The Truth About Cars » Germany http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 03 Sep 2015 17:00:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Germany http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/germany/ Volkswagen’s CFO Poetsch Will Likely Be Its Next Chairman http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/volkswagens-cfo-poetsch-will-likely-next-chairman/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/volkswagens-cfo-poetsch-will-likely-next-chairman/#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:50:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1159530 Porsche Automobil Holding SE announced Thursday that it would propose its CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch to succeed Berthold Huber as chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board. The proposal was supported by Volkswagen AG. Huber was appointed interim chairman for the German automotive giant after Ferdinand Piech was ousted in a dustup among leadership. The announcement comes only a […]

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Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Porsche Automobil Holding SE announced Thursday that it would propose its CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch to succeed Berthold Huber as chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board. The proposal was supported by Volkswagen AG.

Huber was appointed interim chairman for the German automotive giant after Ferdinand Piech was ousted in a dustup among leadership.

The announcement comes only a few days after Volkswagen said it extended its contract with its current CEO, Martin Winterkorn, for two more years and effectively ending his bid to replace Piech. Winterkorn and Piech publicly feuded over VW’s direction, eventually leading to Piech’s surprise resignation as chairman in April.

As a member of the board of majority shareholder in VW’s parent company, Porsche SE, Piech voted alongside the rest of the board unanimously to approve Poetsch as proposed chairman.

Hans Dieter Poetsch According to Automotive News, Poetsch is a relative insider for VW’s chairman position. As chief financial officer since 2003, Poetsch would be a non-polarizing figure with detailed knowledge of Volkswagen’s day-to-day operations.

Analysts earlier suspected that Winterkorn’s retention may open the door to an outsider to be placed in the chairman’s seat.

Poetsch was appointed CFO at Volkswagen in 2003, after leaving German engineering firm Durr AG, according to the automaker. Poetsch started his automotive career at BMW in 1979, working up to head of group controlling before he left in 1987.

Poetsch could be fully installed as chairman in November, at Volkswagen’s next general meeting.

 

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Winterkorn Continuing At VW, But Maybe Not How He Wanted http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/winterkorn-continuing-vw-maybe-not-wanted/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/winterkorn-continuing-vw-maybe-not-wanted/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:43:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1158650 Volkswagen will extend its contract with CEO Martin Winterkorn through 2018, Automotive News is reporting, but that two-year deal may make him too old to succeed the man he ousted, Ferdinand Piech, who left the company last year after clashing with Winterkorn. At the end of Winterkorn’s contract, the man who led Volkswagen’s recent revolution in […]

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Martin Winterkorn in Shanghai - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Volkswagen will extend its contract with CEO Martin Winterkorn through 2018, Automotive News is reporting, but that two-year deal may make him too old to succeed the man he ousted, Ferdinand Piech, who left the company last year after clashing with Winterkorn.

At the end of Winterkorn’s contract, the man who led Volkswagen’s recent revolution in America will be 71, making him too old for the top slot held by interim chairman Berthold Huber. Winterkorn was seen as the likely replacement for Piech, according to Reuters, but that job may go to an outsider now.

“This increases the chances for an external chairman, which is good news in our view,” Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst with Evercore ISI’s global research head, said in a statement to Automotive News.

The distance between Winterkorn and Piech seemed to grow over their different strategies for VW in the Americas.

Volkswagen is competing with Toyota to be the world’s largest automaker. Through six months, VW had a narrow lead delivering 5.04 million cars worldwide, compared to Toyota’s 5.02 million.

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Suzuki: “I Feel Refreshed” After Win Against Volkswagen http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/suzuki-i-feel-refreshed-after-win-against-volkswagen/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/suzuki-i-feel-refreshed-after-win-against-volkswagen/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2015 14:22:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1156202 Osamu Suzuki (middle right), chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation, can finally celebrate his biggest win. After a failed alliance with Volkswagen put Suzuki — the chairman and company — on the back foot for almost four years, the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in London has decided in the Japanese company’s […]

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Volkswagen and Suzuki agreed to establish a comprehensive partnership

Osamu Suzuki (middle right), chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation, can finally celebrate his biggest win. After a failed alliance with Volkswagen put Suzuki — the chairman and company — on the back foot for almost four years, the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in London has decided in the Japanese company’s favor. Suzuki will purchase back their own stock from Volkswagen.

Suzuki received news of the ruling Saturday and filed the information with the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Sunday.

“It’s good that a resolution came. I feel refreshed. It’s like clearing a bone stuck in my throat,” said to reporters gathered at a news conference in Tokyo, reports Automotive News. “I’m very satisfied with the resolution. Through it, Suzuki was able to attain its biggest objective.”

In a statement released today, Suzuki Motor Corporation “requested Volkswagen AG to terminate their business and capital alliance through amicable negotiation. However, as VW failed to respond to Suzuki’s request, Suzuki served on 18 November 2011 a notice of termination of the Framework Agreement that was made with VW. Further, on 24 November 2011, based on the parties’ agreement, Suzuki filed a request for arbitration in London, which is the place of arbitration with the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.”

The tribunal found in favor for Suzuki in two areas: a termination of the “Framework Agreement” and Volkswagen’s divestment of shared in Suzuki.

From Suzuki:

The Tribunal found that the Framework Agreement was validly terminated by Suzuki’s notice of termination dated 18 November 2011 mentioned above, such termination being effective from 18 May 2012.

The Tribunal upheld Suzuki’s claim regarding VW’s disposal of its shares in Suzuki and ordered VW to divest forthwith those shares to Suzuki or a third party designated by Suzuki using a method which is reasonably determined by Suzuki.

Volkswagen’s 19.9-percent share in Suzuki will be purchased by the Japanese company through the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

However, Suzuki could still incur financial penalties later, as Volkswagen’s counterclaim of breach of contract was also partially upheld. That claim will be “addressed in a further stage of the arbitration,” stated Suzuki Motor Corporation. According to Volkswagen in a statement, Suzuki “failed to give Volkswagen last-call rights for the delivery of diesel engines. Volkswagen reserves the right to claim damages against Suzuki.”

The official end of the alliance will likely trigger more succession planning for the Japanese auto and motorcycle manufacturer. In June 2015, Osamu Suzuki appointed his eldest son, Toshihiro, to the role of president.

 

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Report: Buick Will Import Most of its New Cars by 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-buick-will-import-new-cars-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-buick-will-import-new-cars-2016/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1148865 Reuters is reporting that Buick will import most of its new models to North America from China and Europe by 2016. Only the mid-size that will eventually replace the LaCrosse and the large Enclave crossover will be built in America, both in Michigan. Other Buick models, including the coming Cascada convertible and the small crossover Envision would come […]

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Reuters is reporting that Buick will import most of its new models to North America from China and Europe by 2016. Only the mid-size that will eventually replace the LaCrosse and the large Enclave crossover will be built in America, both in Michigan.

Other Buick models, including the coming Cascada convertible and the small crossover Envision would come from Europe and China respectively. Production of the Verano would shift from Michigan to China, the next-generation Regal would come from Germany instead of Canada, and the Encore would continue to be assembled in Korea, but would eventually shift to China, Reuters reported from an unidentified source.

If true, executives would deliver a sizable blow to contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. Already, General Motors has announced substantial investments in North American plants during negotiations.

According to Reuters, a spokesman for Buick declined to comment on the report. A spokeswoman for the UAW said Buick would be unwise to import cars “after the sacrifices by U.S. taxpayers.”

Buick is expected to launch the China-built Envision in North America later this year.

Buick sells four times as many cars in China as they do in North America. 

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2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe Officially Official http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/2017-mercedes-amg-c63-coupe-officially-official/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/2017-mercedes-amg-c63-coupe-officially-official/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 17:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1148289 Mercedes-AMG took the wrapper off its dual-flavored C63 AMG Coupe on Wednesday — and to quote the great Denny Green: “They are who we thought they were.” The Affalterbach duo was shown online after weeks of teases and official photo “leaks” two days ago. The only surprise left were the official specs of the coupes, […]

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Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015

Mercedes-AMG took the wrapper off its dual-flavored C63 AMG Coupe on Wednesday — and to quote the great Denny Green: “They are who we thought they were.”

The Affalterbach duo was shown online after weeks of teases and official photo “leaks” two days ago. The only surprise left were the official specs of the coupes, which were close to what many people predicted.

The C63 “normal” will boast 476 horsepower and 479 pounds-feet of torque, while the C63 S will bump up to 510 hp and 516 pounds-feet of twist. Earlier estimates, based on the C63 sedan, were pegged 6 and 7 horsepower fewer, respectively. And curb weight, provided you’re a 150-pound human, with 15 pounds of cargo and nearly a full tank of fuel (I love how specific Mercedes can be) is 3,968 pounds for the C63 and 3,935 for the C63 S. (Unladen, the C63 and C63 S is 3,802 pounds and 3,769 pounds, respectively.)According to Mercedes-AMG, the C63 will run up to 62 mph [or 100 km/h!!! -Mark] in 4 seconds (C63 S is 3.9 seconds), which is nearly identical to the BMW M4, despite the two cars being separated by roughly 50 horsepower and 200 pounds. But unlike the M4, the C63 only comes with one (not manual) 7-speed transmission choice.

The hood of the C63 is 2.3 inches longer than a regular C-Class coupe, and the performance coupe will be shod with 255 millimeter tires up front, and impossibly wide 285s in back.

Mercedes-AMG says the C63 will manage 26 mpg in combined fuel economy and will be available for purchase in March 2016. The car will be shown to the public next month at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015

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Audi’s First All-electric Car Will Be a Model X Fighter http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/audis-first-electric-car-will-model-x-fighter/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/audis-first-electric-car-will-model-x-fighter/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145761 Audi’s first production electric car will be a crossover to fight the Tesla Model X, the German luxury carmaker said Wednesday. Concept drawings and initial specifications released by Audi detailed their crossover that is powered by three electric motors — borrowed from its R8 e-tron concept car — with a proposed range of over 300 miles. […]

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Audi’s first production electric car will be a crossover to fight the Tesla Model X, the German luxury carmaker said Wednesday.

Concept drawings and initial specifications released by Audi detailed their crossover that is powered by three electric motors — borrowed from its R8 e-tron concept car — with a proposed range of over 300 miles. According to Audi, the crossover, which is called the “e-tron quattro concept,” would slot between the company’s 182.6-inch Q5 and 200.3-inch Q7. Tesla’s Model X is 197 inches long.

The crossover’s lithium-ion battery would give the car a range more than 300 miles.

The crossover will make its first appearance at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month.

According to Audi, the SUV would be incredibly slippery. Its 0.25 coefficient of drag would be the same as a Toyota Prius. The car would use moveable aerodynamic elements in front, on its sides and at the rear of the car. In addition to moveable aero, the crossover will have a completely flat underside.

Audi e-tron quattro concept – Exterior Sketch – Rear Audi e-tron quattro concept – Cockpit Sketch Audi e-tron quattro concept – OLED-based operating and display Audi e-tron quattro concept – Headlight with e-tron light sign A157360_large

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Cadillac Will Have Diesel Engines in US http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-will-diesel-engines-us/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-will-diesel-engines-us/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 20:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145481 Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen said future Cadillac cars in the U.S. will have diesel powertrains, Automotive News is reporting (via Autoblog). De Nysschen told journalists that oil burners would make their way to the States after they’re launched in Europe, presumably around 2019. He said engineers at Cadillac were working on 4- and 6-cylinder models, but […]

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2016 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen said future Cadillac cars in the U.S. will have diesel powertrains, Automotive News is reporting (via Autoblog).

De Nysschen told journalists that oil burners would make their way to the States after they’re launched in Europe, presumably around 2019. He said engineers at Cadillac were working on 4- and 6-cylinder models, but wouldn’t specify what cars those engines would power.

Audi, BMW and Mercedes offer diesel power plants in their compact or mid-size sedans that would compete with the theoretical Cadillac.

In January, de Nysschen said as much, “If you want to play in Europe, you better have some diesels,” he told Reuters.

It wouldn’t be the first foray into diesels for Cadillac, Automotive News points out, but perhaps it’ll be a less smoky one.

Cadillac has shown off a hybrid CT6, but it’s unclear how electrification would play into Cadillac’s future plans.

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Nurburgring Drops Speed Limits for 2016, Game On http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/nurburgring-drops-speed-limits-2016-game/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/nurburgring-drops-speed-limits-2016-game/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 18:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145321 Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife will be reopened next year for manufacturers’ bragging rights after officials announced Tuesday that the track’s speed limits — added after a crash during a race killed a spectator in March — will be lifted, PistonHeads is reporting. Track officials also announced they would be smoothing some parts of the track to keep […]

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Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife will be reopened next year for manufacturers’ bragging rights after officials announced Tuesday that the track’s speed limits — added after a crash during a race killed a spectator in March — will be lifted, PistonHeads is reporting.

Track officials also announced they would be smoothing some parts of the track to keep cars from launching into the air, including the section that launched a Nissan GT-R GT3 into a crowd in March, and keeping spectators from certain areas of the track.

The track may be open for full-speed testing in 2016.

The Porsche 918 is the current record holder for a production car around the track. Koenigsegg said they were planning a record run with their newest supercar before the speed limits were enforced at the track.

“Together with the participants, we analyzed as a consequence of the accident, the situation in detail and targeted measures developed in order to increase the active and passive safety, especially the safety of spectators along the Nordschleife,” Carsten Schumacher, who is managing director of the track, said in a statement.

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First Photos of Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe Leak http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/first-photos-mercedes-amg-c63-coupe-leak/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/first-photos-mercedes-amg-c63-coupe-leak/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 22:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1144265 Leaked photos of the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe from a presentation have found their way onto the Web, from Zero2Turbo (via Carscoops). The photos are in line with the official photos of the coupe we saw this weekend, and earlier “leaks” from Mercedes-AMG’s official Facebook page. The coupe will likely follow the sedan and offer 470- and 503-horsepower […]

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Leaked photos of the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe from a presentation have found their way onto the Web, from Zero2Turbo (via Carscoops).

The photos are in line with the official photos of the coupe we saw this weekend, and earlier “leaks” from Mercedes-AMG’s official Facebook page.

The coupe will likely follow the sedan and offer 470- and 503-horsepower versions of their 4-liter turbocharged V-8 shifted through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The car will be shown to the public at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September and unveiled online August 19.

The leaked photos show slight variations from the C-Class coupe, including a black rear diffuser and spoiler, and beefier, quad-tipped exhausts.

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2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

Mercedes-AMG will unveil its C63 online ahead of the Frankfurt Auto Show.

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Quattro Receives Re-brand in Australia, Now Called Audi Sport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/quattro-receives-re-brand-in-australia-now-called-audi-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/quattro-receives-re-brand-in-australia-now-called-audi-sport/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 18:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1143417 You’d be forgiven if you thought Audi’s performance division was called “RS”. After all, the Germans have a history of using letters to describe their more powerful offerings, such as BMW M and Mercedes-AMG. In Audi’s case, it’s a bit more complex. While the cars themselves wear S and RS badging, the performance division is actually called […]

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Audi R8 V10

You’d be forgiven if you thought Audi’s performance division was called “RS”. After all, the Germans have a history of using letters to describe their more powerful offerings, such as BMW M and Mercedes-AMG.

In Audi’s case, it’s a bit more complex. While the cars themselves wear S and RS badging, the performance division is actually called quattro GmbH (without the capital Q, because Audi), which is the name of the all-wheel drive system that made the brand so popular with Group B rally fans. It’s compounded by the fact normal Audi’s wear the quattro nameplate when they sport all-wheel drive, so it’s not that exclusive of a name.

In Australia, Audi is looking to fix this organizational and marketing nightmare. Enter Audi Sport.

The performance division itself, quattro, will not change its name, but the products developed by Quattro (screw it, I am using capitals) will now be marketed under the customer-friendly Audi Sport umbrella. CarAdvice reports 15 dealers will have Audi Sport-specific showroom areas by the end of the year for selling RS models and Audi’s halo car, the R8. S models will still be sold under the more plebeian Audi banner.

The additional moniker is a pilot project by Audi that could be found in other regions in the future. Considering the sub-branding success of BMW and Mercedes — the latter has completely re-engineered how it’ll name all vehicles in the future — it’s probably about time Audi did the same.

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Mercedes-Benz Removes Two Doors from C-Class, Creates Real Coupe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/mercedes-benz-removes-two-doors-from-c-class-creates-real-coupe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/mercedes-benz-removes-two-doors-from-c-class-creates-real-coupe/#comments Sat, 15 Aug 2015 15:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1142849 Some may argue that Mercedes is responsible for the prevalence of four-door coupes on the market thanks to the popularity of the CLS. While the tri-star brand might be found guilty in the court of public opinion for slagging upon us such an abomination, it’s refreshing that the German brand still knows how to make a real, […]

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2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

Some may argue that Mercedes is responsible for the prevalence of four-door coupes on the market thanks to the popularity of the CLS. While the tri-star brand might be found guilty in the court of public opinion for slagging upon us such an abomination, it’s refreshing that the German brand still knows how to make a real, honest-to-goodness coupe — and this is the latest one: the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe.

Up front, the C-Class Coupe looks almost the same as its four-doored sibling. The large disco ball grille is similar to that found on the CLA, while new headlights and remaining front body work is pulled almost directly from the C-Class sedan.

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

As soon as you get to the roofline, everything changes. The silhouette — already swooping toward the rear on the sedan — shows a tightened rump and much more horizontal rear lamp wrap around sections. At the rear, the C-Class Coupe looks to have more in common with the Mercedes-AMG GT than the C-Class sedan. That’s sharp, Herr Geschäftsmann.

The new two door will go on sale in the spring of 2016 as a 2017 model, available in C 300 and C 300 4Matic guises. Expect the usual levels of AMG-ness to follow shortly thereafter.

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Report: Next-gen BMW M3 Will Be All-Wheel Drive Plug-in Hybrid http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-next-gen-bmw-m3-will-plug-hybrid/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-next-gen-bmw-m3-will-plug-hybrid/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1142001 TheDetroitBureau’s Paul Eisenstein has a fine piece of reporting that the next-generation of BMW’s iconic M3 will have a hybrid, plug-in powertrain — a first for the performance sub-brand. Eisenstein says internal sources provided the information. According to the report, the rear wheels would be driven by the gasoline engine, which could be the M3’s current […]

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BMW M3

TheDetroitBureau’s Paul Eisenstein has a fine piece of reporting that the next-generation of BMW’s iconic M3 will have a hybrid, plug-in powertrain — a first for the performance sub-brand. Eisenstein says internal sources provided the information.

According to the report, the rear wheels would be driven by the gasoline engine, which could be the M3’s current boosted six — or even perhaps an ultra-potent four. Up front, one or two electric motors could power the forward wheels. Eisenstein’s story points out that by using tandem electric motors, the M3 would have baked-in torque vectoring that engineers could exploit for handling performance.

If the report is true, that E36 M3 you passed up on Craigslist eight years ago will soon be worth eleventy billion dollars.A plug-in hybrid M3 would be a seismic shift for the German automaker.

Already, supercar makers such as McLaren and Ferrari have used similar technology for cars that cost more than $1 million, and BMW’s system could use a kinetic energy recovery system, although it’s unclear in the report how it would be used.

Porsche’s Panamera S E-Hybrid already uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain, although that car is in a much different segment than the M3.

The report says engineers initially balked at the additional weight a plug-in powertrain would add, but lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum found in the i8 could help offset those losses.

A plug-in hybrid could also make the future for BMW’s sub-brand “i” less clear. A few days ago, BMW CEO Harald Kruger said the “i” brand could have more cars in its lineup, but it’s clear that some of the technologies such as electrification and lightweight materials appear to be bleeding into the mainstream lineup.

And a plug-in hybrid system seriously casts a shadow of the future of manuals for BMW’s M division.

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Cadillac Slowing its Plans to Sell Cars in Europe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-slowing-plans-sell-cars-europe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-slowing-plans-sell-cars-europe/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 22:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1140154 Cadillac likely won’t push to sell more cars in Europe before 2020, the company’s CEO Johan de Nysschen told analysts on Tuesday. “We’ll go to that market when we have the right powertrains and the right cars,” he said Tuesday, according to the Detroit News. Previously, Cadillac had planned some right-hand drive models and diesel powertrains […]

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Cadillac likely won’t push to sell more cars in Europe before 2020, the company’s CEO Johan de Nysschen told analysts on Tuesday.

“We’ll go to that market when we have the right powertrains and the right cars,” he said Tuesday, according to the Detroit News.

Previously, Cadillac had planned some right-hand drive models and diesel powertrains to help it gain a foothold in European markets. According to the report, Cadillac has sold only 838 cars in Europe so far this year. Cadillac wants to sell 500,000 cars globally by 2020, de Nysschen said.

Instead of Europe, de Nysschen told J.P. Morgan Auto Conference attendees (we guess our invitation just got lost in the mail, or something) that Cadillac would focus on strengthening its position in China, Russia and the Middle East.

The report didn’t detail how Cadillac would combat crumbling or slowing economies in China or Russia, but it’s clear that Cadillac is going to wait until its portfolio is much, much stronger before it attempts to seriously compete with the Germans in their own backyard.

Global sales of Cadillacs are up 1.5 percent, led by a 7.4-percent rise in China, and despite a 2.4-percent slowdown in America.

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Golf Clubs Win, New BMW 4 Series May Be Soft-top Only http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/golf-clubs-win-new-bmw-4-series-may-soft-top/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/golf-clubs-win-new-bmw-4-series-may-soft-top/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 22:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1137770 Finally, BMW got my letter that the folding hardtop in its 4 Series convertible didn’t leave enough room for my tour bag and comically gigantic TaylorMade R15s, so they’re ditching the whole thing, German site Bimmertoday is reporting (via Road and Track and Automobile). The convertible hard top can weigh roughly 500 pounds, Automobile reports. Cutting back to […]

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Finally, BMW got my letter that the folding hardtop in its 4 Series convertible didn’t leave enough room for my tour bag and comically gigantic TaylorMade R15s, so they’re ditching the whole thing, German site Bimmertoday is reporting (via Road and Track and Automobile).

The convertible hard top can weigh roughly 500 pounds, Automobile reports. Cutting back to a soft top could shed some of that weight and spare space in the the trunk.

The German report also says that BMW’s Z4, co-developed with Toyota, will also have a fabric top instead of a folding roof.

The new 4 Series should arrive around 2021, after the all-new 3 Series hits the streets in 2019.

Already, the BMW 2 Series and 6 Series have soft-top roofs.

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Audi’s Plug-in Hybrid A3 Will Start at $38,825, On Sale in October http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/audis-plug-in-hybrid-a3-will-start-at-38825-on-sale-in-october/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/audis-plug-in-hybrid-a3-will-start-at-38825-on-sale-in-october/#comments Sun, 09 Aug 2015 17:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1137026 Audi announced this week that its plug-in hybrid version of the A3, dubbed A3 Sportback e-tron, will go on sale in October and cost $38,825 to start — $47,725 in Prestige trim — before federal and state incentives. The car, which combines an 8.8 kWh battery and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, will make a […]

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Audi announced this week that its plug-in hybrid version of the A3, dubbed A3 Sportback e-tron, will go on sale in October and cost $38,825 to start — $47,725 in Prestige trim — before federal and state incentives.

The car, which combines an 8.8 kWh battery and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, will make a combined 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy and range for all-electric driving hasn’t been announced by the automaker, although some reports peg the EV range at 30 miles.

The A3 plug-in hybrid will be the first Audi to run (at least partially) on electricity in the States.

The plug-in A3 starts at roughly $7,000 more than the base A3 sedan and about $4,700 more than the diesel A3 sedan. The e-tron is only available in front-wheel drive configuration.

Audi says that the car would take about eight hours to charge on a standard 120-volt outlet or just over two hours on a 240-volt outlet. An optional residential solar panel program, featured on the automaker’s online configurator, and carbon-credit program is available for the car. The automaker didn’t specifically detail either program in its announcement.

According to the automaker, more e-tron vehicles will be released in the U.S. but those haven’t been announced.

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BMW CEO Confirms There Are Numbers Between 3 and 8 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/bmw-ceo-confirms-numbers-3-8/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/bmw-ceo-confirms-numbers-3-8/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 18:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1136250 In addition to the battery-powered (or is it a hybrid?) i3 and i8 cars, BMW may build an electrified X3-sized crossover, 5-series sedan and perhaps a larger Tesla Model X-sized SUV in its “i” car range, The Detroit Bureau is reporting. The speculation comes from BMW chief Harald Krueger who said there was room in […]

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2015 BMW i3 orange

In addition to the battery-powered (or is it a hybrid?) i3 and i8 cars, BMW may build an electrified X3-sized crossover, 5-series sedan and perhaps a larger Tesla Model X-sized SUV in its “i” car range, The Detroit Bureau is reporting.

The speculation comes from BMW chief Harald Krueger who said there was room in the “i” range for something else.

“Between the i3 and the i8, there is space if you look at it from the number point of view,” Harald Krueger said in an interview with the German newspaper F.A.S.

Precisely four numbers are between 3 and 8. Let’s speculate!

Perhaps it was a foregone conclusion that BMW would expand its “i” range of cars with other models, such as an electrified SUV or crossover. The Model X goes on sale next month and other German automakers are already preparing for plug-in or electric versions of their cars.

The Detroit Bureau says the X3-sized electric crossover i5 (or maybe it’ll be a 5 Series-sized sedan?) will go on sale in 2017, and there may be more to come.

Of course, BMW could just fold up the “i” brand and assimilate their tech into the current naming convention and then we’d all have less to talk about. Maybe.

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Audi’s New 605-hp S8 is Mostly Aluminum, All Awesome http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/audis-new-605-hp-s8-mostly-aluminum-awesome/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/audis-new-605-hp-s8-mostly-aluminum-awesome/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 22:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1134641 Audi just unveiled its newest super sedan, the S8, and said that the new all-aluminum car would get an 85 horsepower bump and would sprint from 0-60 in under four seconds. The turbocharged 4-liter V-8, which can make 553 pound-feet of twist and is only about as deep as a case of beer, just became […]

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Audi just unveiled its newest super sedan, the S8, and said that the new all-aluminum car would get an 85 horsepower bump and would sprint from 0-60 in under four seconds.

The turbocharged 4-liter V-8, which can make 553 pound-feet of twist and is only about as deep as a case of beer, just became the eighth wonder of the known universe.

The engine is married to an eight-speed automatic that shifts power to all four wheels via Audi’s all-wheel drive system, dubbed Quattro. Air suspension and adaptive damping come standard, if that’s keeping you from buying one.

According to Audi engineers, the S8’s frame is only about 500 pounds, which is lighter than that found in the Mercedes-AMG’s S63/S65. The overall weight of the car hasn’t been announced, but Audi says the car will go on sale in November for 145,000€ ($157,665).

Among the vehicle’s highlights are and optional-for-us (standard for Germany) high-performance package that boosts the S8’s top speed to 190 mph.

The S8 will manage a combined fuel economy of 25 mpg, according to Audi, probably thanks to gearing that tiptoes a finer EPA line than any of us could imagine.

Although the S8 gives up 16 horsepower to the S65, it also does it with 33 percent fewer cylinders. It’s possible that some variant of the engine could appear in an upcoming R8. 

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German Automakers Buy Mapmaker, Maybe for Robot Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/german-automakers-buy-mapmaker-maybe-robot-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/german-automakers-buy-mapmaker-maybe-robot-cars/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 18:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1132577 Audi, BMW and Daimler have joined forces to buy map-making company Here from phone-maker Nokia for an undisclosed amount, the automakers announced Monday. The purchase of the company, which provides cloud-based maps and location services to more than 200 countries, could help the automakers develop further technology for autonomous cars that use the crowd-sourced maps instead of unreliable […]

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Audi, BMW and Daimler have joined forces to buy map-making company Here from phone-maker Nokia for an undisclosed amount, the automakers announced Monday.

The purchase of the company, which provides cloud-based maps and location services to more than 200 countries, could help the automakers develop further technology for autonomous cars that use the crowd-sourced maps instead of unreliable and outdated humans to steer.

In a statement announcing the purchase, the automakers said the company would be jointly held by all three automakers and would operate independently from the consortium. Pending approval, the sale would become final early next year.

The automakers hinted that the mapmaking company and the cars could work together by relaying traffic or road conditions from each car to a centralized server that could redistribute the information to other cars. So-called “swarm technology” would help other drivers avoid accidents or icy roads.

”HERE will be able to offer users a continuously improving product, bringing highly automated driving and location based services a step further. As the volume of anonymized data from the vehicles increases, services will become more convenient, more connected and further tailored to the users’ individual requirements,” the automakers said in the statement.

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Porsche Boxster, Cayman Four-Pot Turbo Details Released http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/porsche-boxster-cayman-four-pot-turbo-details-released/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/porsche-boxster-cayman-four-pot-turbo-details-released/#comments Sun, 02 Aug 2015 15:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1131617 According to CAR (via AutoGuide), the next round of Porsche Boxsters and Caymans will have turbocharged, four-cylinder powerplants ranging from 240 to 370 bhp. Porsche could also position a base model Cayman below the Boxster depending on region. The British outlet says the Cayman and Boxster will become four-cylinder-only affairs, except for top-end specials such […]

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2014-Porsche-Cayman-S. Photo courtesy Porsche.

According to CAR (via AutoGuide), the next round of Porsche Boxsters and Caymans will have turbocharged, four-cylinder powerplants ranging from 240 to 370 bhp. Porsche could also position a base model Cayman below the Boxster depending on region.

The British outlet says the Cayman and Boxster will become four-cylinder-only affairs, except for top-end specials such as the GT4.

The new engines will make do with a single fixed-vane turbocharger and measure in from 2 to 2.5 liters in displacement. The base model Boxster and Cayman will produce 240 bhp from its 2-liter turbo. S models will get a 60 bhp bump to 300 bhp from ita 2.5-liter four. GTS models crank up the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine another 70 bhp to 370 bhp.

The 370 bhp, 2.5-liter engine in the GTS will be the most powerful four cylinder money can buy, though not necessarily the most power dense (Mercedes will still wear that crown).

CAR says a base model Cayman could also be priced below the Boxster in order to “increase awareness and boost sales”.

We will likely see the next-generation Boxster and Cayman at 2015 IAA Frankfurt for release in early 2016.

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Volkswagen Surpasses Toyota in Global Auto Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/volkswagen-surpasses-toyota-global-auto-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/volkswagen-surpasses-toyota-global-auto-sales/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1126585 Despite slowdowns in China, Russia and Asia, Volkswagen surpassed Toyota in global auto sales by delivery in the first half of 2015, Automotive News Europe is reporting. Volkswagen sold 5.04 million cars in the first six months of 2015, compared to 5.02 million for Toyota, according to the report. Sales were down 1.5 percent and […]

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Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Despite slowdowns in China, Russia and Asia, Volkswagen surpassed Toyota in global auto sales by delivery in the first half of 2015, Automotive News Europe is reporting.

Volkswagen sold 5.04 million cars in the first six months of 2015, compared to 5.02 million for Toyota, according to the report. Sales were down 1.5 percent and 0.5 percent for Toyota and VW respectively.

GM was the third-largest automaker with 4.86 million vehicles.

Volkswagen capitalized on a growing European market to help offset softening Chinese sales. Passenger-vehicle sales fell for the first time in two years in China as that country’s economy responds to market volatility.

Sales slumped in South America, some Southeast Asia markets and sales in Russia have dramatically declined, the story points out.

Deliveries in North America increased by only 4.4 percent, the smallest margin since the economic recovery began in 2009.

The report is the latest in the saga of “Who Wants To Be The World’s Largest Automaker?” with VW on pace to take the crown three years before their executives forecasted. In May, it looked as if VW would take silver thanks to its ongoing leadership shuffle, but a resurgent European market may help. Meanwhile, Toyota may make up ground after a 10-percent gain in China in the first half, according to the report.

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Mercedes-AMG Teasing More C63 Coupe Because It’s Monday http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-amg-teasing-c63-coupe-monday/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-amg-teasing-c63-coupe-monday/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 18:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1125801 Mercedes-AMG released a new batch of “spy” shots of its C63 coupe testing at Hockenheimring in Germany, AutoGuide is reporting (via Facebook). The coupe, which will be unveiled in August ahead of its first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, looks remarkably similar to the C-Class sedan from which it’s based. The car is […]

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Mercedes-AMG released a new batch of “spy” shots of its C63 coupe testing at Hockenheimring in Germany, AutoGuide is reporting (via Facebook).

The coupe, which will be unveiled in August ahead of its first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, looks remarkably similar to the C-Class sedan from which it’s based.

The car is heavily camouflaged in the photos released on the automaker’s Facebook page. Despite hiding its body, the car will sport a unique front fascia and grille.

Under the hood, Mercedes-AMG is expected to stuff its 4-liter, turbocharged V-8 taken from the AMG sedan. That engine produces 470 horsepower or 503 horsepower depending on specification and is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Power is shifted around corners through a limited-slip differential.

Mercedes-AMG linked the photos to a website counting down the days to the car’s official release on Aug. 19.

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Porsche May Bring Smaller, Electric Panamera-ish Car to Frankfurt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/porsche-may-bring-smaller-electric-panamera-ish-car-frankfurt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/porsche-may-bring-smaller-electric-panamera-ish-car-frankfurt/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 21:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1123433 Porsche may roll out a Tesla-fighting, BMW 5-Series-sized sedan concept at this year’s Frankfurt auto show, L’Automobile Magazine is reporting (via Car and Driver). The smaller sedan would be about a foot shorter than a Panamera, sport an all-electric powertrain — a first for Porsche — and could be offered alongside gasoline, diesel or hybrid-powered engines. Rumors […]

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Porsche may roll out a Tesla-fighting, BMW 5-Series-sized sedan concept at this year’s Frankfurt auto show, L’Automobile Magazine is reporting (via Car and Driver).

The smaller sedan would be about a foot shorter than a Panamera, sport an all-electric powertrain — a first for Porsche — and could be offered alongside gasoline, diesel or hybrid-powered engines.

Rumors about the car, which has been nicknamed “Pajun,” (PA-namera JUN-ior) have been around for some time, but plugging in a motor that runs on electrons and not gasoline would be relatively new for the perpetually speculative car.

The smaller sedan has seemed like a forgone conclusion for the automaker that is expanding into a full-line manufacturer. Even if our own Jack Baruth can’t stand it. 

The Frankfurt show begins Sept. 15.

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How Many Versions of the RS4 Will Audi Make? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/many-versions-rs4-will-audi-make/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/many-versions-rs4-will-audi-make/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1123073 Audi will release a sedan version of its uber-A4 sometime next year, Autocar is reporting. Audi has already confirmed that the RS4 would be released as a wagon because “that is what people expect from the RS4,” head of Audi’s Quattro Heinz Hollerweger told Car and Driver this month. That’s on top of speculation that the RS4 […]

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Audi RS4 Avant. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

Audi will release a sedan version of its uber-A4 sometime next year, Autocar is reporting.

Audi has already confirmed that the RS4 would be released as a wagon because “that is what people expect from the RS4,” head of Audi’s Quattro Heinz Hollerweger told Car and Driver this month.

That’s on top of speculation that the RS4 could come to the States and China as a Sportback, similar to the RS7 already on sale. And, of course, we could always get the RS5 like we did last time.

Regardless of which body goes where, it appears that the RS4 will be powered by a turbocharged V-6 that will pack more than 420 horsepower. The force-fed six appears to be Audi’s performance engine of the future, after bosses said that mill would make an appearance in an upcoming R8.

Audi executives said the RS4 should come earlier in the A4’s lifecycle, perhaps around the same time as the S4, which is expected next year.

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Infiniti Confirms Compact Q30 for Frankfurt Auto Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/infiniti-confirms-compact-q30-frankfurt-auto-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/infiniti-confirms-compact-q30-frankfurt-auto-show/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1121177 Confirming their June confirmation, Infiniti will bring a production-ready version of their compact Q30 to the International Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The compact, which will be built in the United Kingdom, powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbo four that powers the Mercedes GLA and CLA under a joint agreement between Mercedes and Renault-Nissan. The […]

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Infiniti Q30

Confirming their June confirmation, Infiniti will bring a production-ready version of their compact Q30 to the International Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The compact, which will be built in the United Kingdom, powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbo four that powers the Mercedes GLA and CLA under a joint agreement between Mercedes and Renault-Nissan.

The related compact crossover QX30 shouldn’t be far behind.

The Euro-centric compact hatch and crossover may not have been originally slated for sale in the United States, but the recent success of similar models from Mercedes and others may have changed the minds at Infiniti. That, and the sedan may be the new horse carriage.

The Q30 is one of several joint Renault Nissan-Mercedes ventures that will emerge in coming years. The Renault Twingo and Smart Fortwo will share a common platform, and the automakers will swap engines (Renault’s smaller for Mercedes’ larger) in coming cars.

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EU Gains Not Enough to Stave Opel Production Reductions http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/eu-gains-not-enough-to-stave-opel-production-reductions/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/eu-gains-not-enough-to-stave-opel-production-reductions/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 17:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1119321 Recent sales growth in the EU hasn’t been kind to Opel as the group is forced to reduce hours at two German plants. According to Automotive News, Opel will cut production of the Adam and Corsa at Eisenach and Insignia and Zafira Tourer at Ruesselsheim. The move is due to Opel’s exit from the Russian […]

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Opel Bochum - Picture courtesy wa.de

Recent sales growth in the EU hasn’t been kind to Opel as the group is forced to reduce hours at two German plants.

According to Automotive News, Opel will cut production of the Adam and Corsa at Eisenach and Insignia and Zafira Tourer at Ruesselsheim. The move is due to Opel’s exit from the Russian market and what the automaker calls “moderate” gains in the rest of Europe.

However, within the EU, overall sales for all automakers are up 8.2 percent in the first six month of this year and 14.6 percent in June, according to ACEA.

Opel and Honda are the only two automakers to see sales decline within the EU versus the same six month period last year. Opel experienced a 0.7-percent drop in overall group sales in the EU. Honda took an even harder hit with an 7.9-percent decline.

On the other end of the graph, Mitsubishi has posted 57.0-percent growth in the EU, though that percentage is based on relatively low volume compared to others. Nissan is the runner up at 21.6-percent growth while Jaguar-Land Rover (16.9 percent), Daimler (15.0 percent), FCA (12.9 percent) and BMW (12.0 percent) all saw double-digit percentage growth, beating the overall six-month average.

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