There’s not a more uncomfortable phone call for a car dealership’s finance manager to make then asking a customer to come back to have their finance or lease contract rewritten. This is typically caused by sales managers — the people most despised by finance departments — who spot deliver a vehicle based on their wrong guess about the rate or term a lender would approve the deal. Needless to say, the vast majority of these rewrites result in a higher monthly payment for the customer.
A couple of years ago, a finance manager at a Los Angeles Mercedes-Benz dealer told me and a Mercedes-Benz Financial colleague of mine about the day he picked up the phone to fix the opposite situation: the dealership had miscalculated the taxes on a client’s lease on a black ML350 Bluetec SUV and they needed the client to return and sign a new lease agreement reflecting payments of $14 per month lower than the original contract.
He called the customer with the good news only to hear, “No no no! Payment good. Payment good. We OK!”
After he hung up, he thought, “We just got snookered. That ML is probably on a slow boat to China and the factory is going to kill us.” (Read More…)
German transportation authority KBA on Thursday ordered the mandatory recall of 2.4 million Volkswagen cars with illegally polluting diesel engines, in part, because the German automaker’s proposed timetable wasn’t fast enough, Automotive News reported.
The forced recall will mean Volkswagen would likely spend more to fix its cars faster and German officials have told the automaker to submit a proposed fix by the end of November. Volkswagen initially planned for a voluntary recall to begin next year.
Authorities in Switzerland and Austria followed Germany and announced the forced recall would apply to those cars too, Bloomberg reported.
In a prepared statement released ahead of congressional testimony Thursday, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn said the automaker knew of emissions issues last spring when West Virginia University researchers published findings that the automaker’s cars were illegally polluting. (Emphasis mine.)
In the spring of 2014 when the West Virginia University study was published, I was told that there was a possible emissions non-compliance that could be remedied. I was informed that EPA regulations included various penalties for non-compliance with the emissions standards and that the agencies can conduct engineering tests which could include “defeat device” testing or analysis. I was also informed that the company engineers would work with the agencies to resolve the issue.
(Should have followed up a little more on that email, probably.)
Volkswagen’s pain parade marches on, this time to Switzerland, which has temporarily banned sales of the automaker’s diesels.
Justin Hyde at Yahoo Autos has fine, fine reporting that U.S. taxpayers paid more than $20 million in incentives for Volkswagen diesel models under the “Cash for Clunkers” program.
According to the report, 4,599 VW Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen diesel cars qualified for the maximum $4,500 incentive under the program. Those cars were equipped with a 2-liter turbocharged diesel engine that the Environmental Protection Agency said used an illegal defeat device to cheat emissions.
The Yahoo report follows a report by the L.A. Times that shows that more than $51 million was paid to Volkswagen by the U.S. for now-bogus “green” claims. (Read More…)
Amid slumping sales and a snowballing diesel-emissions crisis, Volkswagen announced Monday a plan to offer more money to dealers for cars that they can sell.
Over the weekend, Volkswagen issued a stop-sale for cars equipped with their 2-liter diesel engine after admitting the those cars cheated to pass emissions test. According to Automotive News, a Sept. 21 letter from Volkswagen to its dealers offered $300 bonus cash for every new car sold and $600 for every Passat sold. (The Passat is the already second-best deal in America right now, according to Kelley Blue Book.)
In addition to the bonus cash, dealers will also receive a bonus totaling 1 percent of sticker from each new vehicle sold in the third and fourth quarters.
“In light of recent events, we are committed to taking actions which will stabilize your profitability in the near-term,” Volkswagen U.S. chief Michael Horn said in the memo, according to Automotive News. “We understand the pressure these recent events have put your business under and we are committed to providing you support.”
We’ve said the next Jeep Wrangler would have diesel power, as well as an eight-speed auto. Now, both will be paired with each other.
Hoping for diesel power in the new Toyota Tacoma? You can breathe now.
Want a diesel in your Land Rover or Jaguar XE, yet live in the United States? Jaguar Land Rover has heard you loud and clear.
Say farewell to the Subaru 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer, as the automaker is considering smaller engines with turbos, among other options.