News Round-up: Volkswagen To Cut 40+ Models, Tesla Asks 'Are You Sure You Want That?', and Even Millennials Don't Want to Share Leases
Volkswagen is rumored to cut some 40-plus models from its worldwide fleet as it ushers in a new era of electrification.
That, Tesla wants you to order something now instead of waiting until later, and millennials are just like the rest of us … after the break.
Electric tide pushing out 40 models at Volkswagen
With a significant shift planned for Volkswagen as electrifies its vehicle range, the automaker is expected to phase out some 40 models worldwide, reports Reuters.
According to sources who spoke to German newspaper Handelsblatt, Volkswagen Group will eventually stop producing 40 of its 340 total models sold worldwide.
A Volkswagen spokesman said, however, the number of models that would be discontinued had not been decided yet. “A decision on how many models will be phased out or ceased has not been taken yet,” he said.
Audi: You can take Ducati from our cold, dead hands
Of those 40 models apprehensively staring at the guillotine in Wolfsburg, Audi’s Italian motorcycle brand is not one of them.
Ducati, which was purchased by VW Group for $1.12 billion and placed under Audi’s command in 2012, is safe in the clutches of the four-ringed brand.
From Motorcycle News:
Professor Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi, who is also a board member of Volkswagen, told MCN: “Ducati is not for sale,” after we asked what was going on with the future of the famous Ducati brand.
I’d say that’s pretty damn clear.
Tesla wants you to give up your Model 3 ticket and buy a Model S right now
After announcing it had sped up its production line, Tesla is now openly courting Model 3 reservation holders to move that $1,000 toward the purchase of a Model S instead.
According to Electrek, Tesla mailed reservation holders explicitly asking for the opportunity to get them into a Tesla even sooner.
The automaker sent out emails announcing the reintroduction of the Model S 60 to its mailing list, including Model 3 reservation holders, which is to be expected and not in any way special, but several reservation holders are also reporting having received another email, in which Tesla is directly addressing upgrading from a Model 3 reservation to a Model S order:
“We are thrilled to have just launched the new Model S 60 and as a valued model 3 reservation holder I wanted to personally reach out to invite you to University Town Center Showroom to experience Model S 60 and 60D. It is a wonderful opportunity to get into a custom designed Tesla with payments starting at $667/mth before gas and tax incentive savings. Depending on your current vehicle trade-in value the monthly payment could be even lower.
We know how excited you are to receive your Model 3 and wanted to ensure you had the chance to work with myself and our team to explore the options of getting into a Tesla even sooner. Please let me know if I can arrange a test drive experience for you or answer any questions. We would also be happy to review your current trade-in options as well. We are here to help you build your dream car and continue our mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport.”
Ford’s shared leasing program is a dud
Ford was incredibly smug when it announced the pilot launch of its shared leasing program aimed at the group everyone believes to not have any interest in owning cars: millennials. Well — guess what? — the shared lease program, which allowed multiple people to make payments toward a lease on a single vehicle, is a complete failure so far.
How complete of a failure?
From Automotive News:
In March, Ford Credit launched Ford Credit Link, a pilot lease sharing program that allows three to six customers to share a lease, scheduling their driving time and dividing payments any way they’d like. The captive finance company began piloting the program at three Austin, Texas, dealerships: Leif Johnson Ford, Maxwell Ford and Covert Ford.
Three months later, there are still no takers.
That doesn’t mean Ford Credit is giving up on the idea. Ford’s financing arm will increase marketing for the product in hopes that more awareness will prod someone — anyone — to use the new lease program.
Everyone hates subcompact cars
Values of used subcompact cars are tanking, and this might just be the beginning the expected lease-return bubble.
According to Automotive News, subcompact cars from 2010-2014 model years have experienced a 26-percent plunge in prices versus the year before.
Small cars are the canaries in the pricing coal mine. The weakness in prices of small used cars is starting to spill over into the new-car lot, too.
After years of new-vehicle lease growth, a widely forecast surge in off-lease vehicles has started. Because all segments eventually will be affected, automakers are taking steps to soften the blow to prices by finding new ways to encourage sales of those off-lease used vehicles.
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