Archive for the ‘Volkswagen’ Category

Electrifying America

Volkswagen-funded start-up is rolling out a nationwide network of quick-chargers -- and cutting prices 20%.

by on May.06, 2019

A Chevrolet Bolt is plugged into an Electrify America charger at EA's suburban DC tech center.

Volkswagen plans to spend $50 billion on battery-electric vehicles while General Motors’ CEO says the automaker is on a “path” to go fully electric. Volvo, Nissan, Toyota, Ford and, of course, Tesla, by mid-decade, these and other manufacturers expect to have more than 200 electric vehicles on the market.

But just because you build them doesn’t mean buyers will come, industry analysts warn, pointing to a variety of obstacles to mass acceptance of battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, including range and cost. But one of the biggest concerns is the lack of a viable charging infrastructure that would allow electric vehicle owners to travel as freely as do owners of conventional gas and diesel-powered vehicles.

Electrification News!

That is beginning to change as charging stations, especially “Level 3” fast chargers begin to pop up across the countryside. And, ironically, that roll-out owes a fair share of credit to Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. Out of the roughly $30 billion the automaker has so far paid out in terms of fines and settlements, $2 billion is funding Electrify America, a start-up helping promote the adoption of plug-based vehicles, in large part by setting up the fastest-growing public charging network in the U.S.

EA is taking another step to increase the appeal of running on battery-power, on Monday announcing plans to cut the cost of charging at one of its stations by 20 percent.

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VWoA Wins Delay in UAW Vote in Chattanooga

Union's attempt to get a quick vote denied.

by on May.06, 2019

The UAW's third election in five years at VW's Chattanooga plant has been delayed by the NLRB.

The National Labor Relations Board, in a vote along party lines, agreed to Volkswagen’s request to postpone an union election vote at the German automakers factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The United Auto Workers surprised VW last month by asking for a quick vote, among the 1,400 production workers in Chattanooga with the hope of minimizing the impact of anti-union campaigns, particularly by local political figures and outside anti-union groups.

Union News!

The UAW won the right to represent Chattanooga’s 300 or so maintenance workers in 2016. (more…)

VW Earnings Strong Despite Hit from Diesel Scandal

Credit largely goes to higher-priced crossovers like VW Atlas.

by on May.02, 2019

VW's utility vehicles now account for 23% of group sales, with a target of 20% by late 2020.

Volkswagen’s earnings took a tumble during the first quarter, largely due to a 1 billion euro, or $1.1 billion, set-aside to cover legal costs related to its ongoing diesel emissions scandal.

But at 3.05 billion euros, or $3.41 billion, after-tax profits came in close to last year’s 3.30 billion euros figure from the January-March quarter, with profit margins actually rising across the company’s 12 different automotive brands.

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It was a “very strong first quarter,” said Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter, and “to an extent better actually better than we expected.”

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Volkswagen AG Meets Q1 Expectations Despite $1.2B Charge

Sport-utility profits carry automaker during the quarter.

by on May.02, 2019

Volkswagen rode the sales of its highly profitable SUV line-up to a strong Q1 earnings result.

Despite taking a $1.2 billion charge to account for the continuing fallout from its emissions scandal, Volkswagen AG hit its target for first-quarter earnings before interest and taxes of $4.4 billion.

Sales revenue of the Volkswagen Group rose 3.1% year-on-year to EUR 60 billion in the first three months of the current fiscal year.

Earnings News!

“The Volkswagen Group is once again off to a good start this year,” said Frank Witter, chief financial officer of Volkswagen AG. The sales revenue performance and earnings growth in the first three months of the current fiscal year are encouraging.”  (more…)

Mitsubishi Could Be Next to Reenter U.S. Pickup Market

As sales surge, more manufacturers look for an opening.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Mitsubishi could be back in the U.S. pickup market with an Americanized version of the Triton.

Mitsubishi could be one of the next manufacturers to target the booming U.S. pickup market, according to the company’s North American chief operating officer.

With truck sales, in general, booming, and pickups, in particular, generating a disproportionate share of industry earnings in the region, an assortment of manufacturers have either gotten back into the game or are looking for ways to join established brands like Chevrolet, Ford, Ram and Toyota.

Product News!

The Japanese automaker would “have to have one that’s the right fit for Mitsubishi, for our demographic, and something that’s really competitive in the market,” Mitsubishi North America COO Mark Chaffin told trade publication Ward’s.

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Feds Launch Criminal Probe over Ford Mileage, Emissions

Ford the latest among growing list of automakers accused of misconduct.

by on Apr.26, 2019

A number of different Ford vehicles, like this Ranger, could have mpg and emissions restated.

Ford Motor Co. is facing a criminal investigation as the U.S. Department of Justice probes whether it improperly certified the mileage and emissions ratings on some of its vehicles.

The announcement by the second-largest domestic automaker comes just a day after it released unexpectedly strong earnings that sent its stock soaring past $10 a share for the first time since August 2018. Ford told investors in a statement that it “cannot provide assurance that (the results of the investigation) will not have a material adverse effect on us.”

The Last Word!

Ford becomes the latest automaker to come under scrutiny for reporting inaccurate emissions and fuel economy numbers. Among other manufacturers who have been caught up in similar circumstances are Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai and sibling brand Kia and Volkswagen. The latter company has so far paid out about $30 billion in the U.S. alone through fines and settlements, with two of its former executives being prosecuted for their role in the scandal involving the German maker’s diesel-powered vehicles.

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First Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Better late than never, Atlas gives VW a solid entry in SUV battle.

by on Apr.23, 2019

The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas gives the automaker a strong contender in the highly competitive SUV segment.

Utility vehicles are a stretch for any number of automakers and while Volkswagen has made and pioneered any number of vehicles styles during its history it was a bit slow of coming around to developing one of the perennial favorites of the of the U.S. – the midsized SUV.

However, Volkswagen of America has come around and the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas is a very solid entry into what has now become a crowded and very competitive field where manufacturers are going all out to win over customers with attractive new vehicles.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The Atlas, as its name suggests, is solid, roomy, loaded with new technology and three rows of seating. Moreover, the powertrain does well under different conditions and has more than enough power to handle everyday chores such as commuting and running errands that include hauling extra passengers and or gear and cargo. (more…)

VW’s New Concept Could be a U.S. Reality — But Not a Truck

SMV Concept shown at Auto Shanghai hits China in two years.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai. It comes to China in two years.

Though much of the news surrounding Volkswagen and new products in the U.S. focuses on the possibility of a pickup, a new concept shown thousands of miles away at Auto Shanghai may reveal what’s coming next instead: a large SUV.

VW showed off the SMV Concept, which it plans to build and sell in China within the next two years. It appears to be larger than the Atlas, which VW sells in China under the moniker Teramont. However, the SMV is based on the same flexible MQB modular architecture used by Atlas.

Auto Show News!

The automaker didn’t release any specifics about the concept. However, aside from the MQB architecture it shares with the Atlas, it will also share the Atlas powertrain. In China, it comes with a 2.0-liter TSI engine or a more powerful 2.5-liter VR6 putting out 295 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. (more…)

German Prosecutors Charger Former VW CEO Winterkorn with Fraud

Lawyers charge four other executives as well.

by on Apr.15, 2019

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged by German prosecutors with fraud related to the diesel emissions scandal.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged with fraud on Monday by German prosecutors for his role in the automaker’s diesel emissions testing scandal. The scandal came to light in 2015.

“Former Chief Executive Dr. Martin Winterkorn is being charged with a particularly serious case of fraud, a violation of the law against unfair competition and breach of fiduciary trust,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

Legal News!

Prosecutors also said that Winterkorn and four other managers faced charges, but did not give the names of the other four or say whether they were still employed by Volkswagen. Winterkorn’s lawyer, Felix Doerr, declined to comment, saying he had not seen all of the paperwork, according to Reuters. (more…)

From Minicars to $4M Hypercars, Something for Everyone

Check out the debuts from the foreign makers.

by on Apr.15, 2019

The New York International Auto Show will see dozens of new model introductions this year.

There’s been plenty of talk about the end of the auto show era, and we’ve certainly seen a lot of manufacturers step back from the lavish previews that were the norm in decades past. That said, this year’s New York International Auto Show looks to be a major event, with close to three dozen vehicles making either their North American or global debut.

There’s something for everyone’s taste and budget, from the new, entry-level Nissan Versa all the way up to the special edition Bugatti Chiron Sport “110 ans Bugatti,” a hypercar expected to go for somewhere around $4 million. No surprise, there’s a particular focus on sport- and crossover-utility vehicles, reflecting the ongoing shift in the U.S. market.

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We’re waiting to hear more about some of the products coming to the 2019 NYIAS, several automakers promising to deliver some surprises – such as the all-electric concept Genesis has been hinting at. But here’s a look at the foreign automaker’s products we already know about that will debut at the Jacob Javits Convention Center this coming week. (We’ve put the American brands in a separate piece due to length.) (more…)