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Archive for the ‘Volkswagen’ Category

Every Car Sold in the U.S. is an “Import”

Tariffs would impact even “American-made” vehicles.

by on Jul.03, 2018

The Honda Odyssey is one of the most "American" cars but will still be hit by tariffs.

Every single car, truck or crossover sold in the U.S. would be affected by the 25% import tariff being proposed by Pres. Donald Trump, with prices on some models rising by tens of thousands of dollars.

That’s because even vehicles assembled in the U.S. rely on some level of imported parts and components, whether in their suspension, infotainment systems or powertrains.

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Complicating matters, American-made auto parts and vehicles could become more expensive, and lose their competitive edge, if trade partners enact their own tariffs in response, something a number of them have now threatened to do.

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Volkswagen EV Racer Charges to Pikes Peak Record

Team wins race, sets new overall and EV mark.

by on Jun.25, 2018

Driving Volkswagen's I.D. R Pikes Peak, driver Romain Dumas set a new time record for electric vehicles on the Pikes Peak race.

Volkswagen and the I.D. R Pikes Peak made history at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last weekend with its purpose-built, battery-electric racer by winning the overall race and setting a new record or two.

Romain Dumas, who had driven other electric race cars before, but not on Pikes Peak, piloted the the 500-kW I.D. R Pikes Peak to victory over a field of cars with conventional drivetrain technology as well as EVs.

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In doing so, he not only broke the previous record for electric vehicles, but also bettered Sébastien Loeb’s all-time record from 2013 – by a full 16 seconds. Dumas’ new record of 7:57.148 minutes.  (more…)

Hyundai, Audi Latest Automakers to Partner Up

The pairing is just the latest in a growing line of partnerships.

by on Jun.20, 2018

Hyundai and Audi are partnering up to develop fuel cell technologies.

The automotive industry is increasingly becoming reliant on partnerships, the latest being the tie-up between Hyundai Motor Group and Audi AG.

Like so many other companies before them, the South Korean and German automakers are looking to find a way to get to the promised land of alternative fuel vehicles. In this case, the makers are partnering on the development of fuel cell electric vehicles.

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Unsurprisingly, whatever patents, technologies and revolutionary breakthroughs resulting from this new coalescence will trickle down, well, more like over to Kia Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. Kia is Hyundai’s sibling and VW is Audi’s parent companies. These advances can also be shared among other affiliates within either group. (more…)

Tesla Claims Employee Tried to Sabotage Plant – But Refuses to Say if Authorities Were Notified

Musk blames employee who didn’t receive promotion, hints others might be involved.

by on Jun.19, 2018

In a letter to employees, Tesla CEO Musk said the Fremont plant was the subject of sabotage.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk advised employees late Sunday that the company had been sabotaged by an employee who sent “highly sensitive” data to unnamed outside parties, but he and Tesla have so far refused to provide details, declining to even say whether police or other authorities, such as the FBI, have been asked to investigate.

Musk’s e-mail to Tesla workers, first reported by CNBC, was sent hours after a small fire at the Tesla assembly plant in Fremont, California briefly shut down due to a fire in its welding area. The incident was deemed minor and work quickly resumed. Tesla has been struggling to boost the factory’s output, primarily of the new Model 3 sedan, and has gone to an around-the-clock production schedule.

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In his note to employees, Musk said an employee committed “quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations,” among other things making “direct code changes” in Tesla’s manufacturing system while also sending “large amounts” of “highly sensitive” company data to an address outside the company.

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Audi CEO Stadler Arrested as Germany Expands Diesel Emissions Probe

As many as 20 current, former Audi employees now under investigation.

by on Jun.18, 2018

German prosecutors have arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, though no charges have yet been filed.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has been “provisionally” arrested, the luxury arm of Volkswagen AG confirmed Monday morning, as the German government probe into emissions rigging by VW and the Audi subsidiary continues to expand.

Nearly a dozen executives and managers from the vast Volkswagen Group empire have been indicted since the automaker was first charged in September 2015 with rigging various diesel engines to illegally pass emissions tests. Several have already been convicted in the U.S., though others have fled to Germany where they cannot be extradited. But as many as 20 others are now under suspicion as Germany moves forward with its own investigation, according to the Associated Press.

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“Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was provisionally arrested this morning,” VW’s largest luxury brand said in a statement Monday morning. It added that “the presumption of innocence remains in place for Mr. Stadler.”

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Diesel Scandal Continues to Grow With New Daimler Recall

Company order to recall 238K vehicles in Germany.

by on Jun.14, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche attempted to assuage concerns of investors about diesel engines during the company's annual meeting.

The diesel cheating scandal is almost three years old, but it just seems to keep getting bigger.

Daimler AG has been hit by the German government with an order to recall 238,000 vehicles in Germany after they were identified has being equipped with illegal software that hide diesel emissions.

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In all, there are a total of 774,000 diesel vehicles across Europe, containing the so-called “defeat devices” software and Daimler indicated it would recall all of them Daimler said it would refit the software but denied any wrongdoing. (more…)

VW Tagged With $1B Fine in Germany for Diesel Scandal

Penalty doesn't prevent civil lawsuits against maker.

by on Jun.13, 2018

VW's new CEO Herbert Diess recently noted the company would have to work hard to regain the public's trust.

Volkswagen AG’s diesel cheating scandal has resulted in the automaker writing another large check, $1 billion, for violating German emissions controls mandates.

The fine is just the latest in a litany of payouts related to the automaker’s attempts to circumvent emissions rules in the U.S. and other countries.

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The $1 billion fine by German authorities is one of the largest in the country’s history. However, its significantly less than what it agreed to in a U.S. plea agreement in January 2017 when VW agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties for installing illegal software in diesel engines.  (more…)

Honda, Chevrolet Take Top Spots on Best Family Car List

The VW Atlas also surprised by taking an award.

by on Jun.08, 2018

The new Chevrolet Traverse with its new design nabbed a Top 10 Family Car honor.

Families looking for a new vehicle to haul the clan from soccer game to recital to birthday party should probably start their search as their local Honda and Chevrolet dealers.

The two automakers each had two vehicles fall in the top 10 of top family cars for 2018 as ranked by Parents magazine and Edmunds. The 2018 Honda Odyssey and Accord and Chevrolet Traverse and Malibu are four of the top 10 on the list.

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“We’re not playing favorites in terms of why there are two Hondas and two Chevrolets. The vehicle had to have a top safety score from NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to be considered,” said Brent Romans, senior analyst at Edmunds. “That narrowed down the list.” (more…)

Freightliner Takes Aim at Tesla with Two Big EV Semis and a New E-Mobility Center

Daimler’s U.S. truck division will put first 30 into field tests this year.

by on Jun.07, 2018

The new Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 semis.

Freightliner, the U.S.-based truck subsidiary of Daimler AG, is taking direct aim at Tesla with the debut of two new battery-powered semis that it plans to begin fleet testing later this year.

The eCascadia and eM2 join a range of smaller delivery trucks that Freightliner and other Daimler truck brands have been rolling out over the last couple years. A number of major freight and delivery companies, ranging from UPS to PepsiCo, have expressed interest in the clean, fuel-efficient technology. That has drawn a number of vehicle manufacturers into the emerging field, including Volvo AB and Volkswagen AG, as well as Freightliner and Tesla.

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Daimler also plans to set up a new Automated Research and Development Center near Freightliner’s headquarters in Portland, as well as a new E-Mobility Group to help share technologies among its various truck brands.

“We are the undisputed global leader of the trucking industry and we intend to remain in that position with electric trucks and buses,” Daimler Trucks chief Martin Daum said in a statement.

That was echoed in a comment by Roger Nielsen, the president of Daimler Trucks North America, that took a clear shot at Tesla, a company that has not only never built a truck before but which has had major trouble meeting production targets and quality goals for its passenger vehicles. But it also underscored the fact that Daimler is taking Tesla’s imminent arrival in the truck market as seriously is it is the California company’s electric passenger car line-up.

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Tesla CEO Musk Survives 1st Big Challenge as Chairman as Model 3 “Quite Likely” to Meet Target

Shanghai, European plants could be announced within weeks.

by on Jun.06, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk beat back challenges to his role, while 3 board members were voted back in.

Elon Musk stared down a group of dissident shareholders on Tuesday, surviving the first serious challenge to his dual role as chairman and CEO of the California automaker, while three of his hand-picked board members also fended off challenges.

Musk, who has developed an almost cult-like following among investors and electric vehicle fans alike, has faced an unusual degree of scrutiny in recent months as a result of mounting losses, struggles with production of the Model 3 sedan and a series of widely reported crashes involving Tesla vehicles. But despite some opposition, the company’s annual shareholders meeting was largely focused on promises about great things to come.

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Musk promised that after months of what the CEO has dubbed “production hell,” the pace is picking up at the Fremont assembly plant and that production will “quite likely” reach his 5,000 vehicle-a-week target by the end of June. Meanwhile, he and members of his senior management team outlined other developments to come, including the launch of additional production plants that could substantially boost global demand.

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