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    Drew Dowdell

    ...A downsized version of the Atlas...

    Volkswagen unveiled one of the loosest kept secrets in the automotive industry, the Atlas Cross Sport.  The 5-seater mid-size features a more rakish back glass to give a coupe like appearance. 
    While the Atlas Cross Sport is 2.8 inches shorter, it still rides on the same 117.3 inch wheelbase and boasts almost as much cargo space (77.8 cu. ft.) as the bigger Atlas (96.8 cu. ft.) with the seats folded.  The Cross Sport is also 2.3 inches lower to the ground adding to its racier profile.
    Inside there are a few upgrades over the Atlas with a new steering wheel with more intuitive controls, available stitching accents on the doors and seats, and available wireless charging for mobile devices. The Atlas already comes with a suite of safety technology including Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Braking, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Traffic alert. Available on upper trims are Adaptive Cruise control and Park Distance Control.  The Cross Sport also adds available Traffic Jam Assist that helps maintain distances front and back, and on Cross Sports with Navigation, the system will display relevant traffic signs like speed limits, no passing zones, school zones, and work zones. 
    Powering the Cross Sport will be a selection of two engines. The 267 horsepower V6 and a 235 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder.  Either engine routes power to the wheels through an 8-speed automatic and available 4-motion All-Wheel Drive. When equipped with the V6, the Cross Sport can tow up to a rated 5,000 lbs when equipped with the towing package.
    There will be eight trim levels: S, SE, SE w/Tech, SE w/Tech R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, SEL Premium, and SEL Premium R-Line. More details and pricing will be announced ahead of the launch in the Spring of 2020.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...De Nysschen hailed an Uber and got into Volkswagen...

    Johan De Nysschen has landed on his feet after being abruptly fired as President of Cadillac in April of 2018. 
    JDN will take over as Chief Operating Officer of Volkswagen of America starting October 1st. This is not JDN's first experience with Volkswagen Automotive Grou (VAG), he was once a star executive in the Audi organization.  He later moved on to Infiniti where he moved the headquarters to Hong Kong and renamed all the vehicles to the Q or QX designation. Infiniti has since moved back to Japan. Once his time at Infiniti was up, he moved on to become President of Cadillac. There, he moved Cadillac's headquarters to New York City for a time before being abruptly fired in April 2018. Cadillac has since moved their headquarters back to Detroit. During his first full year as Cadillac boss, 2015, Cadillac sales fell over 11%.
    "Johan will help make us faster, better and smarter. He'll speed our decision-making and dive deep into our day-to-day business so we can continue to make this brand matter again," Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said about the new hire.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...We won't get the ID.3, but the ID.4 will be coming here...

    When the Volkswagen ID.3 debuted this week at the Frankfurt Auto Show we reported that the ID.3 would not be coming to the U.S.. That is still true, however we got a tease of the ID.4, which will be the next iteration of the ID family from Volkswagen during the ID.3 intro.
    The ID.4 is based on the ID Crozz concept from the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show and it is this model that will be VW's first ID model in the US.  While no details have been released, expect the ID.4 to follow the ID.3 mechanical specs pretty closely with 3 different battery options available and a rear axle mounted electric motor.  There is the possibility of a dual motor variant coming as well as the concept was powered that way with 302 total system horsepower.  
    After the ID.4 launch, VW is expected to release an EV version of the ID Buzz concept, a modern take on the Microbus. The ID Buzz, or whatever it will be named, is expected in 2022.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Not ready to throw in the oil soaked towel yet...

    Volkswagen is introducing a new generation of diesel engines with the 2.0 TDI Evo. This new engine is said to greatly undercut the limits of the tough new Euro 6d-Temp emissions standards. Volkwagen posted an interview with Sebastian Willmann, the Head of Diesel Engine Development at Volkswagen. In that interview he says that VW was able to reduce fuel consumption by 0.4 L/100km compared to the previous engine and reduce CO2 emissions by 10g/km.  They did both of these things while also increasing power output. 
    He further went on to explain that while there is a stigma surrounding diesel engines because of dieselgate, the diesel is still quite popular for its efficiency, range, and torque. Now, with this new engine, it is also substantially cleaner compared to prior engines.  He says that diesels will remain especially effective for vehicles that require a longer range or extra torque for towing.
    These statements are in contrast to the direction that VW as a whole is taking in the segment of electric vehicles.  VW has committed billions of euros to the development of an entire EV range.  The first EV, the ID.3 is expected in Europe in early 2020 with top line models having a range of 342 miles on a charge. Reservations of the Volkswagen ID.3 topped 10,000 in its first 24 hours it was available. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Now another convertible crossover...

    Volkswagen has taken the wraps off the 2020 T-Roc Cabriolet ahead of the Frankfurt International Auto Show in September. Volkswagen says the T-Roc Cabriolet offers just the right combination of SUV flexibility and the open air experience of a convertible. The soft top opens in just 9 seconds, can open or close while the car is in motion up to 18.6 mph (30 km/h), and locks or unlocks electrically. 
    On the safety front, the T-Roc Cabrio has roll-over protection. The system can detect a roll-over and the system springs upwards just behind the rear headrests. The windshield frame is also reinforced.
    It comes with an optional digital cockpit that has an "Always-On" connectivity to the internet and Volkswagen services.
    Two engines are available, a 1.0 three-cylinder engine with 113 horsepower or a 148 horsepower 1.5 liter four-cylinder. A 6-speed manual is standard on both engines while the more powerful engine also has a 7-speed DCT available as an option. 
    Launching in Spring of 2020, the T-Roc Cabriolet remains Forbidden Fruit in the U.S. like its hard top brother. Volkswagen calls the vehicle in the pictures a "near-production" concept car, so expect some changes between now and launch. 

    Volkswagen: No T-Roc For America, But We're Working On Something

    Drew Dowdell

    ...No official word as yet on a potential return...

    As we reported in May, Volkswagen is making big cuts to the Golf lineup in the US.  Already announced for end of production in 2019 are the Golf Sportwagen and Golf Alltrack. 
    For 2020, the current base Mk7 Golf returns and will be offered in just one trim, called the Value Edition that includes features like Keyless entry, Wifi, heated seats, and 16-Inch alloy wheels while the GTI will come in S and SE trims. Missing from the 2020 lineup is the Golf R.  Volkswagen has confirmed to Motor Authority that the Golf R has reached end of production for the current generation. 
    The Mk8 generation will likely see the base Golf removed from the US lineup and the GTI and Golf R will be the only entries.  We'll see the Mk8 generation Golf introduced in the fall of this year for European production in 2020, but the U.S. won't see the new version of the Golf/GTI at dealerships until the 2021 model year. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...get your longroof VW while you can...

    The march towards majority SUVs continues on and the two newest casualties are the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen and the Golf Alltrack. As we predicted a month ago, Volkswagen will end production of the two vehicles in the 2019 model year, though in the case of the Alltrack, production will be extended to December. 
    Volkswagen says that with 50 percent of their sales being SUVs, consumer tastes have shifted strongly to SUVs, and VW is responding by releasing three new SUVs over the next 2 years.  First up, will be a 5-seater Atlas Cross Sport being unveiled later this year, then the ID.CROZZ electric SUV early next year, and a just announced SUV to slot below the Tiguan is planned for 2021.  While Volkswagen says their new ID EV platform can be used for bodystyles of the past, apparently the station wagon is not one planned. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Europe only for now...

    Drivers in Europe can now place deposits for Volkswagen's new ID.3 all electric vehicle.  This is the car that Volkswagen expects to compete with the Tesla Model 3 in the compact EV space. The target starting price for the ID.3 is under €30,000 which translates to $33,585 at the time of this writing. Initial vehicles offered will be special edition ID.3 1st. With an initial run of 30,000 vehicles, the ID.3 1st starts around €40,000 ($44.803) and comes equipped with voice control, navigation system, larger wheels.  There is also an ID.3 1st Plus that ads IQ Light and bi-color design while a Max adds a panoramic glass roof and an advanced heads-up display. 
    The 3 in the name ID.3 marks the vehicle's importance to Volkswagen's history as the most important vehicle after the Beetle and Golf, and also signifies the ability for VW to expand the ID brand in either direction.
    The entry level ID.3 can travel up to 205 miles on a single charge while mid-grade can go 261 miles and top-line models get as far as 342 miles. 
    Volkswagen expect production to start in late 2019 with initial deliveries happening in mid-2020. No word yet on when the model will hit US shores.


    Drew Dowdell

    ...GTI and R to survive...

    Rumors are swirling that Volkswagen may be cutting most of the Golf lineup from the US market with the next generation of Golf.  The standard version of the Golf, e-Golf, Golf SportWagen, and Golf Alltrack would be dropped in the US while the GTI and Golf R continue on.  The e-Golf will be replaced by something in the ID lineup.
    Looking at the sales numbers, it is easy to see why Volkswagen may make this move. Sales of the base Golf in 2018 numbered just 6,642, down 51% from the year prior.  GTI and Golf R combined sold more than triple that amount (20,152).  The one head-scratcher is the Golf Sportwagon, which sold nearly as many units (14,123) as the GTI (16,684), but if Volkswagen is looking to shed the econo-car image of the Golf and stick with just the hot-hatch image, then dropping the Sportwagen may make sense.
    As the next generation of Golf hasn't actually been released yet, Volkswagen is declining to comment. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ... better late than never.

    The Volkswagen Arteon is taking the scenic route to the US with a delayed launch brought on by some delays in getting its engine certified for the US.  The US version of the Arteon debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 2018 and we recently reported that the Arteon would finally go on sale sometime in early summer.
    Volkswagen has announced pricing for the U.S. model will start at $35,845 plus $995 destination charge for the base SE front-wheel-drive model and $37,645 for all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available on all trims, generally costing about $2,000 for the upgrade. 
    Arteon SE comes with heated 12-way power seats with faux leather, three-zone automatic climate control, rain sensing wipers, and an 8.0 inch diagonal infotainment screen including Android Auto and Apple Car Play. 18" alloy wheels and LED headlights are standard.
    Arteon SEL starts at $39,995 for FWD and $41,795 for 4Motion AWD. It adds adaptive front lighting, panoramic sunroof, remote start, Napa leather seats, driver seat memory, ambient lighting, navigation, a 12.3 inch digital cockpit systems, and adaptive cruise control.
    Arteon SEL Premium starts at $44,945 and features standard 4motion, heated steering wheel, paddle shifters, ventilated front seats, massaging driver’s seat, heated rear seats, brushed aluminum, tri-color ambient lighting, and a 700-watt premium audio system with 12 speakers.
    The R-Line Package is available on any trim level and includes 19-inch alloy wheels for $1,265 or 20-inch alloy wheels for $1,765

    Drew Dowdell

    ... sues to recover "ill-gotten gains"

    The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission has filed suit in San Francisco on Thursday alleging that from April 2014 through May 2015, Volkswagen fraudulently issued more than $13 Billion in bonds and securities in the U.S. market.  During that time, the SEC alleges that Winterkorn and other senior management knew about the problem with over 500,000 diesel vehicles that exceeded legal emissions limits. 
    The suit says:
    Winterkorn resigned within days of the scandal braking in 2015. 
    Volkswagen said in a statement that the lawsuit is "legally and facturally flawed" and "the company will contest it vigorously".
    Volkswagen has already agreed to pay more than $25 billion in a settlement over the dieselgate scandal to buy back defective vehicles, paying fines, and setting up funds to help build out electric vehicle infrastructure. Winterkorn has already been charged in the US.

    Drew Dowdell

    Most will be in Wolfsburg, Germany

    Volkswagen has announced it will cut between 5,000 to 7,000 jobs through attrition and early retirement at its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.  Most of the job cuts will be administrative staff.  While cutting those job, VW will be creating 2,000 new software and electronics jobs.  The cuts are part of a cost savings plan to drive 3€ Billion in annual savings by 2020 and 5.9€ billion  by 2023. 
    The move comes the day after the company announced it will increase its EV plans to build 22 million units over the next decade.  Electric vehicles are less complex to build and require fewer workers.
    Volkswagen is building a new EV platform and the first vehicle to arrive on the market will be the I.D. Neo, expected sometime in 2020.  The I.D. Neo will be built at a plant in Zwickau, Germany.  Future electric vehicles will be built in 7 additional factories including Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

    Drew Dowdell

    Increases goal from 15 million to 22 million over the next decade. 

    Volkswagen has announced they are increasing their goal to build fully electric vehicles from 15 million to 22 million over the next decade. The company is moving to electric vehicles after a disastrous diesel emissions cheating scandal hit sales and resulted in record breaking government fines, and European and Asian government impose new restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions.
    The core Volkswagen brand saw profits fall, while the overall company profits rose 6% to 12.2€ Billion. 

    Drew Dowdell

    No 112-mph limit for Polestar

    Volvo caused a stir on Monday when it announced that it would begin setting a 112-mph top speed on all of its vehicles starting with the 2020 model year. The goal of the limit is to strive toward Volvo's Vision 2020 Plan to eliminate fatalities or serious injury in all Volvo new vehicles.
    That release made no mention of Volvo's Polestar brand. CNET Roadshow interviewed Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath who said "We obviously will not do that, and it is a nice brand differentiator".  Polestar is considered a performance brand, but he thinks that talking maximum speed is missing the point with regard electric cars. Most of the focus on EVs tends to be around the 0-60 performance rather than max speed. 
    As Polestar is still a Volvo at heart, it will benefit from Volvo's safety know-how, but it won't pursue a safety image like Volvo has.
    Polestar unveiled the Polestar 2 electric car at the Geneva Auto Show this week.  Read more below.

    Drew Dowdell

    Likely to appear this summer after more than a year delay.

    The delayed launch of the Volkswagen Arteon may be nearing its end. MotorTrend is reporting that the Chairman of Volkswagen has said that the Arteon will hit U.S. shores this year. 
    The original cause of the delay was a backlog of certifying vehicles under the World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).  The Arteon in the U.S. will use a 268 hp 2.0 liter Turbo from Audi that had yet to be certified.  VW sells the Arteon in Europe using a different engine.
    The Arteon debuted at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show and is priced above the Passat in the Volkswagen lineup. 

    William Maley

    But Volkswagen is planning on selling EVs in all 50 states

    In Europe, Volkswagen offers a couple of plug-in hybrid models such as the Golf GTE. But don't expect any those plug-in hybrids to come to the U.S.
    "It's a bridging technology," between internal-combustion and full-electric cars, said Matthew Renna, Volkswagen North America Region's vice president of e-mobility yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show.
    "It's very cost-prohibitive to have two different powertrains on one platform."
    Volkswagen has made no secret about their electric car ambitions, with plans to launch a full lineup within the next few years. While Europe will get a small hatchback based on I.D. Concept, the U.S. will get a production version of the Crozz concept. Volkswagen is also planning on selling their upcoming EVs in all 50 states, not only in those that require automakers to sell certain number of EVs.
    "The plan is to sell nationwide. The goal is a nationwide roll-out ASAP," said Renna.
    Source: Roadshow

    William Maley

    Regular Golf will still offer it

    Next year will see Volkswagen unveil the next-generation Golf GTI. It was reported that the model would utilize a mild-hybrid setup to boost fuel economy and improve low-end response. This decision was made under the leadership of former Volkswagen chairman Matthias Müller and would have become the flagship model for a new range of mild-hybrid models badged as IQ. But a new report from Autocar says the new chairman, Herbert Diess has canned the powertrain.
    No reason was given as to why this decision was reversed. Volkswagen is still planning to do mild-hybrid versions of the standard Golf that will utilize a 48-Volt electrical system.
    Autocar says the next-generation GTI will use an updated version of the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing either 252 or 286 horsepower. The current model in the U.S. punches out 227 horsepower. A six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch will be the available transmissions.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Updated styling, but retains the same platform

    Volkswagen has released some sketches of the upcoming 2020 Passat that will be debuting next month at the Detroit Auto Show. It is clear that the automaker is addressing one of the biggest complaints about the current model, the boring exterior. Volkswagen is taking some ideas from the smaller Jetta with a larger, upright grille; creasing along the side, and new trunk lid design. Aside from the roof, Volkswagen says all of the body panels are new or modified.
    According to media who got the chance to see the car in person during a preview event, the 2020 Passat's interior features a new center stack with an updated infotainment system. Overall interior space is still expansive.
    We were hoping that the next Passat would transition over to the MQB platform, but the model will remain on the PQ46 platform that underpins the current model. Why is that?
    “This segment is shrinking, and we figured that we can give the customers all they need with the current platform instead of spending to switch to a new one,” said Kai Oltmanns, product manager for the Passat to Motor1.
    Automotive News reports that the 2020 Passat will retain the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder and six-speed automatic.
    Pricing for the 2020 Passat will be announced near to its release date, expected to sometime next summer.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Motor1, Volkswagen

    William Maley

    Interesting they are choosing Chicago for the debut

    We have been talking about the next-generation Jetta GLI for almost a year. The next-generation model is expected to get some infusion from the GTI with the same turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It will also swap the torsion-beam rear suspension for a multi-link setup. The one item we have been wondering is where Volkswagen is planning on debuting it. For some time, we thought the Detroit Auto Show in January would be the place. But Autoblog reports that the Windy City will be the place for the GLI.
    A Volkswagen representative told the outlet the next GLI would be premiering during the Chicago Auto Show's Press Days - February 7th and 8th. 
    Source: Autoblog

    William Maley

    But they're not going away for quite some time

    Volkswagen has announced their next-generation of gas and diesel engines, launching in 2026 will be its last.
    “Our colleagues are working on the last platform for vehicles that aren’t CO2 neutral. We’re gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum,” said Michael Jost, strategy chief for Volkswagen.
    The German automaker has set aside $50 billion over the next five years to begin transforming itself into an electric car builder. The first rollout is beginning very soon with the Audi e-tron SUV and Porsche Taycan. By 2030, Volkswagen is planning to have more than 300 electric versions of cars, vans, trucks, and motorbikes.
    But the fading out of gas and diesel engines isn't going to be a quick thing. Jost said that Volkswagen would continue to "modify its combustion engine technology," in the coming years after the new platform for "vehicles that aren’t CO2 neutral". After 2050, Volkswagen may still be offering some gas and diesel models in places "where there is insufficient charging infrastructure."
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley

    Will be a subcompact crossover

    Volkswagen is planning a lineup of electric vehicles which include a hatchback, crossover, and small van. But a new report says the German automaker has ambitions to launch an electric vehicle with a pricetag of about 18,000 euros (about $21,000).
    Sources tell Bloomberg the model in question will be a subcompact crossover and begin selling sometime after 2020. According to Reuters, the model is currently known as "MEB entry". Volkswagen is planning a production volume of 200,000 vehicles that will take place at three factories. This vehicle hasn't been approved by Volkswagen's supervisory board. According to sources, a discussion on the vehicle is expected to take place during their next meeting on November 16th - the same meeting that is reportedly where a discussion on possible expanding their partnership with Ford is expected to take place.
    Sources also mentioned another electric model, the I.D. Aero. The midsize sedan and wagon would be built at Volkswagen's Emden plant in Germany. Emden is currently home to the production of the European Passat sedan and wagon, but sources say production of the model would move to the Czech Republic in 2022. Having the Aero take the Passat's place would help keep jobs at Emden.
    Volkswagen declined to comment.
    Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required), Reuters

    William Maley

    The V6 FWD for the base S is also going away

    When we drove the Volkswagen Atlas back in the summer, we liked the base turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder for the most part. Aside from noticeable turbo-lag, the engine provided decent oomph. But for 2019, Volkswagen is quietly reducing the number of models you can order with the turbo 2.0L.
    CarsDirect recently obtained the order guide for the 2019 Atlas and reports that the base S trim will be the only model available with the 2.0T. Previously, the SE and SEL could be ordered with the 2.0T. Volkswagen has also decided to drop V6 FWD configuration for the S. This means the mid-level SE is now the cheapest way to get the V6 FWD configuration - $36,490 vs. $35,090 for the S V6 AWD.
    Why is Volkswagen doing this? The most likely reason comes down to the four-cylinder version of the Atlas not really being available at dealers. If you wanted one, you had to order it straight from the factory. 
    Source: CarsDirect

    William Maley

    Effective starting next month

    Scott Keogh, Audi of America's president will soon have a new job come November 1st. He will become CEO of Volkswagen Group's North American operations, taking over Hinrich Woebcken who held the position since April 2016. This is a big deal since Keogh will be the first American to hold the top position for Volkswagen's North America branch in 25 years.
    Keogh has an impressive track record at Audi when he joined in 2006 as their chief marking officer. He would play a key role in boosting the awareness of the brand. In 2012, he was named president and would preside over one of the longest sales streaks that continues to this day.
    His new assignment is going to be tough. As Automotive News points out, Volkswagen dealers have the " lowest profit margins of any brand in the U.S." A number of Volkswagen dealers also struggle with customer service. Keogh has worked on both at Audi, helping dealers improve profits and boosting customer satisfaction - vaulting itself into the top three. 
    “Hinrich J. Woebcken has brought the Volkswagen brand back on track for success in the U.S. and the North American region. Considering the challenging conditions, these achievements deserve my dedicated recognition. After the successful comeback of the Volkswagen brand, Scott Keogh, who led Audi to excellence in the U.S., will build upon the momentum and implement the next stage in the growth strategy as we continue to develop Volkswagen into a more relevant player in North America,“ said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG in a statement.
    Woebcken will be sticking around Volkswagen as an adviser. Keogh's replacement at Audi will be Mark Del Rosso, currently the head of Bentley's Aamerican division.
    Source: Volkswagen, Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Hinrich J. Woebcken remains available to the company as an adviser Mark Del Rosso, head of Bentley Motors Inc., Americas, named president of Audi of America HERNDON, Va. (October 10, 2018) – Scott Keogh, head of Audi of America, was named president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America as well as head of the Volkswagen brand for the North American region.
    Keogh, who joined Audi in 2006, will succeed Hinrich J. Woebcken, who led the successful transformation of Volkswagen in North America. Woebcken will remain with the company as an adviser. Keogh’s successor is Mark Del Rosso, president and CEO of Bentley Motors, Inc., Americas, and former chief operating officer of Audi of America. Keogh and Woebcken's new roles are effective Nov. 1. Del Rosso joins Audi Dec. 1. A replacement for Del Rosso will be named later.
    Keogh, 49, joined Audi as chief marketing officer, where he led the revival of the Audi brand with innovative marketing tactics that lead to record awareness and brand strength. In 2012, he was appointed president, building on the momentum to help reach record customer satisfaction levels and double sales from 2010 to 2015.
    Woebcken, 58, an industrial engineer by training, was named CEO of the newly created North America region of the Volkswagen brand in January 2016 and then president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. He began his career with Krauss-Maffei in 1985. After holding positions in sales and marketing, he became managing director responsible for sales, marketing and after-sales with Dürr AG in 1997, before joining BMW as head of technical purchasing in 2004. Before joining VW, he was BMW's senior vice president, driving dynamics, and a member of the board of management at Knorr-Bremse AG. He will continue to be available to the company in the North American region as senior executive strategy adviser.
    “Hinrich J. Woebcken has brought the Volkswagen brand back on track for success in the U.S. and the North American region. Considering the challenging conditions, these achievements deserve my dedicated recognition," said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. "After the successful comeback of the Volkswagen brand, Scott Keogh, who led Audi to excellence in the U.S., will build upon the momentum and implement the next stage in the growth strategy as we continue to develop Volkswagen into a more relevant player in North America.“
    Del Rosso, 54, is a graduate of the University of Southern California and an experienced marketing and sales executive with extensive expertise in the premium sector. He started his career with Toyota Motor Sales in 1991, holding various senior corporate and regional positions throughout the U.S. for Lexus and Toyota. In 2008, he became executive vice president, COO of Audi of America and was appointed president and CEO of Bentley Motors, Inc., Americas in 2017.

    William Maley

    Blame European Emission Certification Delays

    Volkswagen was originally planning to roll out the Arteon in the U.S. towards the end of this year. But complications stemming from the European Union's Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) has caused the German automaker to push back the launch to early 2019.
    Automotive News reports that the first hint of the delay came when Volkswagen cancelled a media drive event in California that was scheduled for next month. A spokesman told the outlet the delay comes down to delays in the certification process caused by a backlog in meeting [new] WLTP worldwide emissions testing."
    Beginning this month, all new vehicles sold in the European Union must meet the new WLTP emissions parameters. But long delays in testing have meant that automakers only started receiving certification recently. This in turn has meant automakers are under immense pressure to keep an adequate supply of WLTP-compliant vehicles to dealers. The Arteon is one of those models and Volkswagen has made the decision to prioritize production for Europe for the time being.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Good Night and Good Luck

    The end of the Volkswagen Beetle is coming. Volkswagen announced last week that production of the iconic coupe and convertible will end next July at the company's Puebla, Mexico. Before the final curtain call, Volkswagen will be building a Final Edition version.
    Available as a either a coupe or convertible, the Final Edition will be available with two exclusive colors - Safari Uni and Stonewashed Blue. You can also get it in white, black, or grey if the exclusive colors don't interest you. Convertibles aside from those painted in Safari Uni will get a light brown top. A set of multi-spoke 17-inch wheels are standard on the SE, while 18-inch retro styled wheels come on the SEL. For the interior, the Final Edition comes with seats that have pleating. SE models come upholstered in a combination of leatherette and cloth, while the SEL makes do with leather.
    Power comes from the same 2.0L turbo-four found in other Beetles. It produces 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. 
    Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition is as followed,
    SE Coupe: $23,940 SEL Coupe: $26,890 SE Convertible: $28,190 SEL Convertible: $30,890 Prices include a $895 destination charge.
    Source: Volkswagen

    Volkswagen Announces Beetle Final Edition
    Special models celebrate Beetle’s rich heritage as third-generation is set to end production in 2019
    Herndon, VA (September 13, 2018) — Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that it will end production of the iconic Beetle in 2019. To celebrate the Beetle’s rich heritage, two special models will join the lineup for its last model year—Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL.
    “The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it. But as we have seen with the I.D. BUZZ—which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus—I would also say, ‘Never say never.’ We’re excited to kick off a year of celebrating one of the true icons of the automotive world, with a series of events that will culminate in the end of production in Puebla in July 2019.”
    Available in coupe and convertible body styles, the Final Edition models include exclusive equipment and unique upscale décor elements designed to send the Beetle off in style. Models also draw inspiration from the first-generation Beetle’s final run in Mexico, where the vehicle is assembled.
    The 2003 Última Edición (last edition) models were only available in two colors—beige and light blue. Today’s Final Edition models will feature two unique colors: Safari Uni—a reinvention of Harvest Moon Beige, a color from the New Beetle—and Stonewashed Blue, a nod to the 1970 Jeans Bug and most recently seen on the 2016 Beetle Denim. Final Edition models are also available in Pure White, Deep Black Pearl, and Platinum Grey. Convertible Final Edition SEL models in every exterior color except Safari Uni are available with a unique Brown soft top.
    Final Edition coupe models feature standard chrome treatments like the Última Edición models, in addition to body-color side mirrors, heated washer nozzles (all standard features across the Beetle Convertible lineup), as well as a sunroof. Final Edition SEL models are equipped with Bi-Xenon® headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), LED taillights, and fog lights. All Final Edition models replace the typical “Turbo” badge on the tailgate with a “Beetle” badge.
    Unique wheels complete the exterior transformation of Beetle Final Edition models. Final Edition SE models feature 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a 15-spoke design. Final Edition SEL models are shod with 18-inch white aluminum-alloy wheels in a disc design that is reminiscent of the Última Edición’s body-colored steel wheels fitted with chrome hubcaps and whitewall tires.
    Inside, all Final Edition models are equipped with standard KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with unique “Beetle” clip, stainless steel pedal caps, Climatronic® automatic climate control, gloss black center console, a unique Safari Uni color dashpad with the classic kaeferfach glovebox or “Beetle bin” that harkens to the color-matched interior treatments in the Última Edición, and three-color ambient lighting. Final Edition SE models feature cloth and leatherette rhombus-pattern seats, while SEL models offer standard diamond-stitched leather seating surfaces.
    Final Edition SE models feature a Composition Media infotainment unit with a 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display, Bluetooth® technology for compatible devices, USB multimedia port, SiriusXM® radio (three-month trial subscription), Voice Control, and Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect smartphone integration. Final Edition SEL models upgrade to Discover Media infotainment with navigation, Car-Net Security & Service, and Guide & Inform, as well as Fender® Premium Audio.
    All 2019 Beetle models, both convertible and coupe, are powered a 2.0 liter TSI® engine that puts out 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. All models are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and the EPA-estimated fuel economy rating is 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
    To meet the demands of American drivers, all Beetle Final Edition models offer driver-assistance technology. SE models include standard Blind Spot Monitor Rear Traffic Alert. Final Edition SEL models add standard front and rear Park Distance Control.
    Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition coupe starts at $23,045 for SE models and $25,995 for SEL models. Beetle Convertible Final Edition pricing starts at $27,295 for SE models and $29,995 for SEL models. The destination charge for all Beetle models is an additional $895.

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