From now on, Porsche should have even more good PR than PReviously. Today, TTAC was reached by two press releases, celebrating the momentous occasion of the partial production of the Boxster model at Volkswagen Osnabrück. One release came from Porsche. The other, you guessed it, came from Volkswagen.
GM is not the only U.S. automaker that wants to close a plant in Europe, and Ford is thinking about more than the end of the road for Alan Mulally. German press, from the industry magazine Automobil Produktion to the German edition of the Wall Street Journal are talking about Ford shuttering its plant in Genk, Belgium.
With their Washington overlords breathing down their necks, GM executives are pushing Opel for a definitive agreement to close Opel’s Bochum plant. According to the Wall Street Journal, GM “would like to be able to announce the plan before or along with its third-quarter earnings, which are expected to be disclosed Oct. 31.”
The New Mercedes A-Class should be at dealers in Europe any day now. In the U.S., it is expected to go on sale in the United States in 2014. Not that many people are dying to see an overpriced hatchback. A sedan probably would sell better. One was spotted halfway between Germany and America, in Iceland.
Volkswagen’s plans of sending GM to place three on the podium of the world’s largest automakers are most likely postponed. Volkswagen down-revised its 2012 sales plan by 300,000 units, heard Germany’s Handelsblatt.
Germany hasn’t seen the double digit sales losses of other EU countries, but it isn’t walking on water either. August sales in Germany were down 4.7 percent on 226,455 units, says the KBA. For the first eight months of the year, sales in Germany now are 0.6 percent below the same period of the prior year.
Rubbing shoulders with industry types displaced to a Chinese city called Chengdu has its good parts. You hear stories you normally don’t see in a press release. An executive who works for the western partner of a large Chinese joint venture told me today that my story about Chinese interests killing the Opel deal between GM and PSA wasn’t true. At least not completely. As so often, in the denial was a much more interesting story. After another drink for encouragement, said executive told me very much off the record that GM is tired of the PSA deal and wants out. If that means leaving Opel for dead, so be it.
Volkswagen launched its seventh generation Golf to high acclaim yesterday, but there are people who think it is not good enough. Greenpeace picketed its premiere in Berlin last night, “accusing the German carmaker of doing too little to reduce fuel consumption and tarnishing the most important model launch in the group’s calendar,” as Reuters writes .
Today, the seventh generation of the Volkswagen Golf was presented in Berlin. 38 years after the launch of the first Golf in 1974, and 29.13 million cars later, Volkswagen shows a new Golf that is 100 kg lighter and up to 23 per cent more fuel efficient that the predecessor. If a new Golf ever was “all new” then this one: Built with the new MQB architecture, everything in the new Golf had to be redesigned. And here is a picture count-up, from first to newest.
GM is backing out of plans to share the Opel Insignia platform with its partner PSA, says Der Spiegel. It was planned that PSA will build a mid-sized Peugeot and Citroen with next gen Insignia underpinnings. The cars would have been made at Opel’s Rüsselsheim factory. Together with the Opel model, the cars would have filled the available capacity. Scratch that plan. It wasn’t killed because it was a bad idea. It was killed because Buick and especially GM China complained, says the magazine.
“Volkswagen is on course to bump General Motors into the world no.3 ranking this year,” writes Reuters. That’s not all. Volkswagen “aims to sell a world-leading 10 million vehicles by 2018, up from the 8.36 million recorded last year, and push past Toyota.”
The car that is supposed to lead Volkswagen to world domination is an also-ran in the U.S., but it is one of the world’s most sold cars. It is the Golf, and its seventh generation will be revealed tonight in Berlin at the Neue Nationalgalerie, the Mies van der Rohe designed temple of modern art.
Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn heaped salt into the open wounds of Europe’s embattled automakers. In light of the drooping demand, Europe could perfectly manage with 10 fewer plants, Winterkorn said in an interview with Germany’s Handelsblatt. However, don’t you’re your breath on Volkswagen shutting down any of its EU assembly lines. Volkswagen stand behind its European sites “without ifs and buts.” What about Sergio Marchionne’s accusations that Volkswagen is waging a brutal price war in Europe? Winterkorn: “Nonsense.”
The united Europe is more and more turning into a divided Europe, at least when it comes to making cars. On one side are the hugely profitable German carmakers Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler and Porsche. On the other side are its loss-making or barely-profitable rivals including Fiat, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and GM’s Opel. Now, the split drives the two countries apart that started Europe’s unification, France and Germany.
France’s new socialist government wants to punish buyers of bigger cars with huge taxes while lifting the tax burden on smaller cars. The bigger cars are mostly German.
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- Analoggrotto Toyota will have refreshed almost the entire lineup by next year, sure they phoned a lot of it in (Land Cruiser-GX, GH-TX, Century...) but they are ready with fresh product instead of cancelling the entire show. Wish the GR V6 could have survived :(.
- Lou_BC I find it interesting that many act like it's just UAW jobs at risk from "robots". 50% of the total workforce over the next 20 years is at risk. That 50% is predominantly unskilled labour.
- Doug brockman No. It wouldnt. EV is a loser technology
- Sgeffe I'm wondering if any tooling or whatnot from the original was used in the production of this beast.
- Sgeffe I usually pass by the UCOTD posts, but I had to ask on this: what, pray tell, is with the sideview mirrors off a C5 Corvette??!! Yikes!