After a lot of talk, GM is beginning to create facts at Opel: The production of Opel’s volume model, the Astra, will be moved from Rüsselsheim to Opel/Vauxhall sites in Ellesmere Port and Gliwice, Poland. This according to reports in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which receives usually reliable information from Opel’s unions.
BMW turns more and more into the world’s purveyor of engines. If recent talks are successful, BMW motors could power Hyundai cars. This according to a report in Germany’s industry publication Automobil Produktion.
The magazine reports that Chung Eui-Sun, Vice-Chairman of Hyundai Motor Company and only son of und Hyundai CEO Chung Mong-Koo, has been in Munich to start the talks.
This weekend, Audi’s R18 e-tron quattro hits the track at the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Spa, Belgium. Not enough that the race car is powered by a V6 diesel engine. It also uses a flywheel as energy storage. Why should we care? Audi makes noises that this technology could soon show up in production cars.
Germany defies the European downtrend of car sales. In April, Germans bought 2.9 percent more cars than in April 2011. Europe’s largest car market most likely has cushioned the fall in other EU countries again, which will be evident once ACEA numbers for the EU are published in a week or two.
Volkswagen’s CEO warned its shareholders of a “very demanding year,” what with the European debt crisis depressing auto markets and growth in growth markets slowing. What is growing is risks, said Winterkorn at VW’s annual general meeting. Oddly enough, it is Volkswagen’s competitors who should be very worried.
Rumors of Audi starting U.S. production have been floating around for a while. Tennesseans in Chattanooga had hoped Audi would move in with Volkswagen. These hopes have been dashed over the weekend. Germany’s Spiegel report s that Audi will get its own plant in Mexico.
Stories of Greek defaults and Italian austerity programs make you think that Europe as a whole is just about to implode. Not true at all. The export-oriented German economy profits from the still relatively low Euro. The good mood in Germany is reflected in the number of new cars that were registered in March. Germany’s Kraftfahrtbundesamt reports a 3.4 percent rise in March, compared to the same month of 2011.
A while ago, the UAW started passing out signature cards at Volkswagen’s factory in Chattanooga, TN. It looks like most landed in the garbage can.
If you sell anything, a house, a car, a company, you always appreciate a good bidding war. Rivals Audi and Daimler could be in such a bidding war, if Italy’s Corriere della Sera is correctly informed. They are feuding over a troubled maker of motor cycles, Ducati.
“This would be the most expensive plant closure of all times,” warned Rainer Einenkel, chief of Opel’s works council and Vice Chairman of its supervisory board. “This would cost GM billions,” Einenkel said today at a news conference following a staff meeting in Bochum. “Opel would not survive this.”
Opel’s supervisory board meeting ended with nothing. All the board, which consists of 50 percent labor and 50 percent of what is called “the equity side,” could agree on was that revenue, costs and margins are important. It’s good they have figured that out by now. Plant closures have been tabled. There is no sense in announcing them now anyway – plants cannot be closed before 2015.
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- 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!
- Joseph Kissel I foresee ICE and EV co-existing for many, many years. But to answer the OP, who's going to be the automaker that sinks considerable funding into a NEXT-GEN ICE engine and vehicle platform? Which would also mean diverting that research from a next-gen EV battery / platform. In that regard, is BMW doing the right thing by releasing ICE and EV on a shared platform? Because I can see automakers putting lightly re-freshed ICE vehicles on the market (and maybe that's all that's needed at this point) ... But will we truly ever see something next-gen on the ICE front?
- Sgeffe It still boggles my pea brain that something that was pretty much standard on most cars two decades ago was left off of cars in the early teens! BUT if I understand things correctly, Canadian models had the immobilizers! (Along with heated steering wheels and other bits that would never be found on a car bound for, say, Minneapolis!)