The Golf Turns 40 As TTAC Looks Back At The Man Behind The Launch

March 29th, 1973 marks the anniversary of the Volkswagen Golf’s introduction some 40 years ago. Although Volkswagen’s official communications tout the car as a runaway success, the front-drive, water-cooled car wasn’t met with such an enthusiastic reception at the outset.

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Estranged TTAC Editor Busted For Wikipedia Vandalism, Then Again For Conflict Of Interest

The article you are about to read was written by former Editor-In-Chief Bertel Schmitt during the course of a long and somewhat personal disagreement he had with former contributor Steven Lang. This article does not represent the views of The Truth About Cars, its staff, its contributors, or its ownership. We’re leaving it up because we don’t censor the past — but we no longer stand behind the piece or recommend that you read it — JB

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NHTSA Probes GM's Screening Test After Fire

The NHTSA is looking into whether GM is doing the right thing with cars it has recalled. According to Reuters, “the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has opened what it calls a recall query to look at whether a stress test GM is using on a portion of the recalled cars is good enough, because a fire occurred after the procedure that was meant to catch the problem.”

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EU Files WTO Complaint Against Russia Over Bogus Recycling Fee

Less than a year after joining the WTO, Russia finds itself dragged in front of the same. The EU launched a formal trade dispute with Russia, claiming that its Eastern neighbor is “illegally protecting its carmakers with a recycling fee levied on imported cars,” as Reuters reports.

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Steal Me! I'm An F-250

Prematurely pronounced dead, trucks are back in favor. They never went out of style with one eclectic clientele: Thieves. “Thieves continue to target large pickups and large SUVs at higher rates than other vehicles,” says the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) that keeps track of these things. “No. 1 on this year’s list, the four-wheel-drive F-250 crew cab, has a claim frequency of 7 per 1,000 insured vehicle years, or nearly 6 times the average for all vehicles.”

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A Solution To Europe's Overcapacity: Take Monday Off. Or How About Friday?

European SEAT sales showed new signs of life lately, but the vital stats of Volkswagen’s Mediterranean brand still are weak enough for doctors to recommend a lot of rest. SEAT recommends to have workers stay at home an extra day of each week, Reuters writes.

According to the wire, SEAT “wants to halt production for 16 days on one of its lines, between September and December, affecting 2,800 workers, and stop production for 35 days next year on another line, affecting 3,800 workers.”

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Fiat Owns 68.49% Of Chrysler, Will Soon Own More

Fiat bought another 3.3 percent of Chrysler, “bringing it a step nearer to its goal of creating the world’s seventh-largest automaker by sales,” says Reuters. What Fiat really wants is to consolidate loss-making Fiat with profitable Chrysler, and to get “access to some of Chrysler’s cash flow for investments in new models,” the wire says.

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What's Bad For Russia Is Bad For GM

Car sales in Russia disappointed a month ago, and they disappoint again: Russian sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles dropped 11 percent in June, says Reuters. For the first half of the year, sales are off 6 percent while Russia caught a whiff of the European contagion. Now, all hopes are on the government and cheap credit.

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Detroit 3: Bitching About Closed Markets Beats Really Trying

Akio Toyoda at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show

If you want to sell cars, you need to market them. Except in Japan, say the Detroit 3. In Japan, it’s easier and cheaper to complain about closed markets and manipulated currencies than to waste money trying to sell cars. After the jump, you will find a list of automakers that will display their cars at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. You probably can imagine who is not on this list.

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Berholprestige: BMW Makes Audi And Mercedes Eat Dust

Members of the media are still speculating why Audi’s R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer was sacked and replaced by Volkswagen’s engineering rock star Urlich Hackenberg. Today, the market delivered the reason: With BMW in the passing lane in China and America, global sales of the roundel brand keep rising faster than those of Audi and Mercedes.

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Strike At DHL Could Cripple JLR

Ah, the wondrous web of global automaking: Drivers and sorters at DHL are going on strike, and this threatens to cripple production at Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. JLR has outsourced a good deal of its logistics to Deutsche Post–owned DHL. DHL employees serving JLR’s plants at Castle Bromwich and Solihull voted for a strike after they did not receive terms and conditions extended to regular JLR staff.

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Renault About To Get Going In China

Renault hopes to get going on its foray into China, and to sign a joint venture agreement with Dongfeng, Reuters says. “We are waiting for an official invitation from the Chinese industry ministry,” Reuters heard from an insider. Rumors of an impending JV kept Chinese media guessing and speculating for years.

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Savings At All Costs: Software Change At BMW Causes Parts Mayhem
1,200 BMWs are sitting at German dealers and cannot be repaired. The reason: Missing parts. After a software change in BMW’s German parts distribution…
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Imports To Japan Strong, Despite Claims By Detroit That The Market Is Closed

And here, by popular demand, the sales of cars imported to Japan in June, and for the first half year of 2013, as published by the Japan Automobile Importers Association. For those with open eyes and mind, a few items quickly become clear:

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A Game Of Chicken Tax: Detroit Drops Pretenses, Wants To Keep Japan Out For As Long As Possible

Detroit is finally dropping the mask and says what it really wants in U.S. / Japanese trade relations. It wants to keep existing barriers that frustrate importation of Japanese cars, and that, for all intents and purposes, prevent importation of Japanese trucks. For the next generation, Detroit wants to be in your pocket without outside interference.

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  • Dartdude Having the queen of nothing as the head of Dodge is a recipe for disaster. She hasn't done anything with Chrysler for 4 years, May as well fold up Chrysler and Dodge.
  • Pau65792686 I think there is a need for more sedans. Some people would rather drive a car over SUV’s or CUV’s. If Honda and Toyota can do it why not American brands. We need more affordable sedans.
  • Tassos Obsolete relic is NOT a used car.It might have attracted some buyers in ITS DAY, 1985, 40 years ago, but NOT today, unless you are a damned fool.
  • Stan Reither Jr. Part throttle efficiency was mentioned earlier in a postThis type of reciprocating engine opens the door to achieve(slightly) variable stroke which would provide variable mechanical compression ratio adjustments for high vacuum (light load) or boost(power) conditions IMO
  • Joe65688619 Keep in mind some of these suppliers are not just supplying parts, but assembled components (easy example is transmissions). But there are far more, and the more they are electronically connected and integrated with rest of the platform the more complex to design, engineer, and manufacture. Most contract manufacturers don't make a lot of money in the design and engineering space because their customers to that. Commodity components can be sourced anywhere, but there are only a handful of contract manufacturers (usually diversified companies that build all kinds of stuff for other brands) can engineer and build the more complex components, especially with electronics. Every single new car I've purchased in the last few years has had some sort of electronic component issue: Infinti (battery drain caused by software bug and poorly grounded wires), Acura (radio hiss, pops, burps, dash and infotainment screens occasionally throw errors and the ignition must be killed to reboot them, voice nav, whether using the car's system or CarPlay can't seem to make up its mind as to which speakers to use and how loud, even using the same app on the same trip - I almost jumped in my seat once), GMC drivetrain EMF causing a whine in the speakers that even when "off" that phased with engine RPM), Nissan (didn't have issues until 120K miles, but occassionally blew fuses for interior components - likely not a manufacturing defect other than a short developed somewhere, but on a high-mileage car that was mechanically sound was too expensive to fix (a lot of trial and error and tracing connections = labor costs). What I suspect will happen is that only the largest commodity suppliers that can really leverage their supply chain will remain, and for the more complex components (think bumper assemblies or the electronics for them supporting all kinds of sensors) will likley consolidate to a handful of manufacturers who may eventually specialize in what they produce. This is part of the reason why seemingly minor crashes cost so much - an auto brand does nst have the parts on hand to replace an integrated sensor , nor the expertice as they never built them, but bought them). And their suppliers, in attempt to cut costs, build them in way that is cheap to manufacture (not necessarily poorly bulit) but difficult to replace without swapping entire assemblies or units).I've love to see an article on repair costs and how those are impacting insurance rates. You almost need gap insurance now because of how quickly cars depreciate yet remain expensive to fix (orders more to originally build, in some cases). No way I would buy a CyberTruck - don't want one, but if I did, this would stop me. And it's not just EVs.