to come, according to a Chinese government official this week.

Wang Xia, a senior official with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Automotive sub-council, acknowledged during a press conference prior to the opening of the Global Automotive Forum in Wuhan, China, that China’s homegrown auto industry has been rocked over the last several months by a steady loss of marketshare.

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Up until about two years ago, Chinese brands held about 46% of the domestic sales across China. Since then, the Chinese domestic brands have lost about 10 points of marketshare to foreign brands. The big winners have been European brands as well as General Motors and Ford. (more…)

Is This VW’s Outback?

Will VW bring Passat Alltrack to the U.S.?

by on Oct.03, 2014

VW's Alltrack concept gets some SUV-style additions like better clearance, sill plates and wheel arch extensions.

Considering its rapid growth over the past few years, it’s hard to recall that Subaru was once a failing, third-tier Japanese brand that was giving serious thought to pulling out of the American market.

That all changed when the maker took its slow-selling station wagons, raised their ground clearance, slapped on a bit of cladding and rechristened them “Outback.” It marked the start of one of the U.S. auto industry’s most substantial turnarounds.

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Fast forward to 2014. Volkswagen sales have largely stalled after making some major gains earlier in the decade. The maker is struggling to figure out how to regain its lost momentum, promising to deliver new products that will be more in tune with the American marketplace. (more…)

VW Looking to Americanize Vehicles Sold in US

Maker planning product development center in Tennessee.

by on Sep.10, 2014

VW is hoping its CrossBlue Concept will spur U.S. sales, which are down 13.4% in 2014.

Volkswagen wants more American input into its vehicles sold in the U.S. so it’s creating a product development center in Tennessee. Despite this need, the maker’s “Cross Blue” concept, which is supposed to revive U.S. sales, will be developed solely in Germany.

The new product development center will be next to its assembly plant in Chattanooga and help shorten the company’s product cycle, according to Mark Trahan, Volkswagen of America executive vice president.

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During the company’s recent product line preview, Trahan noted that cutting development cycles was a key objective in the company’s plans and should strengthen the maker’s position in the U.S. The center, which should be up and running in the next couple of years, is eventually expected to have as many as 200 employees. (more…)

VW Likely to Delay Ambitious U.S. Sales Targets

Product delays, focus on China catch blame.

by on May.13, 2014

Volkswagen plans to begin selling a midsize SUV, based off the CrossBlue, in the U.S. in 2016.

Volkswagen’s ambitious growth plans for the U.S. market are likely to be delayed – but are still within long-term reach, according to the maker’s top U.S. executive.

The German maker had set itself a goal of selling 800,000 vehicles a year in the U.S. under the flagship VW brand by 2018, while also sharply boosting sales of the Audi luxury brand. But while Volkswagen has enjoyed a significant increase in volume since the plan was first announced, growth has slowed in recent years, sales actually dipping slightly in 2013.

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And with demand dipping even further for the first months of this year, meeting the 800,000 target by 2018 now seems out of the question, Michael Horn, the 25-year Volkswagen veteran who recently took over U.S. operations, told TheDetroitBureau.com. (more…)

Volkswagen Reports Jump in Q1 Profitability

Group rides Audi, Porsche, heavy trucks to increase.

by on Apr.29, 2014

VW CEO Martin Winterkorn announced the automaker saw operating profit rise 21.8 percent during the first quarter.

Volkswagen AG enjoyed a strong first quarter reporting a 26.8% increase in net income as well as a 21.8% rise in operating profit on just a 2.7% jump in revenue. Most of the company’s brands saw an increase in operating profit, except its namesake brand, Volkswagen.

VW’s operating profit was about $610 million for the quarter compared with about $815.2 million a year ago. The company said, “it was negatively impacted by lower sales volumes, negative exchange rate trends especially in South America and Russia and higher upfront investments in new technologies, while lower material costs and improvements in the mix had a positive effect.”

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Porsche recorded an operating profit of $957.6 million in the first three months compared with $791.7 million for the same period last year. (more…)

VW Set to Unveil New Midsize Coupe Concept in Beijing

‘Midsize’ is smaller than maker’s Jetta compact.

by on Apr.17, 2014

Volkswagen's New Midsize Coupe concept is actually smaller than the maker's Jetta compact.

For now, at least, it goes by the decidedly unsexy name, the New Midsize Coupe concept, but Volkswagen’s sleek show car coming to the Beijing Auto Show next week is still likely to turn quite a few heads based on the initial sketches the maker has released.

The Coupe concept sits low and wide, with a curvaceous roofline and aggressive stance. And the term, “midsize,” is likely to come into question considering the show car is expected to measure barely 15 feet when it rolls out next week, making it shorter than the compact Volkswagen Jetta, never mind the maker’s current midsize, the Passat.

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Explains a VW statement on the prototype, “The concept car outdoes the other two in terms of its width – and it is thus midsized. So clearly this concept car exhibits proportions of an extremely sporty nature.” (more…)

VW Revealing Updated 2015 Jetta in NY

Subtle visual revisions conceal other updates.

by on Apr.14, 2014

The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta is set to make its debut at the New York International Auto Show.

Volkswagen must have a thing for the Big Apple as the maker plans an assortment of product announcements during this week’s New York Auto Show. That includes an updated version of the Jetta.

The 2015 VW Jetta won’t deliver any major visual surprises, though, with most of the key changes coming under the skin in the form new technologies, such as blind spot detection, and a new Clean Diesel expected to deliver up to 45 mpg on the highway.

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VW can use a little boost. The maker took a tumble last year and has been struggling to regain momentum so far this year, and it’s betting on the tweaks to Jetta – its best-selling U.S. model – and the newly renamed Golf SportWagen that New York showgoers will get a first look at this coming week. (more…)

Tennessee’s Anti-Union Approach May Stall Plans to Expand VW Plant

Maker might look for other options to build CrossBlue model.

by on Apr.08, 2014

The CrossBlue Concept was slated to be produced at the company's plant in Tennessee, but the efforts by state and national lawmakers to chase off the UAW, may have cost the plant the vehicle.

The state’s political leaders did everything they could to keep the union out of Volkswagen’s big assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., but they may also have short-circuited plans by the automaker to expand that factory to add production of a major new crossover-utility vehicle.

Barely two months after workers at the VW factory narrowly voted against the United Auto Workers Union, plans for the new Volkswagen CrossBlue model appear to have ground to a halt, in part due to delays over proposed state incentives meant to offset the cost of that factory expansion.

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And with the Tennessee legislature set to soon adjourn for the year, VW may be left with no option but to consider alternative production plans, several sources cautioned. They note that the automaker has become increasingly wary of working with Tennessee in the wake of the union flap – several top state leaders directly criticizing the company for inviting the UAW vote. (more…)