Volkswagen must be enjoying watching its rival squirm on the end of the same hook.
German regulators have singled out GM’s Opel division over carbon dioxide emissions from some of its vehicles, but the automaker says it isn’t in the wrong.
Facing accusations that it used a ‘defeat device’ to shut off emissions controls, Opel must now submit information to an investigating committee. During a meeting yesterday, Opel executives admitted that the popular Zafira model has software that shuts down exhaust treatment systems at high speeds and altitudes. (Read More…)
Rumors have swirled for months that Opel would be implicated in the dieselgate scandal. Over the weekend, serious allegations took flight that Opel does in fact use defeat devices in two diesel models.
Opel has been summoned to appear in front of the German Transport Ministry investigative committee this week to answer claims that its cars are capable of skirting emissions laws.
Der Spiegel reported last week the Opel Astra was found to contain software that will deactivate emissions control systems when the outside temperature is either below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) or above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Additionally, it discovered the emissions systems do not work when engine speed exceed 2,400 rpm, the car is moving faster than 145 km/h, or ambient air pressure is less than 915 millibar, which would indicate an elevation of more than 850 meters.
After years of covering the automotive industry, I’m still amused by the enormous gulf between auto enthusiasts and “real people.” (I’m talking to you, B&B!) We get excited when Honda decides to offer a manual transmission in the V6 Accord, despite the tens of buyers who will come running for it, or General Motors’ confidence to sell the Chevrolet SS here at all. “Real people” like it when there’s a less expensive way to get into a BMW M product, as well as the ability to go into a showroom and walk out the same day with the same nameplate they know and trust.
A great example of this chasm/schism is the Buick Cascada. Here’s how we imagine the reaction of each affinity group:
Auto enthusiasts/press: “Buick’s decided to rebadge an aging Opel and try to pass it off in the United States as The New Thing in the segment abandoned by the Volkswagen Eos and Chrysler 200 convertible?”
Real people: “There’s a convertible Buick now?”
Volkswagen shareholders are wondering if they’ll be receiving a lump of coal in their dividend stocking this year.
That, Sergio is seeking a partner (but not those French guys), NASCAR’s Derek White is in trouble north of the border, GM seals the deal with a startup, and no Baby Buick for you … after the break!
If you live in the north, you might consider taking your kids tobogganing on Tesla’s NASDAQ trend line.
That, GM wants less rentals, “Imported from Detroit” becomes “Deported from Auburn Hills,” automakers fear the Brexit, and rage grows around pointless concept cars … after the break!
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has released its Greenest and Meanest cars for 2016 — and it’s bookended by vehicles from Daimler.
That, Europe wants to open up ECU code, Bosch says “You wouldn’t understand, so why bother?” and GayWheels takes aim at a possibly tasteless German Opel advert about, erm, rear-ending … after the break!
A Dutch journalist said Opel dealers are secretly updating emissions control software to bring into compliance cars equipped with the 1.6-liter diesel engine, disguising the fix as an unrelated software update.
Opel issued a statement strongly denying that it was changing emissions of its cars.
Dutch news site VRT News said it tested two cars with and without the updates and said emissions of nitrogen oxides were significantly reduced — more than half in one car and by three-quarters in another car.
Investors say Volkswagen should have told the world they were cheating earlier because then they could have bought more Apple stock.
That, Mercedes-Benz prices new E-Class in Europe, BMW’s bigger i3 battery and Jeep soars in Europe … after the break!
General Motors on Thursday denied that its own internal testing revealed the Opel Zafira 1.6-liter diesel flouted European emissions and fuel economy standards, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).
A German news magazine program, Monitor, said officials at Opel knew its midsize crossover polluted up to 15-percent more carbon dioxide than advertised, and that the automaker knew its fuel claims couldn’t be substantiated. The report also said that separate testing at a Swiss facility showed the Zafira exceeded advertised fuel consumption and emissions by 20 percent.
Or, in other words: Another chapter in the “Everyone Cheated/Just Volkswagen Cheated” saga.
Thomas Sedran, former interim head of Opel and General Motors’ European chief for Cadillac and Chevrolet brands, will join embattled automaker Volkswagen as head of group strategy, according to the automaker.
Sedran was head of Opel in 2012 when that automaker shuttered a plant in Bochum, Germany. Sedran was president and managing director of Cadillac and Chevrolet brands in Europe until June, when he joined global consulting firm Accenture.
According to Volkswagen, Sedran will take over Nov. 1 and report directly to new CEO Matthias Müller.
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.
They call it the first A-segment CUV in the world, which should be enough to make you run in the opposite direction. An SUV the size of a Fiat 500 is something that should never exist on any planet I want to live on. But, surprisingly, after driving one for a week, I realized that it may, in fact, have a point and a purpose.
And I came close to answering the crucial question – would Opel Adam Rocks make a good Buick David? Or would it be better to import something bigger?
Thanks to a leak from GM Europe, this is the next-generation 2016 Opel Astra before its planned debut later this year at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Only the five-door hatchback model is shown in the leaked batch, though Opel does plan to offer other variants, including a sedan, wagon and a hotted-up version.
Now, let’s see if engineers at Buick here in North America can figure out how to replace the Opel lightning logo with their own tri-shield.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne believes consolidation will occur as early as 2018. Meanwhile, Opel won’t be taking FCA’s hand in marriage.
Saturn needed some new models by the late 1990s, and so GM spent a billion or so bucks to make an Americanized, plastic-bodied Opel Vectra and called it the L-Series. The L, which went through a bewildering series of model-name changes during its 2000-2005 production run, never sold very well and more or less sank without a trace. That makes it historically interesting, in sort of a run-up-to-the-bankruptcy way, much like the 2001 Pontiac Aztek Junkyard Find we saw yesterday. Yes, we’re having 21st Century Junkyard Find Week! (Read More…)