If you were to take a moment to ponder the death of the wagon in America and had to put a timeline on when it all started, quite a few people would wager it arrived in the 1990s. That timeline makes a lot of sense, since that’s when the SUV craze really started to take off. But there isn’t a specific date when it all came crashing down, and that’s frustrating as a historian.
We can nail down the end of the Roman Empire to the year that Odoacer overthrew Romulus Augustus (476, if you were concerned), but there was never an “okay, no more wagons starting now” moment in our country.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the longroof market in the Naughts.
Volkswagen AG is making nice with its once-ornery U.S. dealer network to the tune of $1.85 million per dealer.
The automaker announced details of its $1.21 billion dealer settlement late yesterday, Reuters reports, with cash payouts to its 652 dealers spread out over the next 18 months. Meanwhile, once-loyal Volkswagen owners have hopped on the buyout bandwagon in big numbers. (Read More…)
After the awkward auto show apologies of the past year, Volkswagen executives are looking forward to a rosy time in the near future after the brand stabilizes itself.
Those “good times” will return, according to global brand chief Herbert Diess, but not before three to four years of rough slogging. In a Bloomberg TV interview from the Paris Auto Show, Diess mulled adding new models to its U.S. lineup. (Read More…)
Looking something like an unborn child peering with sightless eyes from inside an amniotic sack, the Volkswagen I.D. concept vehicle has been revealed ahead of the Paris Auto Show.
The description is apt, as Volkswagen sees the I.D. as an embryo, heralding a long-range electric vehicle slated for production within four years. (Read More…)
It has been a year since we learned that Volkswagen’s tranquil and oh-so-green “clean diesel” utopia was actually a carefully constructed facade hiding a scorched wasteland of pollution and lies. Apparently, that doesn’t mean the jokes need to stop.
The scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research has awarded the financially hurting automaker with a notorious prize that most recipients usually build a fun evening around. It’s extremely, no, absolutely likely that Volkswagen didn’t appreciate the humor. (Read More…)
How much can we chop away while keeping the body alive?
The U.S. Justice Department’s plans for Volkswagen’s criminal fine is like a horror movie, only with corporate finances playing the role of a writhing human subject.
According to two sources close to the negotiations, the DOJ wants to extract as much monetary lifeblood from the automaker as possible, while keeping the company afloat, Bloomberg reports. (Read More…)
After German media reported his suspension last week, Audi announced today technical development boss Stefan Knirsch is stepping down and leaving the automaker.
The executive, who sat on Audi’s management board, found himself caught up in the investigation surrounding Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. Meanwhile, a German newspaper claims that newly discovered documents show ex-Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn mislead U.S. authorities before the scandal broke. (Read More…)
Move over Chevrolet, Ram and Ford?
It’s hard to say if American van and truck builders have anything to worry about after the head of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles division publicly mused about jumping into the U.S. market. (Read More…)
Despite witnesses claiming Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was involved in the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the law firm investigating the company has reportedly found no evidence to support the claim.
According to company sources, U.S. law firm Jones Day found nothing that suggests the company chairman had any prior knowledge of the brand’s rigged diesel engines, Reuters reports. (Read More…)
The recent news that Volkswagen is pondering an all-wheel-drive Golf for U.S. customers surprised many.
“All-wheel drive is now part of the Volkswagen DNA,” commented Dr. Hendrik Muth of Volkswagen at the U.S. launch of the Alltrack.
That means Volkswagen will be taking on Subaru, the reigning king of all-wheel drive for the masses in the U.S. And since the Golf is already fairly dear in price, adding an all-wheel-drive option to the hatch will make Volkswagen’s compact a near-luxury item. At that price, why wouldn’t you just buy an Audi? It’s the brand with the all-wheel-drive expertise in the VAG clan.
But the reality of an all-wheel-drive Golf is now 20 years old.
Let’s take a look back at nine of the more interesting pre-Alltrack, pre-4Motion versions of the Golf that most U.S. customers have never even heard of.