Category: Europe

By on February 7, 2016

Kenneth Feinberg, Generous Solution Quote

Kenneth Feinberg, the man behind Volkswagen’s claims fund, stated American VW TDI customers should expect an offer that will make them very happy in an interview published this weekend.

When asked by Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (via Reuters) what he will offer the more than 500,000 Americans who own dirty diesels, he replied, “I can promise that there will be a generous solution.”

What that solution will be is anyone’s guess, including Feinberg’s.

“The jury is still out, and at the moment all options are up for debate: cash payments, buybacks, repairs, replacements with new cars,” he said.

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By on January 29, 2016

LR_DEF_Celebration_Event_290116_04

The last Land Rover Defender rolled off the line Friday at the Solihull, UK facility, according to the automaker.

The wildly uncomfortable, loud and grandfather to all Land Rovers will live on, albeit in name only — the next-generation Defender is already in the works.

The final Land Rover Defenders shared two common parts with the first Series Land Rover, according to the automaker: the hood cleats and underbody support strut. Which is two parts more than I expected would have survived from the originals. Read More >

By on January 28, 2016

tdiengine

A lawyer for Volkswagen said in court that the automaker would buy back cars that it can’t fix in time, the first admission from the company that some of its cars may not be fixable, according to the New York Times.

Volkswagen lawyer Robert Giuffra told a court last week during hearings related to the class-action lawsuits facing the automaker that the company hadn’t determined how many cars would be affected.

“We might have to do a buyback or some sort of a solution like that for some subset of the vehicles, but that hasn’t been determined yet,” Giuffra said according to the report. Read More >

By on January 27, 2016

FCA_Location_1_Torino_Lingotto_high

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne on Wednesday said the automaker would rely more heavily on profitable Jeeps and Rams in North America and Europe to help its business remain profitable in other sagging areas and regions.

“We are not of the view that this industry is facing an impending demise,” Marchionne said before announcing FCA’s adjusted earnings of $1.78 billion in the fourth quarter.

Marchionne and CFO Richard Palmer said Jeep’s success in North America and Europe led the company last year and would be the “bedrock” for the automaker’s future. The automaker laid out specific plans to bring forward a Jeep pickup and Wagoneer, and let wither less-profitable models such as the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart. Read More >

By on January 26, 2016

T-ROC

Volkswagen may bring to Geneva two new small crossovers to complement its aging crossover lineup —including a production version of the T-ROC Concept it showed off in Geneva two years ago — Autocar reported (via Car and Driver).

The T-ROC and reported T-Cross would both be MQB-based crossovers. The T-ROC is Golf-sized and much more probable for North American audiences than the Polo-sized T-Cross.

That’s in line with what we’ve heard, but don’t bet on a refreshed Golf to bow in Geneva in March — we’re hearing Paris in October for that particular reveal. Read More >

By on January 26, 2016

Borgward

Last year, we told you about defunct Borgward rising from the ashes to sell in Germany and China a Porsche-Buick three-row lovechild starting in 2017.

Now it appears that the automaker with a name that only the Swedish Chef from “The Muppets” could love has something else to show in Geneva.

The automaker announced Tuesday that it had “more than a world premiere” scheduled for Feb. 29 ahead of the Geneva International Motor Show.  Read More >

By on January 26, 2016

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen’s top-level executives will meet again next week, the third meeting for the supervisory group in as many weeks, for an unusual crisis-planning cram session, according to Reuters.

“In this special situation it would not be enough for the executive committee to only meet ahead of a supervisory board meeting, or every six to eight weeks,” according to one of the sources.

The call for the emergency meeting comes shortly after one of the supervisory members, Stephan Weil, who is Lower Saxony’s prime minister, called for the automaker to come clean within three months. Volkswagen’s regularly scheduled shareholder meeting will be at the end of April.

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By on January 24, 2016

Dieter Zetsche. Picture courtesy n-tv.deDaimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said a recent trip to Silicon Valley revealed that tech companies such as Google and Apple were making significant progress on autonomous cars, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported (via Reuters).

“Our impression was that these companies can do more and know more than we had previously assumed. At the same time they have more respect for our achievements than we thought,” Zetsche said, according to the report.

Zetsche said he and other managers from the automaker met with tech companies in Silicon Valley, but didn’t disclose what those companies were.  Read More >

By on January 23, 2016

Signing ceremony for VW’s Foshan plant in China. Picture courtesy Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen’s chief in China says they’re probably not retaking the crown from General Motors there anytime soon.

That, Apple’s lead car guy is gone, Takata’s in trouble and more … after the break!

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By on January 22, 2016

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Many staffers and managers within Volkswagen’s engine-development department knew about Volkswagen’s illegal emissions-cheating “defeat device,” including a whistleblower who told other executives, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported (via Reuters).

The report said that there was a “desperation” among engineers tasked with creating a U.S.-emissions compliant diesel engine. Rather than going to the executive board with a failed engine, workers developed the cheat system to avoid repercussions from higher-ups.

The report also indicates that Volkswagen alone — not alongside auto supplier Bosch — created the defeat device.

Read More >

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