The Truth About Cars » Volkswage The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:25:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Volkswage Volkswagen Plans India Specific Models Wed, 13 Mar 2013 17:09:00 +0000

While Volkswagen is soaring high in most countries, its India innings have been far from successful. Everybody keeps talking about China and India being the next big automobile markets in the world. The truth is, China has already peaked, while India has a long way to go. For instance, Volkswagen sold 2.8 million units in China last year, while in India, they sold less than 100,000 (which is their plant capacity).

We all know the Polo and Volkswagen sells the Polo sedan in India, badged as the Vento. In India, cars under 4-meters in length, having an engine capacity of less than 1200cc (gasoline) and 1500cc (diesel) are subjected to lesser excise duty. Savings can be in excess of $1000, which is crucial for mass market cars. Thus Volkswagen has decided to reduce the length of the Vento to under 4-meters (rendered above). The regular Vento measures 4.38-meters in length.

Volkswagen will have to give the compact Vento smaller engines. Currently the Vento draws power from 1.6-litre gasoline and diesel engines. The company could use the 1.2-litre TSI engine which will soon be launched in the Polo TSI. Volkswagen is also considering the development of a compact SUV and MPV on the Polo/Vento platform (PQ25). The company is working on a 1.5-litre diesel engine, which will help them to get their diesel cars classify as small cars in India.

Now chopping off the boot to reduce the length is not a first as many car makers have already done it. Mahindra is developing a sub 4-metre Verito (Logan), while Maruti Suzuki has launched the Swift sedan (DZire) as a sub 4-metre vehicle. This trend of developing vehicles under 4-metres is also seen in the compact SUV segment, where Ford is soon going to launch the under 4-meters EcoSport.

Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of, a website covering the automobile industry of India.

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Veedub Has The Hands-Free Car Thu, 23 Jun 2011 11:32:19 +0000

We (well, some of us) await the autonomous auto that leaves the driving to a robot, such as not to distract us from twittering and uploading pictures of our cats to our facebookies. That technology is not quite there yet. Volkswagen however thinks  “an important milestone on the path towards fully automatic and accident-free driving” has been set. So said Volkswagen’s Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold at the final presentation of the EU research project HAVEit (Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport – who comes up with that stuff?)

Leohold is the Executive Director of Volkswagen Group Research. He presented the “Temporary Auto Pilot” by Volkswagen: TAP can drive a car hands-free up to a speed of 130 kilometers per hour on freeways.

TAP keeps a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, drives at a speed selected by the driver, reduces the speed as necessary before a curve, and maintains lane discipline. The system also observes overtaking rules and speed limits. Stop and start driving maneuvers in traffic jams are also automated. With TAP, it is possible to drive at speeds of up to 130 kilometres per hour on motorways or similar roads. Probably as a nod to Volkswagen’s legal department, “drivers must still continually focus their attention on the road, so that they can intervene in safety-critical situations at any time.”

TAP is still a prototype. However, Volkswagen says it is  “based on a relatively production-like sensor platform, consisting of production-level radar-, camera-, and ultrasonic-based sensors supplemented by a laser scanner and an electronic horizon.”

Leohold thinks “one conceivable scenario for its initial use might be in monotonous driving situations, e.g. in traffic jams or over sections of a driving route that are exceedingly speed-limited.”

But then, there could be a host of other situations where such a system could be beneficial: Reaching for a moving object, insect in vehicle, applying makeup, not to forget other personal hygiene.



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Volkswagen And Isuzu Are At It Again Thu, 21 Apr 2011 18:39:50 +0000

When the first rumors of a possible tie-up between Volkswagen and Isuzu were floating around, they were vigorously denied by Isuzu, and meekly (“currently not on the agenda”) denied by Volkswagen. Here they are again. The Nikkei [sub] writes without the usual qualifications that „Isuzu Motors Ltd. and Volkswagen AG have begun negotiating a tie-up involving the mutual supply of truck engines and related technologies, a move that could create a formidable force in emerging markets.”

According to the report, if that engine deal progresses well, “they will also consider acquiring stakes in each other.”

The Nikkei heard that “Isuzu would supply midsize diesel engines to Volkswagen, while the German automaker would provide advanced technologies to the Japanese partner. They would also begin joint procurement of engine components.”

When they say midsize, they are talking truck engines, a 7-liter-class diesel engine for commercial vehicles produced by Volkswagen group firms, such as MAN SE.

Toyota still holds a 5.9 percent stake in Isuzu.

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Shanghai Autoshow: The CEO Dilemma Tue, 19 Apr 2011 16:31:10 +0000

Due to some adroit planning, important auto shows in the world’s largest market and the world’s second largest fall in the same week this year. CEOs of the world’s top automakers have a dilemma: Shanghai or New York?

European and Japanese carmakers know where their bread is buttered. They went to China. A massive show of police force was the first indicator that today would be a day of very important people..

Some last glitches needed to be fixed at the Volkswagen display. Did anyone say that there are electrical problems?

The brand was also polished. After that, everything was a go.

This morning, one of the first press conferences was given by Volkswagen. The teleprompter gave away who would be coming.

CEO Martin Winterkorn and his board were in full attendance in China. Here, Winterkorn is getting last instructions for the speech.

Which were promptly ignored. The brief was. “Smile!”


R&D Chef Ulrich Hackenberg presented the new New Beetle.

Volkswagen China’s sales chief Soh Weiming also had his appearance – on a concept for an electric scooter. As if China doesn’t have enough of the things. But possibly, Volkswagen wants to break into that market also. Billions of units could be sold.

“Come on, Uli, let’s go over to Audi.”

At Audi, something seemed in need of an unveiling.

A little more than planned was unveiled, but you needed a motor drive to spot the wardrobe malfunction.

It’s the Audi Q3. Finally.

Presented by Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.

Nissan sent its CEO, Carlos Ghosn.

Renault sent its CEO, Carlos Ghosn (here photographed when visiting the Nissan booth.)

On Monday, The Nikkei [sub] was still wondering whether Akio Toyoda would go to Shanghai. Not because they thought he would go to New York. The Nikkei gathered Toyota’s CEO might be busy managing the aftermath of the March 11 tsunami. And indeed, “I was conflicted about my trip to China right up until the time of my departure,” Toyoda said.

However, the Shanghai tour became a little dangerous for Toyoda. After a perilous climb on top of the roof on the Reiz concept …

… Toyota slipped and nearly crashed to the floor, would two Chinese ladies, who apparently are as strong as they are beautiful, not have intervened.

And the Americans? Let’s just say that Ford sent its Asia and Pacific Chief Joe Hinrichs.

Along with Ford’s Director for Global Electrification, Nancy Gioia.

So now you know how the CEO dilemma was handled at select carmakers. This report does not claim completeness. At the Shanghai Auto Show, sometimes ten press events are scheduled in parallel. The lone reporter has to perform triage and pick one. Speaking of reporters: At an intimate round-table, hosted by Toyota for select media, an American reporter asked whether Toyoda would go to the New York Auto Show. Masami Doi, General Manager for global communications, bit his tongue and answered: “We don’t comment on the CEO’s travel schedule.”


i Q3. Finally.
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