Tag: Volkswagen

By on April 15, 2016

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

More autonomy is coming to North American Volkswagen operations, thanks in part to dealer protests calling for exactly that.

Today, Volkswagen established a new North American Region (NAR) encompassing Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, headed by no-longer-interim Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO Hinrich J. Woebcken (who replaced departing CEO Michael Horn in March). (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2016

Nazi Volkswagen decal

Volkswagen gets a lot of unflattering press these days, but a faction of the automaker’s fan base seems determined to malign its name even more.

A disturbing subculture exists on the fringes of the Volkswagen fanboy community, and it manifests itself in decals and not-so-subtle window stickers that feature Nazi imagery.

Most normal, reasonable people would want to avoid associating themselves with a man who can claim responsibility for causing the deaths of about 70 million people, but there’s weirdos out there, and some of them are really keen on their Volkswagens. Frankly, it’s as depressing as the atmosphere inside the Fuhrerbunker, circa early May, 1945. (Read More…)

By on April 14, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Beetle Classic, Image: Volkswagen Group of America

Compared with February 2016, March 2016’s U.S. sales at the Volkswagen brand jumped 21 percent.

So everything’s back to normal, right? The diesel emissions scandal’s impact has clearly waned, right? Volkswagen’s U.S. team obviously figured out how to market, price, and stock a gas-only lineup, right?

No. This is why we examine an automaker’s sales volume on a year-over-year basis, and why understanding the seasonality of the auto business is essential. (Read More…)

By on April 11, 2016

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller is expected to cave to shareholder and labor pressure today and ask that his management board agree to trim their bonuses by 30 percent, insider sources have told Reuters.

Will it satisfy dealers and vehicle owners stuck with depreciated rolling stock? Not. Bloody. Likely.

The request, if it comes to pass, comes after workers unions and the state of Lower Saxony (Volkswagen’s home and its second-largest shareholder) protested the idea of senior management receiving full compensation while the diesel emissions scandal continues to rage.

(Read More…)

By on April 10, 2016

Volkswagen Jetta TDI emissions test, Image: University of West Virginia

Oscar-nominated documentarian and businessman Steve Kalafer is again putting on his producer hat in his latest project, called “Backfire: The Volkswagen Fraud of the Century,” a documentary that aims to find the truth behind the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, reports Automotive News.

And he’s the perfect person to do it: Kalafer is also a Volkswagen dealer.

(Read More…)

By on April 8, 2016

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, has been hit with a second lawsuit from a U.S. law firm that represents owners of diesel vehicles, despite recent evidence that could render the suit invalid.

The suit from now-familiar firm Hagens Berman accuses the German automaker of employing an emissions “defeat device,” a la Volkswagen, in its diesel vehicles, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).

The suit alleges the device must be the cause of laboratory emissions test results that show higher nitrogen oxide emissions than during real-world tests.

(Read More…)

By on April 7, 2016

Volkswagen TDI

Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess has a target on his back, now that the union representing the automaker’s workers has made its distrust of the company public.

Labor union IG Metall slammed the company’s management in a letter published on its website, stating the company was using the diesel emissions scandal as a way of cutting staff, according to Bloomberg.

The union said it wants assurances from Volkswagen brass that layoffs aren’t coming down the pipe, and implied that Diess’ job is in danger if he doesn’t agree to protect employee positions.

(Read More…)

By on April 7, 2016

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

The Napleton Automotive Group of Illinois tread a well-worn path to its lawyers yesterday, this time filing a suit against Volkswagen for damaging its business model.

Three Volkswagen dealerships owned by Napelton filed the suit, which seeks class-action status, alleging the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal amounts to “criminal racketeering,” Automotive News has reported.

(Read More…)

By on April 6, 2016

1969 Volkswagen Beetle in California junkyard, LH Front View - © 2016 Murilee Martin

The production run of the Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle, which was built using essentially the same design from 1938 through 2003, will never be surpassed; the runner-up Morris Oxford II/Hindustan Ambassador was made from 1954 through 2014, and we feel fairly sure that the Chinese Communist Party will put a stop to Chinese production of the first-gen Kia Pride/Ford Festiva long before it beats the Beetle in the year 2053.

I see quite a few Beetles during my junkyard travels, but rarely photograph them. This one, found in a San Francisco Bay Area self-serve yard, had enough of a story to tell that I felt compelled to document it. (Read More…)

By on April 3, 2016

Herbert Diess, Image: Image: RudolfSimon (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. will get more vehicles to sell this year and next, but there’s still no word on possible reparations or when to expect a diesel emissions fix.

At a meeting with dealers at the National Auto Dealers Association convention on Saturday, Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess promised to “redefine” the brand and boost shipments of popular models, Automotive News has reported.

The meeting aimed to calm the fears of increasingly frustrated dealers while providing some certainty about product strategy. Despite promising to carry on with the strategy favored by departed Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn, Diess’ reassurances didn’t win over everyone.

(Read More…)

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