Archive for the ‘Volkswagen’ Category

Ford Cutting Operations in Brazil, Closes Oldest Plant

Automaker not waiting on tie-up with VW to improve business.

by on Feb.19, 2019

São Bernardo do Campo is Ford's oldest plant in Brazil. It makes the Fiesta and will be closed later this year.

When Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG announced they were talking about potential partnerships in the near future, one area many believed they would discuss was their businesses in South America.

The South American market has been tough sledding for much of the last decade and the two sides had linked up before with AutoLatina, which ceased operations in 1995.

Global News!

However, Ford isn’t waiting on a tie-up with VW to make moves down there, saying today it plans to close its oldest plant in Brazil resulting in 2,700 layoffs as it exits the commercial truck business in South America. (more…)

VW-Ford Continue to Run Into Problems With Alliance Plans

New report: sticking point centers around autonomous vehicle program.

by on Feb.14, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and VW AG CEO Herbert Diess downplayed the immediate impact their new deal.

When Volkswagen and Ford announced a joint venture focused on light commercial vehicles last month, the two automakers also confirmed they were looking at a variety of other possible partnerships – including autonomous and electrified vehicles – but there are growing signs that the negotiations aren’t going as well as expected in several areas.

As TheDetroitBureau.com reported earlier this week, talks on aligning VW and Ford electric vehicle programs are faltering because of significant differences in strategy – and now, reports the Reuters news service, there may be serious challenges surfacing that could prevent them from teaming up on the development of autonomous vehicles, as well.

News Now!

The key issue, the news service says, is Ford’s demand that the German carmaker invest at least $500 million in its own autonomous vehicle program. That would be in line with the investment Honda recently made when it decided to partner up with General Motors on autonomous vehicle research. (more…)

Audi Teases Q4 e-tron Concept Ahead of Geneva

Expected to be one of 12 all-electric models from luxury brand.

by on Feb.14, 2019

Audi's newest addition to its EV family is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show, and the company gave us a peek a the new Q4 e-tron.

The Volkswagen Group last week confirmed plans to roll out “50+” battery-electric vehicles by 2025 and, it seems, fully a dozen of those will be sold through its high-line luxury brand.

The first of these, simply dubbed the Audi e-tron, is set to go on sale later this year, while a production version of the e-tron GT Concept unveiled at last November’s L.A. Auto Show will hit the road next year. And now, ahead of next month’s Geneva Motor Show, we’re getting a first look at the Audi Q4 e-tron that will follow by no later than the first half of 2021.

Product News!

As the Q4 name suggests, the next all-electric model will be a crossover, reflecting the fact that battery-electric vehicles won’t be immune from the rapid shift from cars to light trucks sweeping across the global auto industry. (more…)

Plugging In: An Inside Look at the MEB — VW’s Platform for an Electrified Future

A combined VW-Ford battery-car program seems to have come un-plugged, however.

by on Feb.11, 2019

An under-the-skin look at VW's modular MEB battery-car platform reveals the skateboard-like layout.

Volkswagen is plugging into battery power in a big way, the German automaker planning to launch 50 or more all-electric models by 2025, an aggressive push that will have it betting heavily on a single new platform it is developing. Dubbed the MEB, this flexible, modular “architecture” will be used to underpin the vast majority of battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, that will be offered by VW’s dozen different passenger car brands.

The MEB has been a topic of discussion between VW and Ford Motor Co., the two companies recently launching a joint venture to develop light commercial vehicles. They also are exploring ways they may be able to work together on the development of electric vehicles, possibly using the new VW platform — though a senior Ford official cautioned that this might prove more difficult than originally hoped.

Beyond the Headlines!

“The future, for us, is really a dedicated EV platform,” said Matthew Renna, vice president of e-Mobility for Volkswagen’s North American Region, a platform “flexible enough to cover a broad gamut of products ranging from an entry level subcompact up to models like the ID. Buzz minivan and even midsize SUVs.

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Volkswagen Ups the Ante with 2019 GLI Sedan

“The heart and soul of the GTI.”

by on Feb.07, 2019

The 2019 VW GLI blends the sportiest features of the Jetta and GTI models.

There are some things that Europeans and Americans just never can agree on, starting with hatchbacks and sedans. True, utility vehicles have come to dominate the U.S. marketplace, but sedans still make up a strong share of sales. Hatchbacks just can’t seem to climb out of the niche category.

So, for those who’d like the power and road-holding dynamics of a Volkswagen GTI, the GLI offers a viable, four-door alternative. And the German maker “ups the performance ante,” it promises, with the launch of the sixth-generation sedan that made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show.

Performance News!

“Volkswagen has long been synonymous with small, sporty cars,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “The redesigned 2019 Jetta proved once more that its combination of design, technology and value continues to resonate with buyers. The 2019 GLI takes the Jetta foundation and adds performance features from the Golf GTI to give buyers a true sport sedan.”

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Tesla Purchasing Ultracapacitor Maker Maxwell Tech

Electrify America turns to Tesla Powerpack for new charging stations.

by on Feb.05, 2019

A Tesla supercharger station.

Tesla will spend $218 million to acquire Maxwell Technologies, an energy company that could help it both reduce battery costs and develop a battery alternative called an ultracapacitor.

Separately, Electrify America, a company dedicated to promoting and supporting electric vehicles, plans to use Tesla’s Powerpack battery backup system at more than 100 of its EV charging stations.

Electrifying News!

“We are always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Tesla said of the planned purchase of Maxwell in a statement.

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VW Subsidiary Buying Tesla Powerpacks for Charging Stations

Purchase comes just after Musk says powerpack biz will be strong.

by on Feb.04, 2019

As Volkswagen brings more EVs to U.S. consumers, they're going to need places to charge.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said recently that he expected the company’s power storage operations to grow twice as fast as the automotive business for some time going forward … and now Volkswagen’s helping to prove him right.

Volkswagen AG’s subsidiary, Electrify America, plans to install Tesla battery storage, better known as Powerpack systems, at more than 100 charging stations across the United States to help keep costs down for drivers who may have to charge their electric vehicles during peak load times.

Tech News!

Electricity users can incur high-demand charges from many U.S. utilities when they draw a lot of energy from the grid in a short time, which can happen charging an electric vehicle or a number of them at once at a single station. (more…)

FCA Debuting Special Anniversary Minivans in Chicago

35th anniversary editions commemorate a major industry shift.

by on Feb.04, 2019

The 35th anniversary edition Chrysler Pacifica.

Fiat Chrysler will roll out a pair of special edition minivans at the Chicago Auto Show later this week to mark the 35th anniversary of the automaker’s original “people-movers.”

Few individual vehicles have had a more dramatic impact on the U.S. automotive market as did the original Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager when they came to market in 1984, instantly clicking with buyers and rapidly spawning an array of competitors.

Beyond the Headlines!

While minivan sales today are running little more than a third of their one-time peak, they still remain a go-to product for millions of American families and, FCA hopes to take advantage of that with the 35th Anniversary Models it will roll out on Thursday at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.

(more…)

VW Plugs In With New Dune Buggy Concept

Retro design, futuristic powertrain; concept to debut in Geneva.

by on Jan.31, 2019

Volkswagen is bringing a new electric concept to the Geneva Motor Show in March – what's old is new again!

Volkswagen is going back to the future with a ‘60s-tinged concept coming to the Geneva Motor Show in a little more than a month.

The show car is modelled after the classic dune buggies that hit American roads and beaches back in the 1960s and 1970s. But the new iteration offers something very different under the hood – or, more accurately, under the floorboards, the buggy concept making use of the same, modular electric drivetrain that will power an assortment of upcoming Volkswagen products.

Auto Show News!

“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels,” suggested VW’s global design chief Klaus Bischoff. “These attributes are embodied by the new e-buggy, which demonstrates how a modern, non-retro interpretation of a classic can look and, more than anything else, the emotional bond that electric mobility can create.” (more…)

VW Grabs Global Sales Crown – Barely

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance dominates light vehicle segment.

by on Jan.30, 2019

All hail the king! Volkswagen claimed the global sales crown for 2018, but just barely over Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.

For the fifth year in a row, Volkswagen Group can again claim king-of-the-hill status as the world’s top-selling automaker.

But there’s an asterisk on the sales charts. For the second year running, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance narrowly nudged by its German rival to claim leadership in the light-duty vehicle market. Toyota again had to settle into third place, while General Motors slipped into a distant fourth.

News Now!

Volkswagen was able to gain the crown by factoring in its strong light truck sales which helped it reach sales of 10.83 million vehicles in 2018, a 0.9% year-over-year jump. Excluding heavy trucks sold by its MAN and Scania subsidiaries, VW sold 10.6 million vehicles. (more…)

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