TTAC News Round-up: Clock Ticks at Volkswagen, CEO Switch and Volvo Sees a Chance

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

The Environmental Protection Agency is pointing at its watch and glaring at Volkswagen.

That, an opening for the Swedes, an electric propulsion prediction, a high-end guy gets a new job, and Tesla gets targeted in Hoosierville … after the break!

Beware the (end) of March

According to Automotive News, the United States is getting impatient for Volkswagen AG to hatch a plan to fix close to 600,000 vehicles involved in the ongoing diesel emissions scandal.

A federal judge is giving the automaker until March 24 to show authorities how it will make the affected vehicles comply with strict EPA emissions laws.

With the clock ticking and engineers scrambling, VW’s oil burners have their builders over a barrel.

Fully-charged kind of life

The price of electric vehicles will match their gasoline-powered brethren in less than a decade, posits Bloomberg Business.

A study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance puts the price of both types of vehicle on par with each other by the mid-2020s.

Cheaper battery packs with longer, anxiety-lessening ranges are forecasted to create an explosion of EV sales in the coming decade, compared to the very modest sales they see today.

Audi bullish on new Quattro CEO

The Audi division that pumps out the automaker’s high-performing R and RS models is getting a high-octane boss.

Stephan Winkelmann, who served as president and CEO of Lamborghini for 11 years, is moving to head up the Quattro subsidiary of Lambo’s parent company. Filling the void left by Winkelmann’s departure will be former Ferrari Formula One team boss Stefano Domenicali.

Lamborghini’s profile — and sales — rose sharply under Winkelmann’s guidance, and they’re little doubt that Audi hopes he’ll do the same for their top-end product line.

The future belongs to Volvo

The Swedish automaker sees itself at the brink of renewed relevance and prosperity, according to an Automotive News interview with Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson.

Growing demand for efficient gasoline and plug-in hybrid models in Europe and North America is changing the landscape on both sides of the Atlantic, he argued, and will position Volvo to gain market share and a better financial footing.

Recent models like the award-winning XC90 and imminent S90 line are the best evidence that Volvo wants to regain its status as a major player in the luxury import market.

Tesla’s fate put on hold in Indiana

Tesla fans in the Hoosier State raised a ruckus over plans to ban the sale of the company’s EVs, which could be the reason behind a delay in the state’s “Kill Tesla” bill, reports Hybrid Cars.

The protests raised national attention over the state’s attempt to block the sale of Tesla vehicles due to the company’s absence of physical dealerships.

With the proposed legislation now sent off to a committee for further study, Tesla has scored a year-long reprieve from the bureaucratic chopping block.

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Motormouth Motormouth on Feb 29, 2016

    Volvo is no more Chinese than JLR is Indian (TATA). An mentioned in another post the money is delivered from the owners, but they're largely hands off so as to retain the valuable heritage links with the respective home markets.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kyree Kyree on Feb 29, 2016

      @Funky They aren't Chinese. All of the development takes place in Sweden, and most of the cars are built in Europe. All Geely does is own and finance Volvo; it doesn't really control the brand or intervene on its R&D structure.

  • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Feb 29, 2016

    New Volvos in the showroom look and feel enough like my 20 year old one that I really don't care who owns the company...if I have a good sales year, I'd love to put a new V90 in my garage. We just leased a Canadian-built Honda CR-V, don't care which plant it came out of, as long as it's reliable for the next 3 years. Automakers are multi-national conglomerates, and where the owners are based is irrelevant to me.

    • Funky Funky on Feb 29, 2016

      The Chinese ownership of Volvo hasn't stopped me from buying four new Volvos since 2011. I agree it should not matter who owns the company. However, I do believe it does matter which factory produces the cars I drive. In my limited experience, with Volvo, I have found the vehicles (I have owned) built in Sweden have fewer fit and finish problems than than those (again, that I have owned) built in Belgium. I don't know what to think of the S60L's that are built in China. I've had a close look at one, but I have not had a chance to drive one (or to own one). Admittedly, I would have difficulty trusting the quality of such a vehicle. Given that I can still choose to buy one that is made in Sweden, I'd rather not buy one that is made in China (or Belgium, or at the supposed future USA factory).

  • FreedMike I like the looks of the Z, but I'd take the Mustang. V8s are a disappearing breed.
  • Picard234 I can just smell the clove cigarettes and the "oregano" from the interior. Absolutely no dice at any price.
  • Dartdude The Europeans don't understand the American market. That is why they are small players here. Chrysler Group is going to die pretty soon under their control. Europeans have a sense of superiority over Americans that is why the Mercedes merger didn't work out and almost killed Chrysler. Bringing European managers aren't going to help. Just like F1 they want our money. We need Elon Musk to buy out Chrysler, Dodge and Ram from Stellantis.
  • Michael S6 I would take the Mustang for the soundtrack. However, practically a BMW M340ix or M240ix would be my choice.
  • Michael S6 Took my car for oil change on Friday and dealership was working on paper. Recently one of the major health care system in our area was hacked and they had to use paper backup for three weeks. What a nightmare.
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