It’s hard not to look at the newly announced Volkswagen Beetle Dune and hear at the same time that Volkswagen will be saving $2 billion by cutting unnecessary trims and variants from their lineup.
I mean, it’s like they’re not even giving the little guy a chance.
Nonetheless, Bloomberg (via Automotive News) reported Friday that Volkswagen will axe trims and variants of its cars to reduce complexity and cost from its lineup to help pay for the company’s massive emissions scandal. Bernd Osterloh, Volkswagen’s labor chief, told journalists Friday that the company has needed to trim some of its fat for a while, apparently.
Detroit automakers may be betting high-profit SUVs and trucks are a better fit for their domestic plants as those automakers shift production away from cars to make room for larger, high-margin vehicles.
Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will largely shift production of their cars to Mexico and bring more trucks and SUVs to North American facilities, according to their contracts with the United Auto Workers, Automotive News reported.
The report consolidates production planning schedules included in UAW contracts with domestic automakers, which shows automakers’ plans to move some of their cars to Mexico or overseas. Of the Big Three, General Motors will sell the most domestically produced cars in North America, including the Malibu, Impala, Sonic, Bolt and Volt, although the small-car plant recently announced a slowing production schedule. Ford will still produce the Mustang and Fusion at its Flat Rock plant in Michigan. (Read More…)
I have a 2009 Nissan Xterra 4WD with 69,000 miles on the clock. It has been very well maintained and caused me no problems whatsoever. Hell, I’m still running on the original brakes and my service people tell me there’s no need for a brake job yet! I’ve been very happy with this truck. But, Nissan discontinued the Xterra in August 2015 and I’m wondering if I should sell mine now (because factory-only parts will become harder and harder to get) or keep it.
Lexus won’t be building cars in China anytime soon due the automaker’s concerns regarding production quality, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
“There’s too much quality risk in China to produce there,” said Takashi Yamamoto, executive vice president of Lexus International.
Did you hear that mic drop? Hello? Anyone there?
Volkswagen will still invest $900 million in its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant despite company-wide cost cutting from its diesel disaster, the automaker announced Thursday.
The company had long planned on a mid-size, three-row SUV to compete in the U.S.. However, those plans were upended when the Environmental Protection Agency announced in September that Volkswagen’s diesels had been illegally polluting, and the company shed billions from its value in following days.
The three-row SUV, which may follow closely Volkswagen’s CrossBlue Concept, was announced last year for the Tennessee plant. Volkswagen said it would begin building the SUV at the end of 2016. (Read More…)
The Dodge Viper will end production in 2017 when the current model expires, according to approved language included in the United Auto Workers’ contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
According to Automotive News, the Conner Avenue plant, which makes the sportscar, doesn’t have future product planned beyond 2017, effectively sealing the fate for the flagging car. The Viper was re-launched in 2011 after a three-year hiatus and has struggled ever since.
According to one Chattanooga factory worker on the TDI Club forum, Volkswagen is ramping up production of the new Passat TDI despite not being certified by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding its emissions.
The new 2016 Passat, which will launch later this year, is equipped with three different engines — a 1.8-liter turbocharged and a 3.6-liter V-6 gasoline engines, and a 2-liter diesel engine. The poster said those cars already built and equipped with the TDI engine are missing significant portions of their front fascia as they come off the assembly line.
The Passats in question are missing headlights, grilles and front bumpers, said the poster.
Ram production will be coming back to the United States and car production moving to FCA’s Mexican operations, Automotive News is reporting citing anonymous sources.
The news comes just days after FCA and the UAW tentatively agreed to a new national contract while locals continue to hammer out the finer details at the plant level. According to the report, there will also be some movement of products within U.S. borders between FCA plants.
As the price of oil and gas sinks to below $50/barrell, so does Russia’s economy. The former Soviet state, highly dependant on oil and gas revenues for growth, is expected to experience economic shrinkage between 3.4 and 6 percent this year. That isn’t good if you’re doing business in rubles and some automakers are beating a hasty retreat.
Like Ford and Hyundai-Kia, Mazda is sticking it out in Russia with their manufacturing partner Sollers (which is also the manufacturing partner of Ford since 2011). The two have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin assessing a new engine plant in the country.
Toyota will keep a plant in China closed until at least Aug. 26 as it waits for conditions to improve after an explosion there killed more than 120 people, the Detroit News is reporting.
The Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin, China injured 67 Toyota employees nearby and damaged 4,700 Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The plant in Tianjin, which produces Crown, Reiz, Corolla and Vios cars, is responsible for roughly half of Toyota’s annual production in China.
“We will only restart operations when we have been able to confirm the safety of our facilities and their surroundings, and when our employees feel that they can once again go to work in a safe environment,” the company said in an email, according to Reuters.