Hackenberg hints on future cars, with the members of the social media in rapt attention
Volkswagen plans to use the 0.8 liter diesel hybrid drivetrain from its futuristic, ultra-efficient and ultra-expensive (no pricing announced) XL1 two-seater in a future regular small car, Volkswagen’s R&D Chief Ulrich Hackenberg said today in an interview in Wolfsburg’s Autostadt. Said Hackenberg: (Read More…)
Hackenberg talks to reporters from SAE Magazine and Fortune …
“It is good for the future of diesel in the USA that a domestic producer also uses a diesel engine,” said Volkswagen’s R&D Chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg today. “If the volume of diesel engines is increasing, then it makes sense to produce diesel engines in the U.S.A. That would be great for us and the customer,” Hackenberg said. (Read More…)
This is day one of the Wolfsburg tour, where your BS returns to the scene of his former crimes. I came in on a 12 hours JAL flight from Tokyo. I was picked at Hannover Airport by an Iranian driver with a black Multivan. Imagine, this is the place where I was running through the parking garage in the olden days, looking for a Phaeton with the keys hidden in the exhaust pipe.
Last week, I had a few very interesting discussions with a few very famous people, and I should not keep them to myself. The discussions were about one of my pet peeves, the supposedly closed Japanese car market, and the allegedly manipulated Japanese currency. Some very knowledgeable people I talked to were convinced it’s true. Other very knowledgeable folks said it’s utter baloney. In a rare display of balanced reporting, I will bring you both. And as they say, we purport, you decide.
J.D. Power published its 2013 Initial Quality Study IQS, and a miracle happened: Chevrolet jumped 10 spots to number 5. The GMC brand even sits in #2. In the real world, that puts GMC and Chevrolet in Place 2, along with Lexus and Infiniti.
Susan Docherty, a life-long career woman at GM, suddenly wants to stay at home with her husband and 13 year old son, or so GM wants us to believe. According to Selim Bingol’s troops, Docherty “announced her intention to leave General Motors to spend time with her family, effective September 30.” Docherty is 49, that’s no retirement age.
Three years ago, Ed Niedermeyer and TTAC was “looking forward to her departure from General Motors.” Now his wish is fulfilled. In the tradition of Farago’s death watches, things always take a little longer than expected at GM, but eventually, they happen. Usually, they happen too late. (Read More…)
As we all know, the European car market is in bad shape. France, one of Europe’s volume markets, is especially hard hit. The month of May was no exception. The French market was down 10.3 percent. Red ink and nose blood was running just about everywhere. Everywhere except Fiat. Fiat, the Italian patient, looks amazingly alive in France. Their passenger vehicle sales were up a whopping 12.3 percent in May and 6 percent for the first five months. In a market that tanks, just staying afloat would be a big deal. Double digit is huge. It was, until the scrappy auto site 7pm-auto.fr started digging. They found that the growth was made by dealers buying their own cars. (Read More…)
Konnichi wa: Hackenberg at the Tokyo Motor Show 2011, the same day Toyota announced its alliance with BMW
Uh-oh: Audi is running out of good ideas. Last year, Audi’s R&D chief Michael Dick (his real name) was sacked and replaced by Wolfgang Dürrheimer. Now Dürrheimer has to go. Hackenberg is dispatched to whip Audi in shape. (Read More…)
“Nissan Motor Co.’s take-no-prisoners approach to gaining U.S. market share has the auto industry worried that a price war is brewing that will erode the profit progress made since the recession ravaged auto sales.”
According to the Detroit paper, Nissan’s recent price reductions are
“the first sign of a Japanese automaker taking advantage of the weakening yen that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed down to improve Japan’s economy. That currency’s 15 percent swoon versus the dollar since Oct. 31 gives Japanese automakers an extra $1,500 per car they can use to cut prices or offer additional features while keeping prices even.”
It’s only a sign if you are both blind and fact-resistant.