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    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)


    SCOTT KEOGH NAMED HEAD OF VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA
    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.

    William Maley

    Revealed by the CEO in an internal newsletter

    Volkswagen put forth an ambitious plan to offer an electric version of each model it sells. The automaker set aside about 20 billion euros ($23 billion), but that will not be enough according CEO Herbert Diess.
    “The burden for our company, such as the cost of bringing to market electric cars, will be higher than expected,” Diess said in a interview with Volkswagen's internal newsletter, obtained by Bloomberg.
    “This is particularly so since some of our competitors have been making more progress.”
    Diess didn't give a new figure in the interview, but did say the company needs to "reduce expenses more to be able to invest in future technology and weather crises".
    Volkswagen has been working on improving its profitability since a 2016 labor pact and massive reorganization of its 12 brands. The Volkswagen brand has seen its profitability increase from 1.8 to 4.1 percent last year. But Diess said they need higher profits.
    “We need higher profits to finance our future. Four percent is a minimum, 5 percent to 6 percent allow for some future investments and with 7 percent to 8 percent we’re crisis-ready.”
    Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    The V6 is also deep-sixed

    If you're planning on picking up a 2019 Volkswagen Passat, then you might be disappointed by the limited amount on configurations on offer.
    The Car Connection reports that Volkswagen will be cutting down the 2019 Passat lineup to just two models - the Wolfsburg Edition and SE R-Line.
    Wolfsburg Edition: 17-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring as standard. A sunroof and 18-inch wheels are optional.
    SE R-Line: LED lighting, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, lane keep assist, navigation, and Fender audio system.
    Along with the drop in trims, the 280 horsepower V6 will be going away in 2019. This leaves the turbo 2.0L four-cylinder and six-speed automatic as the sole powertrain choice.
    We're not sure as to why Volkswagen is slicing up the Passat lineup. Our two possible guesses is the declining sales of midsize sedans or Volkswagen readying a next-generation Passat that could arrive as early as 2020.
    No word on pricing or on-sale date.
    Source: The Car Connection

    William Maley

    Only on front-wheel drive models, all-wheel models stick with the 1.8T

    For 2019, Volkswagen is swapping engines on certain Golf models to help boost fuel economy.
    The Car Connection reports that the Golf and Golf SportWagen will swap the turbocharged 1.8L four for the Jetta's turbo 1.4. The smaller engine produces 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen is also adding more gears to the transmissions - six-speeds for the manual and eight for the automatic. EPA fuel economy estimates are not available at the moment.
    All-wheel drive variants (Golf SportWagen S AWD and Alltrack) will keep the turbo 1.8. Its unclear from TCC's story whether it will get the updated transmissions - Alltrack already gets the six-speed manual.
    There's also some feature changes for the 2019 Golf,
    Golf: Base S models add automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring as standard. SE models will now come equipped with adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights. Golf SportWagen: Mirrors the Golf, along with the top-line SEL model being dropped. Golf Alltrack: S models get automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring. SE adds LED headlights as an option. SEL models get a six-speed manual as an option. Source: The Car Connection

    William Maley

    Which means certain models may not be available for a time

    In a month's time, Europe will be switching from much maligned New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) to the Worldwide Harmonized Light Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). Automakers are scrambling to get models certified under this new procedure. This presents a big problem for Volkswagen as they don't have enough engineers to make sure their vehicles to meet the new standards.
    According to Reuters, Volkswagen lost a number of engineers that specialized in engine calibration ever since the company revealed they were using illegal software on their diesel vehicles to cheat emission tests.
    “Engine development expertise has been lost,” said Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess.
    It is so bad, that Volkswagen believes it will affect their financial results for the second half of this year as they might not be able to get a number of vehicles out on the road. The company said there would a bottleneck of certain model variants between now and October.
    Volkswagen is working hard to try and overcome this problem. They have plucked BMW engine development expert Markus Duesmann last week to try and get through this mess.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley

    Coming soon to Chattanooga

    Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN plant will soon have two more vehicles rolling off the line.
    Hinrich Woebcken, VW's North American CEO told Autocar that the upcoming I.D. Buzz and Crozz EVs for the region will be built at Chattanooga.
    “For strong product momentum, they need to be produced in the USA. It’s not possible to come into a high-volume scenario with imported cars. We want to localise electric mobility in the US,” said Woebcken.
    Woebcken also revealed that the models would be 'Americanized'.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    But it might not happen

    We know that the current Volkswagen Beetle will soon be heading off to the great parking lot in the sky sometime next year, and that a direct replacement will not happen. But there is talk about bringing back the Beetle as an electric vehicle.
    Volkswagen's design chief Klaus Bischoff revealed to Autocar that he has already made a sketch of a possible Beetle EV, but it will be some time before the automaker makes a decision whether to move forward with this or not. Some of this comes down Volkswagen wanting to get the bigger-selling electric cars into production first (see I.D. hatchback and  I.D. Crozz) before moving onto the 'emotional' models.
    “Our duty is to get the volume [ID] models under way. These cars have super-complicated technology and if you do too much, it’s an overload. Then we [can] move into more exotic cars and the field of emotion,” said Bischoff.
    If Volkswagen does give the green light for a Beetle EV, what could it look like? According to Autocar, the model could grow in size and get two extra doors.
    “The Beetle of today is a very attractive two-door coupé or convertible, but it is limited in the amount of cars that it can sell because it’s a niche. If you look at MEB, the shortest wheelbase [possible] is the ID [hatchback]. If you took that and did the Beetle on it, you have plenty of room so there’s no compromise in functionality any more. So it could be a very attractive car,” explained Bischoff.
    We know there is a fan of an electric Beetle, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess.
    “We could [build an electric Beetle], because it is rear-wheel drive, no grille. If we wanted to do a Beetle electrically, it would be much better than the current car. Much closer to the history of the Beetle," Diess told Car and Driver back in October.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Another day, another fine

    We're coming up on three years since the Volkswagen diesel scandal came to light. It caused the German automaker to spiral downward with various fines, lawsuits, people either stepping down or being arrested, and sales tanking. By now, you would think that the pain is done and over. But you would be wrong.
    Reuters reports today that prosecutors in Germany have fined Volkswagen a billion euros ($1.18 billion) over diesel emission cheating. In a statement, Volkswagen will accept the fine, therefore admitting responsibility for the cheating.
    "Following thorough examination, Volkswagen AG accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it. Volkswagen AG, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome," the company said.
    By accepting the fine, Volkswagen hopes "the active regulatory offence proceedings" being conducted will come to an end. It will unlikely end the various criminal cases that German prosecutors are working on against various Volkswagen executives.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley

    Very much an odd couple

    Since 2014, there have been numerous rumors about Apple's self-driving project known as Titan. At one time, the project had a 1,000 workers with the goal of designing and building a self-driving electric vehicle. But numerous issues and changes in vision has caused the project to be majorly behind scheduled. A new report from the New York Times shines a light at the current circumstances.
    According to sources with knowledge of the project, Apple signed a deal with Volkswagen late last year that would see the automaker provide less than two dozen of T6 Transporter vans to the technology company. Apple will equip the vans with their self-driving tech and be used as shuttles around their Cupertino base. The sources say the vans are "consuming nearly all of the Apple car team’s attention". A number of former Apple employees added that the project "lacked a clear plan beyond the vans, including any near-term commercial goals."
    Volkswagen wasn't Apple's first choice for an automaker partner. BMW and Mercedes-Benz were the tech company's first and second choices. Various discussions would be held with both German automakers, but would ultimately go no-where as they balked at Apple's request "to hand over control of the data and design." Other automakers were spoken to, but wouldn't go far as automakers were not ready to give up control or Apple wanted " a more attractive partner." Volkswagen, however, jumped at the chance, as it was seen as a way to help improve their reputation after the diesel emission mess.
    It's unclear whether this deal will only be for the vans or extend further. 
    Source: New York Times

    William Maley

    The continuing trend of automakers dropping out of shows

    Automakers have been bailing out of various auto shows for the past few years. Case in point, a number of German automakers pulling out of the Detroit show for 2019. Volkswagen is the latest one to announce that it will not be showing up to a major auto show.
    Reuters reports that the German automaker will be skipping this year's Paris Motor Show. 
    “The Volkswagen brand is continually reviewing its participation in international motor shows,” the company said in a statement. Instead, Volkswagen could host “various communications activities” in the city, including test drives.
    Volkswagen joins other automakers including Ford, Mazda, Nissan, Opel, and Volvo that are skipping Paris.
    Part of Volkswagen's decision comes down to cost-cutting due to the fallout of the diesel emission scandal. But the move is part of a larger trend of Automakers being more considerate of how they spend their marketing budgets. Declining numbers of attendees and competing shows such as CES in Las Vegas are the key reasons for this.
    Volkswagen's other divisions such as Audi, Seat, and Skoda will be appearing in Paris according to a spokesman for Volkswagen's French operations.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley

    That might explain how he got the safe-passage deal

    Yesterday, we reported that Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess got a safe-passage deal from the U.S. Justice Department. This type of deal is very unusual and it was speculated that U.S. wasn't planning to charge Diess over the diesel emission scandal, or that he provided some sort of testimony. We might have an answer to how Diess got this deal.
    German tabloid Bild reports that Diess traveled to the U.S. last week to testify about the diesel emission scandal. Representatives from the FBI and Justice Department were present, as was Larry Thompson, the U.S. monitor appointed last year to oversee reforms at the company. Unfortunately, Bild doesn't mention any sources.
    Reuters did some investigating and got conflicting stories. One source told the news service that Diess and Thompson recently traveled to the U.S. recently with "relevant authorities", without going into further detail. Another source denied that a meeting took place last week, saying Diess met with spoke with authorities a few months ago.
    Volkswagen declined to comment.
    Our guess is that Diess was given a safe-passage deal from the U.S. Justice Department if he would provide testimony on the diesel emission scandal. We'll keep you posted if anything breaks on this story.
    Source: Bild (Subscription Required), Reuters

    William Maley

    No worries about detained over the diesel emission scandal 

    Back in March, prosecutors in the U.S. filed sealed charges against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. But during that same time, Volkswagen's current CEO got a rare safe-passage deal from the U.S.
    Bloomberg has learned from a couple of sources that the Justice Department has given Herbert Diess a safe-passage deal - basically allows him to travel without the worry of being arrested in connection to the diesel emission scandal. Diess also got a spoken assurance that he would be notified if prosecutors seek to charge him in the diesel emission mess.
    Being the CEO of a major automaker, Diess needs to travel to various events around the world. By giving him this deal, Diess will be able to travel without the fear of being detained.
    According to former prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers, the safe-passage deal for Diess is very unusual. They could only think of two reasons as to why Diess was given this deal - U.S. doesn't believe it will charge Diess or he is proving key information into the investigation.
    That doesn't mean Diess is free from the scandal. He is still under investigation in Germany for possible market manipulation.
    Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Why the recent indictment of Martin Winterkorn doesn't amount to much.

    Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has been indicted for his involvement in the diesel emission scandal. The indictment, which was filed under seal at the U.S. District Court in Detroit back in March, was unsealed yesterday. U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in court filings the reason for unsealing is "because there is no longer a belief that unsealing these documents will compromise an ongoing investigation."
    Winterkorn has been charged with four felony counts, including wire fraud and violating the clean air act. In the indictment, it is alleged that Winterkorn was told about the efforts to manipulate U.S. emission tests with their TDI vehicles in May 2014 and July 2015. Winterkorn has previously stated that he only found out about the cheating in August 2015.
    The indictment also mentions a meeting that took place on July 27, 2015 at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg headquarters. It is reported that a Powerpoint presentation was shown to various executives, including Winterkorn, that laid out the process of deception that Volkswagen was doing to regulators. Allegedly at the meeting, Volkswagen employees recommended that the company work on getting the approval of 2016 model year diesel vehicles without revealing the existence of the cheat software. Various executives including Winterkorn agreed to the plan.
    "If you try to deceive the United States, then you will pay a heavy price," said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement.
    So, when should expect Winterkorn to appear in a U.S. courtroom? The answer is never and Automotive News explains why,
    Emphasis mine. A source told Reuters that Winterkorn is in Germany and will be staying there. He is likely aware of what happened Oliver Schmidt, who pleaded guilty for his participation in the scandal. Schmidt was arrested in late 2016 when he was traveling in the U.S.
    German prosecutors will continue their investigation into Winterkorn's involvement in the diesel emission scandal.
    "Our investigation strategy does not change just because the Americans have filed charges against Winterkorn," said a spokesman for the Lower Saxony prosecutors' office.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2, Reuters

    William Maley

    The reason comes down to electric vehicles

    Ford's decision to drop most of their passenger car lineup last week is still sending shockwaves, and likely causing various automakers to have discussions about if they should follow in their footsteps. One automaker that will not be following Ford is Volkswagen.
    “We are intending to be a full line car manufacturer,” said Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken.
    The reason as to why? Electric Vehicles.
    “The question of whether electric mobility will favor sedans or SUVs hasn’t been answered yet. When you’re talking about electric cars, sedans have more advantages. The shape and the [drag coefficient] has a high effect on range. Therefore, we’ll maybe see a higher sedan share on full electric cars than with conventional cars,” said Woebcken.
    Aside from EVs, Volkswagen still sees sedans as an important key to their U.S. plans. The new Jetta and Arteon will be arriving in dealers very soon, and a new Passat is expected to debut next year.
    That said, Woebcken says crossovers will become a big part of Volkswagen's U.S. Current plans have the automaker launching at least two new crossovers over the next few years.
    “The shift from sedans to SUVs is a permanent one. In former times, when gas prices went up people moved back to sedans. We believe this will not happen anymore for two reasons. First, the difference in fuel economy between SUVs and sedans is not so big anymore. Second, customers do not want to give up the high seating position. I believe that trend will not reverse.”
    Source: Digital Trends

    William Maley

    48-Volt electrical systems are now becoming vogue

    Volkswagen has made their plans clear of introducing a number of full electric vehicles beginning with the I.D. next year. But the company is also planning to electrify a number of models beginning with the next-generation Golf.
    This week at the International Vienna Motor Symposium, Volkswagen unveiled a 48-volt mild hybrid system currently under development for the Mk. 8 Golf. The system is comprised of a 48-volt belt-integrated starter generator and a 48-volt battery. This will allow for an enhanced stop-start system, brake regeneration, and engine-off coasting. Volkswagen made specific mention of the last feature as it would save 0.3 liters of gas over 100 kilometers - not a lot, but every little bit helps.
    “Electrifying conventional drives will enable us to further reduce consumption and emissions while also increasing dynamics and convenience. We are starting this extensive electrification campaign with Volkswagen’s best-selling vehicle to date – the Golf. Our newly developed, cost-effective 48-V mild hybrid will pave the way for introducing this type of technology to the mainstream,” said Volkswagen's Member of the Board of Management for VW Passenger Cars, Dr. Frank Welsch.
    It is expected that Volkswagen will reveal the Mk.8 Golf sometime next year.
    Source: Volkswagen


    Volkswagen to offer electrified versions of its models
    Extensive hybrid programme for the next Golf is the starting point for the comprehensive electrification of conventional drives New 48-V mild hybrid is the first step into the world of efficient electrified models 48-V starter generator is a versatile all-rounder Volkswagen is to launch an electric version of its globally best-selling vehicle – the Volkswagen Golf, offering a sustainable, efficient and powerful alternative. The introduction of innovative, new hybrid systems in the eighth generation of Golf vehicles marks a new era for the brand with regard to drive technology. In the future, Volkswagen will gradually electrify almost every vehicle in its range of models. The company is offering a first look at the future of electrified drive systems as part of the International Vienna Motor Symposium – one of the world’s most important congresses on the automotive technology of today and the future.
    “Electrifying conventional drives will enable us to further reduce consumption and emissions while also increasing dynamics and convenience”, says Dr Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management for Volkswagen Passenger Cars with responsibility for Technical Development. Welsch continues: “We are starting this extensive electrification campaign with Volkswagen’s best-selling vehicle to date – the Golf. Our newly developed, cost-effective 48-V mild hybrid will pave the way for introducing this type of technology to the mainstream”.
    Volkswagen will combine the combustion engine with a 48-V belt-integrated starter generator and a 48-V battery. This sustainable combination represents the gateway to the future of Volkswagen hybrid models. The 48-V mild hybrid makes it possible to “coast” with the combustion engine completely switched off, thereby saving up to 0.3 litres of fuel over 100 kilometres. Moreover, this mild-hybrid solution offers much improved dynamics and convenience as a result of providing an electric boost upon start-up.
    The science behind 48-V technology
    48-V technology represents a new chapter in engine design, enabling drives to be electrified in a cost-efficient manner. The 48-V system will be used in vehicles in addition to the well-known 12-V system. In the case of very small wire cross-sections and a lightweight wiring harness, the 48-V system enables a considerably higher amount of energy to be saved than the 12-V system, e.g. via recuperation when the vehicle brakes. This high level of voltage enables a number of operations, including the actuation of the 48-V belt-integrated starter generator.
    The starter-generator is a true all-rounder. On the one hand, the generator performs the role of alternator and starter. At the same time, it functions as a small, lightweight electric motor that immediately increases drive torque upon start-up by means of an electric boost. The power of the generator is transferred via a belt. The generator also starts the combustion engine – which is switched off as much as possible while the vehicle is moving – in a barely perceptible way. Another versatile element is the 48-V lithium-ion battery. The battery is supplied with energy during a number of operations, including recuperation – i.e. when the vehicle slows down. The starter generator receives the necessary voltage via the battery and the 12-V power supply receives the required voltage via the “DC/DC converter”.
    Welsch continues: “The basic interaction of different energy sources – electricity, petrol, diesel and natural gas – represents a paradigm shift at Volkswagen. For the first time, the company will simultaneously offer product lines such as the Golf with conventional, electrically assisted drives as well as product lines such as the I.D. with purely electrical drives in the future”. This will result in the product lines diverging into two branches which are nevertheless equal. This new product strategy will come into play for the first time from 2019 onwards with the launch of the next generation of the Golf and the first I.D. – two compact Volkswagen vehicles with completely separate technical concepts as well as clearly different design make-ups. With these two product lines, Volkswagen is seizing the opportunity to democratise the electrification of vehicles.

    William Maley

    Just how much change are we talking about...

    The Volkswagen emblem is easily one of the most recognizable emblems in the auto world, next to Chevrolet's bowtie and Mercedes-Benz's three-pointed star. But the German automaker is planning to make some tweaks for a new future.
    At a press briefing in Berlin, Volkswagen's chief marketing officer Jochen Sengpiehl said the new logo would debut next year. Details about what the emblem will look like are being kept close to the chest, but Sengpiehl did say it would be updated to look good on their vehicles and smartphone screens.
    “The brand is not in good shape compared to previous years,” as the marque lost some of its emotional appeal by trying to be “too German. It’s not only because of the diesel scandal,” said Sengpiehl.
    The goal is to try to and make Volkswagen more approachable and less stiff consumers and "highlight innovations to justify a higher price tag" on their vehicles. 
    Sengpiehl is also planning to change up the company's marketing. To this end, Volkswagen is inviting advertising agencies to pitch ideas in the coming months. Volkswagen is also planning on setting up 'marketing hubs' in key markets that will tailor messages to their respective markets.
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley

    Is Diess a big deal? I'll show myself out

    Yesterday, Volkswagen's supervisory board showed current CEO Matthias Müller the door and announced that Dr. Herbert Diess, the current head of the Volkswagen brand will take his place. This confirms reports earlier this week about a change in leadership. 
    In a statement, Volkswagen said the decision of Müller's departure was “mutual” and will be effective immediately. 
    “Matthias Müller has done outstanding work for the Volkswagen Group. He assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Management in the fall of 2015 when the Company faced the greatest challenge in its history. Not only did he safely navigate Volkswagen through that time; together with his team, he also fundamentally realigned the Group’s strategy, initiated cultural change and, with great personal commitment, made sure that the Volkswagen Group not just stayed on track but is now more robust than ever before. For that, he is due the thanks of the entire Company,” said Hans Dieter Pötsch, chairman of the supervisory board.
    Diess' rise to CEO is surprising considering he joined Volkswagen from BMW in 2015 - just a few months before the diesel emission scandal came to light. He has made great strides in improving Volkswagen's tendency to spend money like its going out of style. This was important during the aftermath of diesel emission scandal.
    “The Volkswagen Group is a union of strong brands with great potential. Matthias Müller has laid the groundwork for our transformation. My most important task will now be to join with our management team and our Group workforce in consistently pursuing and pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility. In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services,” Diess said in a statement.
    This wasn't the only change made by Volkswagen's supervisory board yesterday. The company will reorganize their passenger car brands into three groups.
    Volume: Seat, Skoda, and Volkswagen Premium: Audi Super Premium: Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche Volkswagen's truck division will go into their own separate unit.
    Diess is also planning a review of all the companies under the Volkswagen group umbrella (Ducati motorcycles and Renk, a transmission maker) to see whether it makes sense to keep them.
    "We've lost a great deal of trust with customers. It will be a long, rough road to gain it back," said Diess.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2, Reuters, Volkswagen
    EXTENSIVE REVISION OF VOLKSWAGEN GROUP MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE DECIDED
    Apr 12, 2018
     
    Board of Management and Supervisory Board pave the way for more efficient Group management Group will be organized into six business areas and the China region Dr. Herbert Diess follows Matthias Müller as Chairman of the Group’s Board of Management Supervisory Board thanks Matthias Müller for outstanding service New head of Human Resources and Organization – Gunnar Kilian to follow Karlheinz Blessing Dr. Garcia Sanz leaves the Company at his own request Porsche CEO Oliver Blume appointed to Group Board of Management  
    WOLFSBURG, April 12, 2018 – The Board of Management and Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft have resolved to extensively revise the Group’s management structure. Volkswagen is thus systematically continuing to transform its business and establishing even more efficient Group management in a phase of highly dynamic change in the Company and the entire automotive industry. In order to sustainably implement the new structure, there will be a number of changes on the Board of Management. Matthias Müller steps down as Chairman of the Board of Management by mutual agreement, effective immediately. At its meeting on Thursday, the Supervisory Board appointed Dr. Herbert Diess as his successor.
    Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Pötsch expressly thanked Müller for his dedication: “Matthias Müller has done outstanding work for the Volkswagen Group. He assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Management in the fall of 2015 when the Company faced the greatest challenge in its history. Not only did he safely navigate Volkswagen through that time; together with his team, he also fundamentally realigned the Group’s strategy, initiated cultural change and, with great personal commitment, made sure that the Volkswagen Group not just stayed on track but is now more robust than ever before. For that, he is due the thanks of the entire Company.”
    The introduction of the brand groups Volume, Premium and Super Premium, along with the planned preparation for capital market readiness of Truck & Bus, create the basis for a more subsidiary leadership of the Group. The Chairmen of the Board of Management responsible for the brand groups will be taking on additional Group management roles. Following this reorganization, Herbert Diess will be responsible for Group Development and Research, Rupert Stadler for Group Sales, and Oliver Blume for Group Production.
    Additional Group functions will be allocated according to the same principle. Due to the special significance of vehicle connectivity, Vehicle IT will be led by Herbert Diess himself; Company IT will be headed by Frank Witter. Procurement and Components are to be combined into one unit going forward.
    The new structure streamlines Group management, systematically leverages synergies in the individual operating units and speeds up decision-making. “The Volkswagen Group’s goal is and remains to align the Company and its brands with future needs, to safeguard its position among the leaders of the international automotive industry with innovativeness and profitability and to be instrumental in shaping tomorrow’s personal mobility with the strength of our Group brands. Herbert Diess is the right manager to do that. In realigning the Volkswagen brand, he has demonstrated to impressive effect the speed and rigor with which he can implement radical transformation processes. This accomplishment makes him predestined to fully implement our Strategy 2025 in the decisive years that are now to follow,” Pötsch says.
    “The Volkswagen Group is a union of strong brands with great potential. Matthias Müller has laid the groundwork for our transformation. My most important task will now be to join with our management team and our Group workforce in consistently pursuing and pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility. In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services,” Diess says.
    At its meeting today, the Supervisory Board also decided on two new appointments to the Group Board of Management. Dr. Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Board of Management at Porsche, will belong to the Group’s top governing body going forward.
    In addition, Gunnar Kilian, who until now has served as Secretary-General of the Volkswagen Group Works Council, has been appointed the new member of the Group Board of Management for Human Resources. He takes over the post from Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, who served in the role from the beginning of 2016. Dr. Blessing will be leaving the Board of Management by mutual agreement, but remains available to the Company in a consultative capacity for the remaining duration of his employment contract. Pötsch thanked Blessing for his service: “Dr. Blessing has been instrumental in realigning the Group during the past two years. He also contributed with great dedication to the evolution of the VW brand as part of the Volkswagen brand’s Future Pact.
    Dr. Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, head of Procurement, leaves the Company at his own request. “During the past two decades, Dr. Garcia Sanz has built up a cutting-edge Procurement department. His leadership of the diesel task force was instrumental in overcoming the diesel crisis. As Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the SEAT brand, he also made a significant contribution to reinforcing the brand,” said Pötsch in gratitude. Ralf Brandstätter, Board of Management member responsible for Procurement for the VW brand, will take on this additional role provisionally.

    William Maley

    This could include the turbo 2.0L found in the GTI

    We know that Volkswagen is planning a high-performance GLI variant of the new Jetta that is expected in the near future. Thanks to Autoblog, we have gotten some interesting information about what we should expect.
    Speaking to a Volkswagen representative, Autoblog learned that the new GLI will feature a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. It is expected to be the same engine found in the GTI which produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. There will be a choice of either a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch. The representative also said the GLI would swap the torsion-beam rear suspension found on the standard Jetta for a multi-link independent setup.
    Expect to see the Jetta GLI make its debut during the next auto show season, possibly at LA or Chicago.
    Source: Autoblog

    William Maley

    House cleaning once again

    The past few years at Volkswagen haven't been smooth sailing with the diesel scandal coming to light with various executives being fired or stepping down, sales taking a nosedive, and various fines. Matthias Müller who has been Volkswagen AG CEO since the scandal broke has been trying his best to get the company back on track. But that might not be enough for him to keep his job.
    Bloomberg and German paper Handelsblatt have learned from sources that Müller will be stepping down as CEO on Friday. Possibly taking his place is Herbert Diess, head of the Volkswagen brand. According to Reuters, the decision will take place during a meeting of Volkswagen's supervisory board.
    "Volkswagen is considering a further development of the management structure of the group which would also be associated with personnel changes in the board of management," said Volkswagen in a statement.
    Reportedly, the Porsche and Piech families - the biggest shareholders of Volkswagen - were in agreement to replace Müller.
    We'll keep you posted if any new developments pop up.
    Source: Bloomberg, Handelsblatt Global, Reuters

    William Maley

    About $100 less than the current Jetta

    Volkswagen revealed the pricing structure for the 2019 Jetta due to arrive at dealers in the second quarter. The base S model kicks off the lineup with a starting pricetag of $19,395 (includes an $850 destination charge) - making it $100 cheaper than the outgoing model.
    For the price, that will net you a turbocharged 1.4L TSI four-cylinder, six-speed manual, LED head and taillights, alloy wheels. 6.5-inch infotainment system, Bluetooth, and backup camera. An automatic transmission adds $800 to the base price. 
    Here is a quick rundown of the rest of the Jetta lineup:
    SE: Adds a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, and seat heaters. Begins at $23,005. R-Line: Features a more aggressive body kit, 17-inch wheels, dual exhaust outlets, two-tone interior, and an XDS differential that simulates a limited-slip differential by braking the inside wheel in a corner. Starts at $23,845. SEL: More technology features such as a larger 8-inch infotainment system, digital cockpit system, eight-speaker BeatsAudio sound system, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist. Kicks off at $25,265. SEL Premium: 17-inch wheels, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, power driver's seat with memory, and remote start. Begins at $27,795. Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2


    VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES FULL PRICING FOR ALL-NEW 2019 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA
    The all-new Jetta raises the bar in the compact sedan class, with bold design, innovative technology features, and a transferable, 6-year/72,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty Pricing starts at $18,545, less than the outgoing model Jetta is now based off the award-winning MQB architecture 1.4-liter TSI engine is paired with six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions Aluminum-alloy wheels, App-Connect and full LED lighting are standard Available driver assistance technology  includes: Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, and Light Assist Available premium features include: Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, 10-color ambient lighting, panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated leather seats, and 400-watt BeatsAudio® system HERNDON, VA (April 5, 2018) — Volkswagen of America, Inc., today announced full pricing of the all-new 2019 Jetta. Now based off the award-winning MQB platform, the 2019 Jetta offers bolder design, more interior space than the outgoing model and new technology.
    The new Jetta will continue to be powered by Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The power is taken to the front wheels via a new standard six-speed manual transmission, with an eight-speed automatic transmission optional on the base model and standard on higher trims. Automatic transmission models come standard with a Start/Stop system designed to improve fuel efficiency. This technology stops the engine during idle when the brake pedal is held (such as when waiting at a stop light). When the brake pedal is released, the engine restarts.
    Every Jetta offers standard Driver Personalization with up to four driver settings. Dependent on trim, customizable features include: driver seat memory, drive mode selection, driver assistance system preferences, climate control, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit arrangement, ambient lighting color, radio presets, navigation view, and more.
    The technology of 2019 Jetta also includes offers a combination of both passive and active safety systems that are engineered to meet or exceed current crash regulations. These systems include the class exclusive Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.
    Every Jetta model will come with the People First Warranty, America’s Best Bumper-To-Bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty. The warranty provides coverage for six-years or 72,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and the warranty can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout the remainder of its duration.
    The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will be available in S, SE, R-Line®, SEL, and SEL Premium trim levels and is expected to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the second quarter of 2018.
    MODEL LINE UP
    Jetta S
    The Jetta S has a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $18,545 and features a standard six-speed manual transmission. Other standard features include 16-inch silver “Rama” aluminum-alloy wheels; standard LED headlights (with LED Daytime Running Lights) and taillights; chrome grille; multi-function steering wheel; rearview camera; automatic headlights; electric parking brake; cloth seats; Eco driving mode selection; and 6.5-inch Composition Color touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth® connectivity for compatible devices, one USB port, four speakers, and Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect for compatible devices, enabling integration with the three major smartphone platforms—Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. The eight-speed automatic transmission Jetta S starts at $19,345. A Driver’s Assistance Package is available for $450, and includes Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert and heated side mirrors.
    Jetta SE
    Building off of the S trim, the Jetta SE starts at $22,155 and features a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 16-inch two-tone “Rama Black” aluminum-alloy wheels; panoramic sunroof; dual-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; KESSY keyless access and push-button start; leatherette seating surfaces; and heated front seats. Standard driver assist features include Front Assist; and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert. A Cold Weather Package will be available mid-model year for $495, and will include a heated steering wheel; heated rear seats; heated windshield wiper park and washer nozzles; and remote start.
    Jetta R-Line®
    The Jetta R-Line builds off the SE trim and starts at $22,995. It adds standard 17-inch dark gray “Trenton” aluminum-alloy wheels; a gloss-black front grille; R-Line rear bumper with dual exhaust; foglights; black mirror caps; R-Line badging inside and out; black roof liner; R-Line multi-function steering wheel with contrast stitching; two-tone black and grey seating surfaces with contrast stitching; and the XDS® electronic differential. The Cold Weather Package will be available mid-model year for $495.
    Jetta SEL
    The Jetta SEL also builds off the SE trim and starts at $24,415. Standard features include LED Projector headlights with signature LED DRLs; rain-sensing wipers; auto-dimming rearview mirror; Drive Mode Selection; 10-color customizable wrap-around ambient lighting; 10.25-inch Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, allowing drivers to reconfigure how they view vehicle information; Volkswagen Car-Net® connected vehicle services; 400 Watt BeatsAudio® system with eight speakers plus a subwoofer; and 8.0-inch Composition Media touchscreen infotainment system with SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with three-month trial subscription, voice control, and two USB ports. Standard driver assist features include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); High Beam Control (Light Assist); and active Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist). The Cold Weather Package will be available mid-model year for $495.
    Jetta SEL Premium
    The top-of-the-line Jetta SEL Premium starts at $26,945 and builds off the SEL trim. Standard features include 17-inch two-tone “Tornado Metallic” aluminum-alloy wheels; R-Line rear bumper; fog lights; side mirrors with integrated turn signals;  sport comfort seats; leather seating surfaces; ventilated front seats; power driver’s seat with memory functionality and power lumbar; 8-inch Discover Media infotainment system with navigation and alarm system. The Cold Weather Package, including a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, heated windshield wiper park and washer nozzles, and remote start, will be added as standard equipment mid-model year.
    DESTINATION
    Destination fee on all models is $850.
    OPTIONS
    Driver Assistance Package. Available on S trims. Includes Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert and heated side mirrors for $450.
    Cold Weather Package. Available mid-model year on SE, R-Line and SEL trims. Includes heated steering wheel; heated rear seats; heated windshield wiper park and washer nozzles; and remote start for $495.

    William Maley

    So why did they?

    Despite it being outed only a few days before its reveal, the debut of the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak concept was quite the surprise at New York. But many of us are wondering the same thing: Why?
    "We really showed this as a concept without a clear production plan behind it. Our intention [is] to demonstrate that we very seriously look into the American needs. ... Volkswagen wants to be part of this market much more seriously than in the past," said Volkswagen's North American CEO, Hinrich J. Woebcken during a media briefing.
    Volkswagen's North America office wants to take more control as how the brand is run over the home office. We already saw some inkling of this when the main office in Wolfsburg allowed them to change the name of their three-row crossover from Teramont to Atlas.
    The Tanoak also shows how far Volkswagen can take their MQB modular platform. It already underpins a number of models from the Jetta all the way to the Atlas.
    Of course, the question arises whether or not Volkswagen plans on making the Tanoak a reality. Woebcken said the company has "definitely not decided," partly due to a number of factors.
    "It all depends now if this market will appreciate more unibody pickup trucks. The C segment ... is a very high commercial use segment. Almost 70 percent of those vehicles are used in a commercial environment," explained Woebcken.
    He could see a production version having "a higher chance on the lifestyle side," but even then, "we still have to study how that would work."
    Source: Roadshow

    William Maley

    Not coming to the U.S. before you ask

    The current Volkswagen Touareg is the last one we'll ever see as the Atlas will take its place as Volkswagen's SUV/Crossover flagship. For other markets, Volkswagen has revealed an all-new Touareg.
    The new model looks to be a mashup of Audi and Volkswagen design themes. A set of angled headlights are integrated into a large front grille. Strong creases run along the side and rear. Volkswagen has made the new Touareg longer and wider, but has also has dropped 234 pounds due to the extensive use of aluminum.
    Inside, the new Touareg looks very upmarket in terms of design and materials. The optional Innovision Cockpit system merges a 12-inch digital instrument cluster with a 15-inch display for the infotainment system. There are also numerous tech features such as night vision, adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic alert. LED matrix lights, and active roll bars.
    At launch, Volkswagen will offer two diesel V6 engines providing either 228 or 282 horsepower. A gas V6, diesel V8, and plug-in hybrid will follow.
    The 2019 Volkswagen Touareg goes on sale later this year.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Leading the way – Volkswagen presents the new Touareg
    In its most important market: Volkswagen is presenting the brand's new flagship in China Milestone of the SUV campaign: Touareg shows Volkswagen's claim in the premium class The power of the brand: Touareg is a statement on design, technology, handling and comfort Success story: around one million Touareg SUVs built to date Volkswagen is making a statement by staging a world premiere of a new model for the first time in China – its largest market. The new Touareg1 marks a milestone in the brand's largest model and technology campaign, and it shows what engineers and designers at Volkswagen can do. The new flagship takes a top position in the premium class SUV segment with its expressive design, its innovative operating, convenience and safety systems, as well as in the high quality of its materials and craftsmanship.   
    Premiere of the Innovision Cockpit. Volkswagen is presenting the fully digitalised Innovision Cockpit for the first time in the new Touareg. Here the digital instruments (Digital Cockpit with 12-inch display) and the top Discover Premium infotainment system (with 15-inch display) merge to form a digital operating, information, communication and entertainment unit that hardly needs any conventional buttons or switches. Always-on, offering intuitive control and maximum personalisation – with the Innovision Cockpit, the Touareg provides the blueprint for tomorrow's digital interior today.
    A focus on people. Drivers use the Innovision Cockpit to adapt the assistance, handling and comfort systems specifically to their personal tastes; the car becomes 'their' Touareg. This opens up a world in which the driver and on-board guests no longer have to adapt to the car; rather the car adapts to them. Like a new smartphone, the Volkswagen is set up and tuned to personal needs. This is made possible by a new high level of connected systems and programmes – controlled via digital interfaces and the multifunction steering wheel.
    Fusion of new assistance, handling and comfort systems. The Touareg is launching with the largest range of assistance, handling and comfort systems ever to be integrated into a Volkswagen. They include technologies such as the Night Vision assistance system (detects people and animals in darkness via a thermal imaging camera), Roadwork Lane Assist (semi-automated steering and lane keeping, accelerating and braking up to 60 km/h), Front Cross Traffic Assist (reacts to cross traffic in front of the Touareg), active all-wheel steering (makes the Touareg handle like a compact car), new roll stabilisation with electromechanically controlled anti-roll bars, 'IQ.Light – LED matrix headlights' (interactive, camera-based dipped and main beam headlight control) and a 'Windshield Head-up Display' projected directly onto the windscreen.
    The driver experiences these systems as a single unit in the new Touareg. They are simply there – interconnected via a new central control unit – working imperceptibly in the background and making travel safer, more convenient and more intuitive than ever.
    New dimensions and reduced weight. Compared to its predecessor, the third generation Touareg is moderately wider and longer. The new dimensions have positive effects on both the vehicle's proportions and its amount of interior space. The added exterior length leads, for example, to a significant increase in luggage capacity, from 697 to 810 litres (with rear bench seat up). Cargo there is hidden from onlookers by an optional electrically extending and retracting luggage compartment cover. Despite its increased length and width, the car body is 106 kg lighter because of its mixed material construction of aluminium (48 per cent) and high-tech steels (52 per cent).
    Launch with V6 engines. In Europe, Volkswagen will initially offer two V6 diesel engines for the new 2018 Touareg with outputs of 170 kW / 231 PS and 210 kW / 286 PS. In a number of markets, this will also be followed by a V6 petrol engine (250 kW / 340 PS) and a V8 turbodiesel (310 kW / 421 PS). A new plug-in hybrid drive (270 kW / 367 PS of system power) is being prepared for China; its exact launch date in Europe is still open.

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