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Posts Tagged ‘vw news’

SEC Suing VW, former CEO, for ”Massive Fraud” in Emissions Cheating Scandal

Lawsuit "legally and factually flawed," the automaker responds.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.15, 2019

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn faces legal problems in Germany, as well as the U.S.

Volkswagen’s ongoing efforts to end a scandal triggered by its cheating on diesel emissions testing just took a turn for the worse, the Securities and Exchange Commission accusing both the automaker and former CEO Martin Winterkorn of committing a “massive fraud” on U.S. investors.

The automaker has acknowledged it used “defeat devices” to rig its diesel engines to illegally pass emissions tests and has so far laid out over $30 billion in fines and settlements. It is still facing other legal headaches, including a separate lawsuit by investors and ongoing investigations in Europe, one resulting in the arrest and jailing of the former CEO of its Audi subsidiary. But it responded to the latest challenge by declaring the SEC lawsuit “legally and factually flawed.”

Breaking News!

The SEC lawsuit, filed in San Francisco, claims the automaker and former CEO Winterkorn concealed the depth of the scandal – and the potential penalties – from both investors and federal regulators. The Thursday complaint noted that in the year before the cheating was discovered and publicized by the EPA Volkswagen issued $13 billion in bonds and securities in the U.S. Those value of those financial devices were directly impacted once the carmaker’s subterfuge was revealed.

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VW Drafts Plan to Cut 7,000 Workers in Europe

Automaker looking to offset rising EV development costs.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.14, 2019

Volkswagen AG COO Ralf Brandstaetter said the company will be cutting thousands of jobs in Europe.

Following in the footsteps of some American automakers, Volkswagen AG is preparing to trim costs by eliminating thousands of jobs in face of a slowing European economy, and profits across the industry begin to slip while the high cost of shifting to electric vehicles and self-driving cars adds up.

The German carmaker said Wednesday it will eliminate as many as 7,000 positions – with measures including early retirement and not filling vacant positions – to achieve an annual profit gain of 5.9 billion euros $6.7 billion starting in 2023.

Business News!

GM recently cut 4,000 white-collar job and plans to close five plants while Ford is in the midst of an $11 billion restructuring plan that will include cutting a slew of salaried personnel, plus the announced closure of its plant in Brazil, resulting 2,700 losing their jobs. (more…)

Taking it to the Street: VW Reveals Two e-Scooter Concepts in Geneva

German automaker is the latest to explore “micromobility.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.05, 2019

The VW Streetmate concept features a fold-out seat for longer rides.

The automobile has, for the past century, been the symbol of personal mobility, but that is rapidly changing as other options become more widely available. And Volkswagen is showing the ideas it has in mind at the Geneva Motor Show.

The automaker’s Streetmate and Cityskater are two different takes on the concept of electric scooters, and while they’re just for show, at the moment, few would be surprised to see them go into production, especially as competitors such as General Motors make similar moves.

Mobilty News!

“With mobile solutions such as Streetmate and Cityskater, visitors and residents in cities around the world will soon be able to leave their cars at home, opting instead for smaller zero-emission vehicles to get around,” the automaker explained, ahead of the Geneva debut of the two e-scooters.

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Bugging Out: VW Brings ID Buggy Concept to Geneva Motor Show

Could the electric dune buggy offer a hint of what’s to come?

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.04, 2019

The VW I.D. Buggy Concept is a two-seater but could be configured as a 2+2.

Where are the Beach Boys when you need them? That classic California surf rock band would seem to be able to provide the perfect soundtrack for the latest all-electric show car from Volkswagen, the I.D. Buggy.

Drawing inspiration from the once popular sand-crawlers of the 1960s and 1970s, this retro-futuristic concept vehicle gives another look at the flexibility of VW’s new, battery-electric MEB architecture, a platform that will used for the majority of the more than 50 all-electric vehicles the German automaker plans to launch by 2025.

Auto Show News!

The original Beetle was the starting point for most of those dune buggies, raising the question of whether the I.D. Buggy might hint at the revival of the Bug in all-electric form. (more…)

Plugging In: An Inside Look at the MEB — VW’s Platform for an Electrified Future

A combined VW-Ford battery-car program seems to have come un-plugged, however.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.11, 2019

An under-the-skin look at VW's modular MEB battery-car platform reveals the skateboard-like layout.

Volkswagen is plugging into battery power in a big way, the German automaker planning to launch 50 or more all-electric models by 2025, an aggressive push that will have it betting heavily on a single new platform it is developing. Dubbed the MEB, this flexible, modular “architecture” will be used to underpin the vast majority of battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, that will be offered by VW’s dozen different passenger car brands.

The MEB has been a topic of discussion between VW and Ford Motor Co., the two companies recently launching a joint venture to develop light commercial vehicles. They also are exploring ways they may be able to work together on the development of electric vehicles, possibly using the new VW platform — though a senior Ford official cautioned that this might prove more difficult than originally hoped.

Beyond the Headlines!

“The future, for us, is really a dedicated EV platform,” said Matthew Renna, vice president of e-Mobility for Volkswagen’s North American Region, a platform “flexible enough to cover a broad gamut of products ranging from an entry level subcompact up to models like the ID. Buzz minivan and even midsize SUVs.

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Volkswagen Ups the Ante with 2019 GLI Sedan

“The heart and soul of the GTI.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.07, 2019

The 2019 VW GLI blends the sportiest features of the Jetta and GTI models.

There are some things that Europeans and Americans just never can agree on, starting with hatchbacks and sedans. True, utility vehicles have come to dominate the U.S. marketplace, but sedans still make up a strong share of sales. Hatchbacks just can’t seem to climb out of the niche category.

So, for those who’d like the power and road-holding dynamics of a Volkswagen GTI, the GLI offers a viable, four-door alternative. And the German maker “ups the performance ante,” it promises, with the launch of the sixth-generation sedan that made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show.

Performance News!

“Volkswagen has long been synonymous with small, sporty cars,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “The redesigned 2019 Jetta proved once more that its combination of design, technology and value continues to resonate with buyers. The 2019 GLI takes the Jetta foundation and adds performance features from the Golf GTI to give buyers a true sport sedan.”

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Tesla Purchasing Ultracapacitor Maker Maxwell Tech

Electrify America turns to Tesla Powerpack for new charging stations.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.05, 2019

A Tesla supercharger station.

Tesla will spend $218 million to acquire Maxwell Technologies, an energy company that could help it both reduce battery costs and develop a battery alternative called an ultracapacitor.

Separately, Electrify America, a company dedicated to promoting and supporting electric vehicles, plans to use Tesla’s Powerpack battery backup system at more than 100 of its EV charging stations.

Electrifying News!

“We are always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Tesla said of the planned purchase of Maxwell in a statement.

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VW Plugs In With New Dune Buggy Concept

Retro design, futuristic powertrain; concept to debut in Geneva.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.31, 2019

Volkswagen is bringing a new electric concept to the Geneva Motor Show in March – what's old is new again!

Volkswagen is going back to the future with a ‘60s-tinged concept coming to the Geneva Motor Show in a little more than a month.

The show car is modelled after the classic dune buggies that hit American roads and beaches back in the 1960s and 1970s. But the new iteration offers something very different under the hood – or, more accurately, under the floorboards, the buggy concept making use of the same, modular electric drivetrain that will power an assortment of upcoming Volkswagen products.

Auto Show News!

“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels,” suggested VW’s global design chief Klaus Bischoff. “These attributes are embodied by the new e-buggy, which demonstrates how a modern, non-retro interpretation of a classic can look and, more than anything else, the emotional bond that electric mobility can create.” (more…)

Ford, VW Announce 1st in Promised Series of Joint Ventures

Carmakers will focus first on midsize pickups, light commercial vehicles.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.15, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and VW AG CEO Herbert Diess downplayed the immediate impact their new deal.

Confirming months of rumors, Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen announced Tuesday that they will launch the first of what they suggested will be a series of joint ventures, focusing initially on midsize pickups and light commercial vehicles.

Moving forward, they anticipate adding projects that will pair their costly efforts on electrified and autonomous vehicles, while Herbert Diess, the CEO of VW, said during a joint teleconference that the new partners could work together on “other” products in the future.

Breaking News!

Alliances are becoming more commonplace in an industry where changing consumer tastes and emerging technologies are stretching thin the budgets of even the most well-funded manufacturers, said Diess, who added that, “In such an environment, it just makes sense to share investments, pool innovation capabilities and create scale effects that are clearly defined.” (more…)

Volkswagen Building Electric Vehicles in Chattanooga

Automaker plowing $800M into new plant.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.14, 2019

Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess announced today that the company would build electric vehicles at its Chattanooga, Tennessee campus.

Volkswagen AG that it will spend $800 million to build two electric vehicles at its U.S. assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as part of the company’s global effort to broaden the appeal of electric vehicles.

“The U.S. is the world’s second-largest market for electric vehicles after China,” said Hebert Diess, Volkswagen AG CEO, who said the first U.S.-built EV, a crossover style vehicle will be ready by 2022 with the second vehicle to follow shortly afterwards.

Business News!

Diess hopes the company’s commitment building EVs in Chattanooga, and the large investment required to support it, will help keep at bay any threats of tariffs. “We are making a substantial investment in the U.S. with this announcement. We hope that counts for something,” Diess said. (more…)