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Volkswagen has Adolf Hitler to thank for its start. In 1933 Hitler asked Ferdinand Porsche (yes, that Porsche) to discuss the idea of an affordable car that could carry five people. Prototypes appeared shortly and the KdF-Wagen was released in 1938. The KdF-Wagen would later become known as the Beetle and go on to sell in the millions.
Volkswagen Group wants to give its operation a top-to-bottom shakeup, which means ditching the bureaucratic, centralized ways of the past and positioning itself as a lean, nimble player in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Oh, and there will be tons of electric vehicles. Piles and piles of them.
In its announcement of the TOGETHER – Strategy 2025 plan, the automaker came off sounding more like a tech startup, touting a newfound “entrepreneurial mindset and approach” that will bring the company out of the long shadow of the emissions scandal. Read More >
With its expansion dreams fading fast in the rear-view, Volkswagen needs to shrink and streamline its operations in a hurry, meaning unwanted brands could soon be priced to sell in its driveway.
According to Bloomberg, the automaker plans to conduct a wide-ranging strategy and portfolio review, with details of the strategy expected to go public tomorrow. An asset sale could be in the works, and insiders are already hinting at which brands will be dropped. Read More >
As the Environmental Protection Agency readied charges against Volkswagen, the automaker’s employees were told to remove evidence related to the diesel emissions scandal, German media reports claim.
The New York Times says several Volkswagen employees told investigators that just before the scandal broke, someone in a “supervisory position” told them indirectly to remove evidence of the emissions-cheating defeat devices installed in millions of diesel vehicles. Read More >
Volkswagen can start hauling the first of 800,000 Passat, CC and Eos models off of European streets after a German regulator granted approval to the automaker’s diesel emissions fix.
The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) says there’s nothing wrong with the plan to bring 2.0-liter diesel versions of those models into compliance with pollution laws. No doubt Volkswagen execs are happy to cross off another thing off their “to do” list. Read More >
If you want the best chances of being treated right as a new car buyer, head over to a Toyota or Mercedes-Benz dealer, a new report says.
Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm, ranked 294 companies, including 20 auto dealers, based on satisfaction surveys from 10,000 Americans. While Toyota took the top spot with a 66 percent rating, the report holds bad news for many automakers, and the industry as a whole. Read More >
If there was ever a hermetically sealed time capsule of a car, this is it. And we can thank an old, religious Italian man who hated driving for keeping it so fresh.
A beyond pristine 1974 Volkswagen Beetle, once a common sight on roadways everywhere, just sold at Silverstone Auctions in Denmark for a price that would make an original buyer choke on their Tab. Did they get a good deal? It depends on how much value you put on “perfect.” Read More >
Volkswagen, as it slides further into sales bedlam, has decided the best thing to boost its profile in America is a pink Beetle with a hashtag for a name.
I wish I was making this up.
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The diesel emissions scandal can’t be blamed for all of Volkswagen’s sales woes.
Today, the automaker announced first-quarter profits fell 86 percent compared to the same time last year, not surprising given its sidelined diesel models, the hit to its reputation, and a hastily cobbled together $18.2 billion scandal fund.
Worldwide sales of Volkswagen passenger cars fell 1.3 percent (year-over-year) this quarter, but the scandal doesn’t tell the whole story. That number would have been in positive territory if select countries weren’t grab-your-money-and-get-out economic disasters. Read More >
America — would you buy a modern Škoda?
According to AutoGuide, Škoda submitted four separate trademark applications for “Skoda Superb”, “Superb”, “Octavia”, and “Yeti” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 24 and May 25, 2016. USPTO has yet to publish them for opposition.
While this is nothing new for Škoda (the company has continually filed trademarks in America since the 1920s), it’s worth noting what the company applied to trademark compared to what it usually trademarks.
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First-quarter earnings just released by Volkswagen Group show a massive hit to the company’s namesake brand, all thanks to fallout from the diesel emissions scandal.
Profit at Volkswagen passenger cars fell 86 percent to 73 million euros ($81 million), down from 514 million euros last year. That plunge leaves the brand with a nano particle-thin operating margin of 0.3 percent.
Still, the scandal isn’t a killing blow for the company. Why? Investment advisers aren’t lying when they say diversity is key to weathering shocks. Read More >