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Aaron Cole

By on January 26, 2016

Last year, we told you about defunct Borgward rising from the ashes to sell in Germany and China a Porsche-Buick three-row lovechild starting in 2017.

Now it appears that the automaker with a name that only the Swedish Chef from “The Muppets” could love has something else to show in Geneva.

The automaker announced Tuesday that it had “more than a world premiere” scheduled for Feb. 29 ahead of the Geneva International Motor Show.  (Read More…)

By on January 26, 2016

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen’s top-level executives will meet again next week, the third meeting for the supervisory group in as many weeks, for an unusual crisis-planning cram session, according to Reuters.

“In this special situation it would not be enough for the executive committee to only meet ahead of a supervisory board meeting, or every six to eight weeks,” according to one of the sources.

The call for the emergency meeting comes shortly after one of the supervisory members, Stephan Weil, who is Lower Saxony’s prime minister, called for the automaker to come clean within three months. Volkswagen’s regularly scheduled shareholder meeting will be at the end of April.

(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2016

If we were all judged solely by our mistakes, we couldn’t elect anyone president. Having said that, maybe it’s good to give a little time between jail terms and licensed professions — especially when you were convicted in a firebombing directly related to that same profession.

An Ontario Superior Court overturned a lower court’s ruling to grant a vehicle sales license to a man just four days after his release from a federal prison, according to the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council. The man was sentenced to jail for hiring another man to set fire to a New York State Department of Motor Vehicle office and a DMV inspector’s car while the applicant was a car dealer in Buffalo, New York.

According to the court, the man lied about his jail term and the circumstances regarding his case. Prior to the Superior Court ruling, the man was rejected by local authorities for a license, but successfully appealed the ruling in a lower court.

(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2016

Every other year or so, the same site/email/thread/rumor goes around:

“Did you know that your car’s ABS system actually makes driving in snow WORSE?! And the worser part is, you can’t even turn it off! Automakers and the government are the worstest!”

Except that’s not true.

(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2016

Mitsubishi in Canada on Monday posted a teaser shot of the rear end of the new Mitsubishi Attrage that’ll make its debut in Toronto at the 2016 Canadian International Auto Show next month before it goes on sale in the U.S. and Canada.

Mitsubishi’s spokesman John Arnone posted a picture of himself standing next to the sedan at a shoot in Vancouver, which doesn’t really leave much to question. It’s clearly the small sedan, which will be one of two new models bound for Canada and the U.S. in 2016.

Perhaps next we’ll get a teaser of the Outlander PHEV’s roof with a Tim Horton’s coffee cup sitting on it. Thrilling stuff.

(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2016

The big Blue Oval is setting in the Land of the Rising Sun.

That, Volkswagen’s labor boss doesn’t like what he hears, Detroit’s big show and Kia’s big plans for the Rio … after the break! (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2016

China’s finance minister said Saturday that the government will end green car subsidies by 2021 and let its market dictate whether EVs or plug-in hybrid can sell on their own in the country, Reuters reported.

Lou Jiwei told reporters that the government would cut subsidies by 20 percent over the next two years, by 40 percent before 2020 and eventually end subsidies altogether by 2021, according to the report.

China surpassed the U.S. last year in electric car sales, in part because of the government’s aggressive support. Few electric cars made in China are available outside the country, however its expected that Cadillac will build in China and sell in the U.S. a plug-in version of its CT6 sedan.

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2016

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said a recent trip to Silicon Valley revealed that tech companies such as Google and Apple were making significant progress on autonomous cars, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported (via Reuters).

“Our impression was that these companies can do more and know more than we had previously assumed. At the same time they have more respect for our achievements than we thought,” Zetsche said, according to the report.

Zetsche said he and other managers from the automaker met with tech companies in Silicon Valley, but didn’t disclose what those companies were.  (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2016

Signing ceremony for VW’s Foshan plant in China. Picture courtesy Volkswagen AG

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!

(Read More…)

By on January 22, 2016

Many staffers and managers within Volkswagen’s engine-development department knew about Volkswagen’s illegal emissions-cheating “defeat device,” including a whistleblower who told other executives, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported (via Reuters).

The report said that there was a “desperation” among engineers tasked with creating a U.S.-emissions compliant diesel engine. Rather than going to the executive board with a failed engine, workers developed the cheat system to avoid repercussions from higher-ups.

The report also indicates that Volkswagen alone — not alongside auto supplier Bosch — created the defeat device.

(Read More…)

By on January 22, 2016

Fastlane

General Motors quietly redirected its Fastlane Blog back to the mothership in December, signaling an end to the direct-to-C-suite “conversations” you could have with automotive executives.

The blog, which once hosted Maximum Bob’s musings on life, design and resign, was held up as a paragon for corporate communication in its day (it won a Webby) and provided fodder for this site.

(Read More…)

By on January 22, 2016

A Florida Lemon Law board ruled this week that Volkswagen would have to pay an 86-year-old man $15,000 for his illegally polluting diesel, WPTV reported.

The man’s Volkswagen — which VW lawyers unsuccessfully argued wasn’t a lemon because it still ran and drove — could prompt others to file similar lemon law claims against the automaker, but may fall short of sparking a grassroots buy-back campaign in other states.

“A Florida Court order isn’t binding on any other state but can be ‘persuasive authority,’” Colorado Lemon Law attorney Rick Wynkoop said. Florida’s Lemon Law process is pretty unique because it requires an arbiter’s ruling first, but can be appealed in court.

“An arbiter’s order has next-to-zero weight. I’m not joking when I tell you that arbiters are not required to follow the law,” Wynkoop added. (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2016

Volkswagen to European diesel owners: “Why you mad?”

That, the mailman can’t deliver on the first lawsuit against GM, Caddies built in China and 51.3 million cars were recalled in 2015 … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 21, 2016

Ford will sell a backseat kit for its Ford Mustang GT350R because it’s the family car you’ve been asking for, the automaker announced Thursday.

Ford will sell the backseat it removed back to you for $999 (before installation), and it’s even made from the same herd of Alcantaras as the front seats. The rear seats will sport seatbelts and all original GT350 restraint systems.

The demand was clear, according to Ford Performance folks: people want a four-seater, track-ready car that could pull double duty owning all the apexes and hauling kids — which is not already called a Focus RS. (Read More…)

By on January 21, 2016

General Motors CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra met with Canadian government officials in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, but didn’t reveal any specifics for the automaker’s languishing Oshawa, Ontario plant, according to CTV News.

Barra spoke with Navdeep Bains, Canada’s economic development minister, before she met with new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Bains promoted Oshawa as a place for GM to build cars and develop technology for future cars. The Oshawa plant currently produces several outgoing models including the Cadillac XTS, Buick Regal and several others with uncertain futures including the outgoing Chevrolet Equinox.

Chevrolet built the Camaro in Oshawa before shifting production to Michigan last year, which resulted in 1,000 job cuts. (Read More…)

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