Mercedes-Benz plans to introduce the MMA-based (Mercedes Modular Architecture) Concept CLA Class at the IAA Mobility Show in Germany this weekend. This will preview the brand’s all-new “MB.OS” operating system and the vehicle it's putting on the front line to help draw in a new generation of customers.
On Monday, Ford Motor Co. opened the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center in Germany. Founded in 1930, the facility first produced examples of the Model A intended for the European market. Though the site is probably more famous for manufacturing the Ford Capri and every single generation of the humble Fiesta.
The factory has more recently been the recipient of a $2 billion investment to prepare it for the automaker’s push into electrification. With retooling having concluded, Ford says the plant should boast an annual production capacity of 250,000 electric vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius has told the German media that the brand has no intention of cutting ties with China, saying such a move would be unwise for the whole of Germany industry.
"The major players in the global economy, Europe, the U.S. and China, are so closely intertwined that decoupling from China makes no sense," he was quoted as saying in Bild am Sonntag.
On Sunday, the Berlin E-Prix had to be delayed after a gaggle of climate activists attempted to glue themselves to the starting grid. While the setback itself was minor, the protest has reportedly left everyone scratching their heads — as the event was part of the Formula E racing category which only fields all-electric vehicles.
Reports have emerged in Germany that former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is about to become the upper-echelon automotive executive convicted in the diesel emissions fiasco perpetrated by Volkswagen Group. A Munich court issued a preliminary assessment on Tuesday, stating that an accusation of fraud had been substantiated.
The European Union is reportedly finding itself in a difficult position ahead of prospective bans on vehicles utilizing internal combustion engines. Germany has threatened to block the agreement, pulling what can only be described as the classic switcheroo in exchange for favorable conditions.
German manufacturers are attempting to market synthetic fuels as a viable and environmentally sound alternative to standard gasoline or diesel. Regulators influenced by the automotive sector are now pressing for the EU to make special exceptions for so-called “electrofuels” before the combustion ban can be finalized – with Italy likewise suggesting it would reject the emission rules everyone agreed to last year.
Ford is reportedly preparing to lay off a minimum of 1,000 German employees as it prepares to manufacture two battery-electric models developed under Volkswagen’s MEB platform. The partnership is old news, as is Ford wanting to pivot toward all-electric vehicles. However, everyone seems surprised that the decision would be accompanied by job cuts – despite countless reports having predicted that the global push toward EVs would mean far-fewer automotive jobs in the years to come.
Despite starting 2022 announcing a plan to normalize output, Toyota has had trouble living up to its promise. While most automakers were figuring out how to make more money off diminished production, the Japanese brand was plotting assembly schedules that would restore assembly rates to levels that would have been considered normal prior to 2020. But the rest of the market hasn’t managed to match Toyota’s optimism and the automaker has had to scale back its global production plan yet again — citing the usual supply chain constraints stemming from COVID restrictions and worldwide deficit of semiconductors.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. looks to be abandoning its vehicle assembly plant in Saarlouis, Germany. The facility produces the Focus for Europe and may be in danger of closing if the automaker elects to sell it. While the site was in the running to produce Ford’s next-gen electric vehicles, those products have since been slated for assembly in Valencia, Spain.
It’s a new week, and I’m back with another German car Rental Review for your enjoyment! Today’s rental is one of two American market entrants into the premium compact five-door liftback segment, and not a car one expects to find in an Enterprise lot. Presenting a 2020 Audi A5 Sportback, two years and 50,000 rental miles later.
Automakers remain enamored with slowly teasing new and upcoming products, choosing to release dribs and drabs of information rather than smacking us in the face with all the details at once. Cynics in our audience will (rightly) point out it gives us a news story to run. Congratulations, Sherlock – you’re totally onto us.
Next up is a shadowy image of the next GLC crossover from Mercedes-Benz. That’s the bite-sized machine that serves as a gateway drug introductory model for many customers to the three-pointed star lifestyle in an endless quest to one-up the neighbors.
A group of German automakers, chemical concerns, and battery producers have announced the joint development of a “battery passport” designed to help government regulators trace the history of the cells. The consortium is funded by the German government and is supposed to work in tandem with new battery regulations that are being prepared by the European Union.
According to the German economic ministry, officially the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the overarching plan is for the EU to mandate traceable hardware be installed in all batteries used in the continent by 2026. Those intended for use in electric vehicles are up first, with the passport scheme also serving to chronicle everything from the vehicle’s repair history to where the power cell’s raw materials were sourced.
Volkswagen cannot seem to get away from software issues on its newer vehicles. This problem botched the launch of numerous models, including the Mk8 Golf, and seems to have returned now that every single example of the car is being recalled in Europe.
Drivers have been reporting gauge clusters displaying incorrect data, infotainment systems going offline, keys failing, and advanced driving aids that are perpetually on the fritz. The latter issue has also resulted in Golfs engaging in some erratic behavior, like erroneously triggering their own forward collision-warning sensors. This has left more than a few drivers complaining about cars stopping randomly in traffic as the automatic emergency braking system came alive.
If you’re one of the moneyed set who enjoys a pint-sized car powered by a frantic five-cylinder engine, 2022 will be the last opportunity to pick up an Audi TT RS. With the 394 horsepower rocket set for its swan song next year, you know Audi will be offering some sort of special edition to mark the end of this era.
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- Tassos The EQS is the best looking BEV, better than even the only Tesla I would ever consider (the S) and more luxurious inside etc etcThe self driving features will come in handy when I'm 110 and my eyesight and reaction times start to suffer.But that's four decades away, and only Tim recommends 40 year old "used cars"
- Tassos "Baby, Baby light my fire!""Oh God please give me a Kia Forte" --Janis Joplin
- Tassos The fugly looks of any Subaru, and especially the non-sporty non-elegant, fugly, low-rent looks and interior of the WRX are alone a sufficient turnoff to never want to own one.One can be a 100% car enthusiast but ALSO demand a beautiful AND luxurious vehicle one can be truly proud of and which makes one very happy every time one drives it.The above is obviously totally foreign to Subaru Designers and managers.Αnd who cares if they sell all they make? this is 100% worthless bragging, since they hardly make ANY. ALL of Subaru's models together, all dozen of them, sell less than the top selling Toyota or Honda or even Tesla sells. ANd furthermore, if you have the intellectual horsepower to understand it, bulldude, which I am 99% sure you sure as hell do not, it is NOT about the sales units, it is not even about the sales revenue.It is all about the P R O F I T S.Am I going slow enough for you, bulldude?
- Thehyundaigarage Am I the only one that sees a Peugeot 508?
- Lou_BC I realized it wasn't EV's burning by the absence of the usual suspects.