TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen Has A Better Slogan and Attitude, BMW Has Less Money, And Honda's Bringing All The Turbos

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Volkswagen’s simple, effective and direct slogan “Das Auto” ist kaput after about a decade of ruining our logic and grammar.

That, and BMW gets spanked by NHTSA, drive like it’s 2008, and more … after the break.

“Das auto” getting the boot

As part of that company’s plan to remake its image, Volkswagen will be getting rid of the ubiquitous “Das Auto.” slogan, Reuters reported ( via Automotoive News).

First appearing in 2007 under then-CEO Martin Winterkorn, the simple — but effective — slogan will now give way to something that appears to show more humility and modesty from a car company that has ground to make up in consumers’ eyes.

Instead of the “The Car.” the new moniker appearing under the VW emblem will be simply “Volkswagen.” — which coincidentally has the same number of letters as “Verzeihung” a German word for sorry.

Actually, maybe “Volkswagen” could just mean “Sorry” from here on out?

And Volkswagen going on charm offensive

At a meeting of 2,000 managers in Dresden, Volkswagen executives said they would be more humble and transparent in their dealings after the company was criticized for being slow to react and standoffish, Reuters reported ( via Automotoive News).

Volkswagen group communications chief Hans-Gerd Bode told reporters that he understood frustrations with the automaker, but said the group never hid anything.

“I can assure you that we certainly did not, at any point, knowingly lie to you,” Bode told reporters, according to Reuters. “We have always tried to give you the information which corresponded to the latest level of our own knowledge at the time.”

That would include vehemently denying ousted CEO Martin Winterkorn was on his way out when he was; denying 3-liter diesels had an illegal “defeat device” when they did; and waiting three months to have their first, official press conference.

So again to the people from the automaker: “Volkswagen.”

BMW agrees to $20M fine for botched Mini recalls

BMW agreed Monday to a consent order and a $20 million fine for its delay in recalling Mini Coopers that failed side impact crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

BMW will pay $10 million to the federal agency and spend $10 million to overhaul its crash reporting system. The automaker could be fined an additional $20 million if it doesn’t comply with terms of a consent order negotiated between the automaker and NHTSA.

“NHTSA has discovered multiple instances in which BMW failed its obligations to its customers, to the public and to safety,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “The Consent Order NHTSA has issued not only penalizes this misconduct, it requires BMW to take a series of steps to remedy the practices and procedures that led to these violations.”

According to the statement, the Mini 2-Door Hardtop Cooper failed to meet side-impact requirements in a crash test. Regulators ordered BMW to conduct a recall to bring those cars into compliance by adding more weight and side-impact protection. When regulators tested the fixes in July 2015, NHTSA discovered that the automaker didn’t actually recall the cars.

BMW to NHTSA: “Volkswagen.”

Make way for the turbonator, make way for the turbonator

Honda is adapting its 1-, 1.5- and 2-liter turbocharged engines for use around the world to replace naturally aspirated engines, one of its chief engineers told Wards Auto (via Jalopnik).

“We have three new gasoline engines — 1-liter, 1.5-liter and 2-liter — which are being adapted to regional needs in North America, Europe and China, all markets where emissions regulations are becoming increasingly stringent,” Keiji Ohtsu told Wards. “In addition, we are focusing on weight reduction, changing V-6 to inline-4 engines and inline 4s to 3-(cylinders).

Ohtsu said Honda’s 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four would eventually give way to the 1.5-liter turbo four.

So, yeah. Honda is probably bringing over the 1-liter turbo three for the Fit, which they didn’t want to talk to us about in October.

“Volkswagen!”

Light, sweet, cheaper-than-ever crude

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is under $2 for the first time since the recession according to AAA.

That’s due to weak global demand and a slowdown in holiday driving, according to the agency. Gas prices are expected to stay low for most of the next few months, before rising slightly before the busy summer travel season.

If it weren’t 20 degrees outside, I’d ask Santa for a Hellcat.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

More by Aaron Cole

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  • FormerFF FormerFF on Dec 22, 2015

    It's not turbonator, it's turboinator. Dr. Doofenschmirtz would be embarrassed if you left out the "i".

  • Gasser Gasser on Dec 22, 2015

    Regular gas hovering around $3/gal. here in Los Angeles. My son, in Mobile, AL, tells me regular is $1.89/gal. Is there any wonder why Prius is still selling here in Southern California??? An extra $1/gal for every gallon pumped for every car in California,for essentially forever. I can't believe that the "special" refineries weren't long since paid for.

    • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Dec 22, 2015

      They are paid for, but one or another is magically "offline" for "repairs" at all times. The artificial constriction by the players dictates the price (See:Enron)

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.
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