TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen Finished Second in China, Big Trouble for Takata, and Apple's Longtime Car Guy Gone

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
ttac news round up volkswagen finished second in china big trouble for takata and

Volkswagen’s chief in China says they’re probably not retaking the crown from General Motors there anytime soon.

That, Apple’s lead car guy is gone, Takata’s in trouble and more … after the break!

Volkswagen’s China chief: ‘Volume isn’t everything’

Volkswagen’s chief in China said the automaker would have a good year in China and deflected any sales race with General Motors by saying “volume isn’t everything,” according to Reuters.

Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen in China, told reporters that the company would focus on resale and residual values in the country — not sheer numbers.

GM surpassed VW last year in sales last year in China, according to the report. It may stay that way this year.

Longtime Apple car exec leaving

A longtime Apple executive for projects including the iPod and iPhone, and reportedly head of the company’s automotive division, is leaving the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Steve Zadesky, a 16-year Apple veteran and former Ford engineer, is leaving the company for personal reasons not related to performance, according to the report.

Zadesky reportedly led the company’s secret project “Titan” since 2014. His departure could be a setback for the secretive tech company who may be stockpiling auto industry veterans for an upcoming car — or massive dance party. We’ll never know because Apple doesn’t tell us anything.

Storm causes delays for plants, auto show

General Motors and Toyota closed their plants in Kentucky ahead of Winter Storm Jonas, according to Automotive News.

Toyota shuttered for the weekend its Georgetown, Kentucky plant, which produces the Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES 350. GM closed its Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that makes the Corvette for the weekend ahead of the storm that will reportedly bring more than 12 inches of snow to the area.

Similarly, the Washington Auto Show’s public days over the weekend were postponed for the storm. The auto show is scheduled to reopen on Monday.

Ford’s Louisville, Kentucky plant was not affected by the storm.

10th fatality confirmed; five million more cars added to massive Takata recall list

Regulators added 5 million more cars to the massive list of cars affected by faulty Takata airbags, Reuters reported. The total number of faulty cars in the U.S. has grown to more than 24 million, with the number of faulty inflators growing to 28 million.

In announcing the additional affected cars, regulators also confirmed that a 10th person has been killed by the defective airbag inflators. Officials say a Georgia man was killed Dec. 22 by a faulty airbag in his Ford Ranger truck.

Cars affected for the first time include Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Saab. Additional Ford, Honda and BMW cars were added to the recall list on Friday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website for vehicles affected by the Takata recall hasn’t yet been updated with the list of new cars, which isn’t very helpful.

The additional recalled vehicles are another blow to the troubled automotive supplier which brings us to …

Takata will ask for automaker bailout, potential merger

Beleaguered airbag maker Takata may ask Japanese automakers to bail out its troubled business and merge with Daciel to continue to make airbag inflators, Reuters reported.

Takata’s top executives are planning to resign including CEO Shigehisa Takada, who has been criticized for not handling the crisis effectively, according to the report.

Last year, Takata was fined $70 million by U.S. regulators who said the fine could grow to $200 million if the company didn’t comply with terms of the order. Automakers such as Toyota and Honda backed away from the massive automotive supplier last year after the announced fine.

A spokesman for Daciel didn’t confirm the report, but said they “are discussing ways to work with Takata to supply safe (airbag) inflators, although we have not decided on any details,” according to Reuters.

Join the conversation
8 of 15 comments
  • George B George B on Jan 23, 2016

    I've never understood the logic of what vehicles are included in the Takata airbag recall list. Looks like it might be a defective design problem, not a "bad batch" problem. I'd really like to know if my 1999 Honda Accord uses air bags of the same design as the recalled 2001 models or if there was a part change later in the model run.

    • See 5 previous
    • JimZ JimZ on Jan 23, 2016

      @JimZ yeah, I think I'm with you. at this point the mandate should be "if it's a Takata-made inflator charged with ammonium nitrate, it is assumed to be dangerous and is recalled."

  • RHD RHD on Jan 23, 2016

    A message from a friend of mine in China about this news: "Like in U.S., in China we know Volkswagen is 'Number Two'. And Foster's Lager is 'Number One'!"

  • Cardave5150 Why oh why are they resurrecting the ZDX name??? It’s not like the last one was anything other than an overpriced freak show. Just use 3 other random letters!
  • Gemcitytm Why does it seem every EV seems to have ridiculous amounts of power? Yes, I know they're heavier than ICE models but who on earth needs 708 HP? How about a nice, compact EV with, say, 250 HP and 350-400 mile range? Is that impossible with today's tech? (I currently drive a 148 HP Mazda 3 ICE and it has all the get-up-and-go I need.)
  • CEastwood I could have bought one of these if I had the cash in 76 for $1000 white , red interior , 3 speed stick with whitewalls/ wire hubcaps - it was mint and gone a day after I saw it . But the real catch that got away was an all original 69 green Camaro RS convertible 327 4 speed with 46K on the clock for 1800 that I saw a few months earlier . Young and poor was not a fun place to be !
  • KOKing I'm in an emissions check only state, and I'd trade that away for a safety check all day.
  • Bd2 The hybrid powertrain in the Sportage and Tucson are the ones to get.H/K should discontinue the base NA 2.5L powertrain and just build more of the hybrid.In the future, maybe offer a 2nd, more powerful hybrid (the hybrid 2.5) which will first arrive with the next Telluride/Palisade.Kia also needs to redo the front fascia for the Sportage's refresh.