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    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.

    William Maley

    Production to begin in China before moving to other Volkswagen plants

    When Volkswagen introduced the new T-Roc crossover last year, there were some who were hoping it would come to the U.S. But that would not be the case as would learn. Still, Volkswagen is planning a separate compact crossover that will be aimed at various global markets such as the U.S. and China.
    According to Automotive News, the new crossover known internally as Volks-SUV will sit underneath the Tiguan and be first built in China by the SAIC-Volkwagen joint venture with sales beginning in August. Production will expand to Argentina, Mexico, and Russia in 2020.
    "We will supply the U.S. from Mexico," said Volkswagen brand CEO Herbert Diess. 
    No timeframe was given as to when the U.S. will see the new SUV.
    Automotive News reports the new crossover will be underpinned by the MQB modular platform and the final design was approved last week.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Volkswagen tries to figure out the U.S., take umm.. What take are we on?

    For a number of years, people have been saying the biggest problem with Volkswagen is they haven't “figured out the American market yet.” Even the automaker admits that it's the reason that its market share has dropped. Volkswagen has tried again and again to make some inroads into the market to no avail. But the German automaker is giving it another go.
    Automotive News had the chance to do a deep dive into Volkswagen's new plan by speaking with Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken. His plan involves turning this division into an American car company - in spirit. It should be noted that Woebcken came to the U.S. as an exchange student in the seventies, something he credits for getting him interested in industrial engineering.
    "I owe America, I owe Rochester, N.Y., and I owe this metal shop for how I basically went to start my adult life. We want to get more Americanized not only in our product but in our business. It's not that we're giving up on the genes of the Volkswagen brand. Volkswagens are Volkswagens. But what we recognized over the years is ... that we were too much a small-car company, too much a sedan company," said Woebcken.
    This plan was sparked only a couple months into his position as Volkswagen America's CEO. During a meeting with dealers, Woebcken was introducing the three-row crossover that is now known as the Atlas. But at the time of the meeting, it was wearing the Teramont name. Dealers hated the name and wanted to have Atlas as the name. Woebcken agreed to talk with his bosses about changing the name.
    "Everybody said there was no chance to convince headquarters to change the name of a regional product. It's not a big thing, I know, but it's a symbolic statement that Wolfsburg said, 'OK, the region is independent. They want to make sure the brand is getting successful in this country. Let them decide for themselves the name,' " explained Woebcken.
    "It was, in terms of Volkswagen, a pretty big thing that demonstrates ... that this is really an independent company here in America, that the factories report to us, the engineering centers in California and Detroit report to us, the purchasing organization — which is a big leverage for the cost situation — is reporting into the North American region, plus, of course, all the sales and marketing. So we really have all the levers in our hand now, not only to listen to the demands of the market, but really also to implement them."
    Some of the parts of Woebcken's plan have come to fruition including cutting the prices on various models like the Tiguan and introducing a new 6 Year/72,000 Mile warranty.
    Other parts of Woebcken's plan include,
    Shortening Volkswagen's long product cycles with plans to “introduce two new cars every year” to North America Localize part sourcing for their two North American plans in Chattanooga, TN and Puebla, Mexico Roll out Volkswagen's electrification strategy beginning in 2020 with the I.D. Crozz It is an ambitious plan but it seems to be paying off somewhat. Sales in 2017 rose 5.2 percent. In 2018, sales are up 5.8 percent.
    We highly recommend checking out this piece by Automotive News as we are only scratching the surface.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    "two or three generations is enough now"

    Rumors about the demise of the Volkswagen Beetle have been flying around for the past few years, but we finally have confirmation that it is ending.
    Volkswagen's R&D boss, Frank Welsch tells Autocar that there will not be a replacement for the Beetle. Welsch said "two or three generations is enough now" for the model and that the upcoming I.D. Buzz will take the place of the Beetle. No timeframe was given as to when Beetle production would end.
    The news isn't so shocking when you take a look at the Beetle's sales numbers which have been in freefall since 2013,
    2013: 43,134 2014: 29,182 2015: 22,667 2016: 15,667 2017: 15,166 It should be mentioned that Volkswagen brand boss Herbert Diess hinted back in October that the Beetle could go full electric, but we're not holding our breath on that.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Wait, what?!

    Volkswagen has been gung-ho on electric vehicles ever since it was revealed that it used illegal software on diesel vehicles to pass emission tests. The company recently unveiled plans to invest $82.5 billion into electric vehicles over the next five years. So it seems bizarre for Volkswagen's CEO to make this comment at the Geneva Motor Show.
    “Diesel will see a renaissance in the not-too-distant future because people who drove diesels will realize that it was a very comfortable drive concept. Once the knowledge that diesels are eco-friendly firms up in people’s minds, then for me there’s no reason not to buy one,” said Matthias Mueller.
    *record scratch*
    Yes, Volkswagen's CEO sees diesel making a comeback. This is somewhat hard to believe as stronger CO2 emission regulations from the European Union start to go into effect. Various countries and cities are planning to ban diesel vehicles in an effort to cut down on pollution.
    But Muller sees diesel as a way to meet emission standards until electric vehicles are more viable. 
    “The rules of the game in the EU in relation to climate protection and emissions goals on CO2 are so challenging that governments cannot do without diesel. We’re doing everything to avoid” coming up short, but “if there’s less diesel, then getting to that goal just gets tougher.”
    But ultimately, it will come down to consumers. Already, sales of diesel vehicles in Germany have dropped by a third. With bans looming and resale values taking a dive, consumers may look elsewhere.
    “At the end of the day, consumers have the final world. We have a very clear strategy in terms of multi-energy platforms, which means we can assemble on the same assembly line petrol cars, diesel cars, electric-powered cars,” said Carlos Tavares, CEO of PSA Group.
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley

    What Volkswagen has in mind for their lineup in the next couple of years

    Some interesting news came out of Chicago concerning Volkswagen.
    First up, Autoblog reports that the next-generation Passat will be coming out next year. Volkswagen's North American CEO Hinrich Woebcken revealed this during a roundtable with journalists at the show. Not many details are known about the Passat. It is hinted that it could grow in size and feature styling similar to the new Jetta. One detail that is certain is that Passat will continue to be built at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN plant.
    Volkswagen's first electric model for the U.S., the I.D. Crozz is expected to launch in 2020. According to Car and Driver, the Crozz will come in two body styles - the coupe-like crossover we've seen as a concept and a traditional SUV. Volkswagen’s head of design, Klaus Bischoff revealed that the traditional SUV would be first, followed by the coupe-like crossover at a later date.
    Source: Autoblog, Car and Driver

    William Maley

    An effort to draw more customers in

    The compact crossover arena has become highly competitive in the past couple of years and automakers are pulling all of the stops to draw customers into their showroom. Volkswagen is no exception.
    According to Automotive News, Volkswagen told its dealers that it would be cutting the price on several trims of Tiguan effective immediately. The price cuts are as followed,
    Tiguan S: $600 Tiguan SE: $2,180 Tiguan SEL: $1,460 This brings the base prices down to $25,495 for the S, $27,650 for the SE, and $31,990 for the SEL. Note: These prices are for the FWD models, AWD models will see the same price cut.
    Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen of America told Automotive News that he wants to see Volkswagen become "more of a mass-market automaker in the U.S." To do this, Volkswagen needed to price their vehicles more competitively. Hence why the Tiguan saw a price cut.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Does it mean the U.S. is getting the Amarok? No.

    There has been a small number of people wanting Volkswagen to bring the Amarok over to the U.S. There are numerous issues to this, the big one being the 25 percent Chicken Tax on trucks, But some recent news has brought hope to this small group.
    Motor Authority reports that Volkswagen filed a trademark application for Amarok last November. This could mean one of two things; either Volkswagen is planning on introducing the Amarok to the U.S., or the German automaker is covering all bases. As Motor Authority notes, Volkswagen has trademarked the name before.
    Aside from the Chicken Tax problem, the Amarok would run into the problem that other midsize trucks are facing at the moment, a slowdown in sales. Despite the massive rise in full-size truck sales, midsize trucks aren't seeing the same trend. A lot of this comes down to truck manufacturers offering generous incentives for their full-size trucks, bringing the price down to the same level as midsize trucks and causing buyers to go with the larger ones.
    Source: Motor Authority

    William Maley

    They haven't forgotten about sedans however

    Volkswagen recently held an event for journalists and investors to talk about the upcoming Jetta. But the company also gave a preview of their product plans for the near future. According to Autoblog, those plans include two new crossovers.
    The first will be a five-seat model that will slot between the Tiguan and Atlas. Volkswagen North America CEO President and CEO Hinrich Woebcken described it as 'coupe-like'. We're assuming this model will compete with the likes of the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano. The second will slot below the long-wheelbase Tiguan (what we get in the U.S.). This could either be the short-wheelbase Tiguan or a new model that was hinted by Volkswagen's director of development, Dr. Frank Welsch back in September.
    It comes as no surprise that Volkswagen is planning to expand their crossover offerings. During his presentation, Woebcken showed that light truck sales increased a whopping 51 percent year-to-date, compared to 1 percent for car sales.
    Still, Volkswagen is planning to walk away from sedans just yet. 2018 will see the new Jetta and launches of the Arteon and Passat GT. Down the road, Volkswagen will introduce a new Jetta GLI and redesigned Passat.
    Source: Autoblog

    William Maley

    Surprising to say the least

    Diesel is quite popular in Europe partly due to subsidies provided by governments - in this case, a lower tax rate on diesel fuel than gasoline. The thinking at the time was diesel engines burn their fuel more efficiently than gas engines, thus they contribute less to global warming. But as the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal would reveal, diesel vehicles aren't that much cleaner, producing more nitrogen oxide emissions than their gas counterparts. Now, one CEO from a German automaker is saying that maybe it is time to end the subsidies.
    “We should question the logic and purpose of diesel subsidies. The money can be invested more sensibly to promote more environmentally friendly technologies,” said Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller to German paper Handelsblatt.
    This is quite the surprise as Volkswagen along with other German automakers said diesel still had a future due to new pollution reduction technologies. Also, Volkswagen did very well with the sales of diesel models. But with the dark cloud of the diesel emission scandal, Müller likely sees the writing on the wall and wants to get out ahead.
    Müller went on to say that he was in favor of banning older diesel vehicles from city centers. But he said that newer diesel vehicles should be exempt from the bans as they meet "stricter standards on nitrogen oxide emissions".
    Source: Handelsblatt via New York Times

    William Maley

    Will be debuting at the Detroit Auto Show

    Volkswagen's Canadian site has dropped a teaser for the upcoming 2019 Jetta. The single gif reveals a couple of details about the design. One is that the side profile features some sculpting and a character line that possibly runs the whole length of the vehicle. Second is the Jetta's grille is similar to the T-Roc crossover with a pentagonal design.
    Last month, Volkswagen North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken told journalists that the next-generation Jetta "would have coupe-like form and promises to be "great-looking"." We can't see the coupe-like form in this teaser.
    At least we won't be waiting too long for the reveal. Volkswagen will show off the 2019 Jetta next month at the Detroit auto show.
    Source: Volkswagen Canada


    William Maley

    Iconic Volkswagen models could be returning as EVs

    Do you remember the Volkswagen Kübelwagen? You might know it better as the Thing sold in 1970s. Volkswagen could be bringing it back as an electric vehicle.
    Speaking with Car and Driver, Volkswagen brand boss Herbert Diess said the upcoming MEB (Modular Electrification Toolkit) architecture might be the perfect platform to bring back some of the company's iconic vehicles like the Thing.
    “MEB is flexible—rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive—and we have so many emotional concepts. I don’t know if you remember the Kübelwagen. This Thing is a nice car. Then there are all the buggies, the kit cars. We have the bus. We have the various derivatives of the bus. We have so many exciting concepts in our history that we don’t have to do a Beetle,” said Diess.
    This possible idea isn't that all surprising as Volkswagen as the I.D. Buzz was inspired by the Microbus.
    Speaking of the Beetle, Car and Driver asked if there will be a replacement for this model. As we have reported previously, the Beetle could be canned due to poor sales.
    “No decision yet. The next decision on the electric cars will be, ‘What kind of emotional concepts do we need?’ [A decision] might happen next year. This Beetle won’t go electric; the next one might, if there is a next one. We have a good chance on the electric side to do derivatives and emotional derivatives. It’s probably more efficient to do so than in [internal combustion] cars,” said 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. [But] I think the Microbus is a much better emotional concept for the brand than the Beetle. If you go to California, everybody would say it’s the bus.”
    Source: Car and Driver

    William Maley

    Skoda making a decision on the U.S.? About that...

    Last summer, Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said a decision on whether or not the brand would come to the U.S. would be made sometime next year. But it seems that decision has been put on the back burner.
    Autocar reports that Skoda is taking the lead on developing a new low-cost vehicle for emerging markets. Earlier this year, Volkswagen had entered a partnership with Indian automaker Tata Motors to do the same. However, this would be dissolved as cost targets were not met.
    “We will need more time to work on the US plans now. The Group has asked us to lead development of a platform with a strong focus on India and to investigate building that business sustainably and in a predictable manner," said Maier.
    “That is a huge task, and we must always approach projects one step at a time. There is no hurry to rush into the US and no deadline to even decide if we should be looking to go there. There’s no need to make a decision right away.”
    The last two lines are very interesting, considering that Maier was gung-ho on entering the the U.S. last year. As we reported back in December, an anonymous Volkswagen board member said it would be mad for Skoda to enter the U.S., hinting that plans were scrapped.
    We'll keep you posted if anything changes.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Going to have that coupe-like design

    The Volkswagen Jetta is an important model for the North American market and a new model is just over the horizon. Volkswagen North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken recently spoke with journalists at the Redbull Global Rallycross Championship in Los Angeles and dropped some interesting details about the next-generation Jetta.
    The new Jetta will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Design-wise, Woebcken said it would have coupe-like form and promises to be "great-looking". Dealers were shown the vehicle back in April and were “extremely excited” about it. Woebcken also said the new Jetta will be given the "North American touch, not always in terms of lower costs or less content, but in specific needs for the market.”
    A few other bits of information about the next Jetta
    An R-Line model will be available within three months of the launch - possibly spring A manual transmission will be available at launch. Concerns about the manual going away stem from the 2018 GLI not having this option. As for the GLI itself, the new version will launch a year after the regular Jetta The next-generation Passat was also briefly mentioned. Woebcken said the model would launch sometime in 2019 and described the design as “not evolutionary, but really exciting exterior design.”
    Source: Motor Trend
    Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

    William Maley

    Ka-Ching!

    Volkswagen's decision to use illegal software on their diesel vehicles has been costing them dearly. Reuters reports that Volkswagen is setting aside an additional 2.5 billion Euros (about $2.95 billion) due to difficulties with fixing the affected diesel models, particularly with the hardware.
    "The reason is an increase in provisions relating to the buyback/retrofit program for 2.0l TDI vehicles, which is part of the settlements in North America that is proving to be far more technically complex and time consuming," the company said in a statement.
    This pushes the total bill to $30 billion.
    The news comes a day after German prosecutors arrested Wolfgang Hatz, former r&d head of Porsche and head of powertrain development for Audi and Volkswagen. Hatz is being questioned by prosecutors for his involvement in the diesel emission scandal.
    “Investors will understandably worry what else may be next,” said BNP Paribas analyst Stuart Pearson.
    This news brought the share price of Volkswagen down three percent.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley

    Bad News: No T-Roc for U.S. Possible Good News: We're Getting Something Else...

    A few weeks ago, we reported that Volkswagen wasn't planning to bring the T-Roc over to the U.S. No reason was given, but we suspected price was a key reason. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen's director of development, Dr. Frank Welsch confirmed the T-Roc isn't coming.
    "Let's be very clear: The T-Roc will not go to the U.S. I don't believe it's too expensive, but it's because it's a very small car. They tell us people in the U.S. expect more size for that money. It is too small. We are going to have an SUV that is even smaller than a T-Roc [the T-Cross] and it will also not go to the U.S., but will go to South America. We have the new Polo and the T-Cross in Brazil, but for North America, this car is also too small," he told Autoblog.
    That doesn't mean Volkswagen isn't planning something smaller than the Tiguan for the U.S. Welsch explained the company is working on a new model for China that will launch late next year. The model will around the size of the Tiguan Limited and feature gas and plug-in hybrid powertrains. There is talk about this vehicle coming to the U.S.
    "We are checking the feasibility of a car which is right between T-Roc and Tiguan, and this could be interesting for America," Welsch said.
    "In the U.S., you have Tiguan long wheelbase, and the other [new] one is close to what we have here in Europe as the Tiguan SWB. It's a little bit smaller than that, about the size of the old Tiguan, but new and it's off the MQB. This is the idea behind it. In China, we will have this car next year, and we are thinking whether this could be a good idea for America and Russia."
    Source: Autoblog

    William Maley

    Once they get the approval to start selling their older 2.0L TDI models, Volkswagen will initiate a plan to start selling them

    Volkswagen has gotten the approval on a fix for their older first-generation 2.0L TDI models involved in the diesel emission scandal. Now they're waiting for Federal officials to give the go ahead for the automaker to begin selling these vehicles. When that approval comes, Volkswagen's head of North America Hinrich Woebcken says they have a plan to get them to dealers.
    Speaking with Automotive News, Woebcken said the company would slowly release the 2.0L TDI vehicles to their 652 dealers in the U.S. Dealers will get a "right of first refusal" for models that were returned through their dealerships. The slow release is to try and keep the residual values somewhat stable. Dealers are excited to start selling these fixed vehicles according to Woebcken.
    "There is, of course, a community of customers who would like to take a look at these cars, once they fulfill the regulations, and that's why we are pretty optimistic that we will have a successful remarketing of those cars," said Woebcken.
    The first-generation 2.0L TDI models require a more extensive fix than the second-generation 2.0 TDI with new hardware and software. 
    However, not all of the first-generation 2.0L TDI models will be fixed. Herbert Diess, global head of the Volkswagen brand said some of the higher-mileage models would be scrapped.
    "If the mileage is too high and the residual value is too low, it doesn't make sense anymore" to fix them. But the majority of the cars are going to be resold," said Diess.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    You can cross off the T-Roc from coming to the U.S.

    Late last week, Volkswagen unveiled the production T-Roc crossover. The subcompact crossover is based on the MQB platform and stands out with a stylish look and range of gas and diesel engines. Previously, we have reported that the T-Roc was under consideration for the U.S.. But a new report says the model is off the table for the time being.
    “The car is meant for Europe and China. The most compact model of the Volkswagen range for the U.S. remains Tiguan,” a Volkswagen source tells Automobile Magazine.
    No reason was given as to why the T-Roc would skip the U.S. But if we were to hazard a guess, it might be due to Volkswagen not being able to get the price low enough for the U.S. Only a couple of months ago , we reported that Volkswagen wasn't planning to bring over the Polo subcompact for the same reason.
    There was a rumor floating around a month or two ago that Volkswagen might do a different subcompact crossover for the U.S. Whether this happens or if Volkswagen decides to send the T-Roc to the U.S., we'll let you know.
    Source: Automobile Magazine

    William Maley

    We can finally put the rumors to rest

    Ever since the Volkswagen Buzz I.D. concept made its debut, rumors have been flying as to whether or not the German automaker would go forward with it. Yesterday at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Volkswagen finally put the rumors to rest. 
    "After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, 'please build this car’,” said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess.  
    "The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we're bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle."
    Before you start lining up at your Volkswagen dealer, the company says the model will not launch till 2022. Models such as the I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz will go on sale first.
    The production variant will be based on Volkswagen's upcoming MEB platform. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, while AWD will be an option. Volkswagen is also planning to offer the Buzz as both a passenger van and a cargo van.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2


    VOLKSWAGEN TAKES BOLD DECISION TO PUT I.D. BUZZ ELECTRIC CONCEPT CAR INTO PRODUCTION
    Volkswagen management announces production plans for the 21st century Microbus at the home of the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance Pebble Beach, California – At the Detroit Show in early 2017, Volkswagen showed the I.D. BUZZ concept car, a fully electric vehicle that taps in to the spirit and vibe that made the VW Microbus such an iconic vehicle — whether with Hippies and families in the Sixties or Surfer Dudes and Van Lifers today.
    Now, Volkswagen has taken the bold decision to put the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ concept car into production and Volkswagen’s CEO of the North American Region, Hinrich J. Woebcken is happy to welcome the car to North America.  The Chairmen of the Boards of Management of the Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands, Dr Herbert Diess and Dr Eckhard Scholz, announced the decision today at one of the most prestigious automotive events in the world — the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California. 
    Within the framework of further development, Volkswagen has also set a launch date for the I.D. BUZZ. The vehicle will arrive at dealerships in 2022, after the compact four-door I.D. makes its debut. With the I.D. BUZZ, Volkswagen is mainly targeting markets in North America, Europe and China.
    "After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, 'please build this car’,” Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess said in Pebble Beach. The Board of Management chose Pebble Beach as the location to make its announcement because, as Diess explained: "The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we're bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle."
    Just like the concept car that was shown in Detroit, the production model will also have its batteries mounted in the vehicle floor. Because the electric drive components — electric motor, power electronics, and such —don't take up much space, the vehicle has a long wheelbase with short overhangs, allowing for a massively spacious interior and great proportions. "The vehicle looks like a compact commercial van on the outside, even though it offers the generous interior space of a large SUV," Diess explained.
    CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, Hinrich J. Woebcken added: “We are delighted that our parent company has taken the decision to produce the I.D. BUZZ. This vehicle is the perfect balance between emotion, usability and sustainability, while also showcasing our technological leadership. The high seating position, cargo capacity, overall versatility and all-wheel drive option packaged into such an appealing design is just what our customers want from us. And it’s the perfect fit for the zero-emissions American lifestyle.”
    The I.D. BUZZ won’t just be a passenger vehicle. Just like the classic T2, the I.D. BUZZ will both haul people and haul freight. "Along with a minibus version, we'll also be offering an I.D. BUZZ CARGO variant for zero-emissions delivery of goods,” said Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Dr Eckhard Scholz. "With Level 3 autonomous capability, this is an ideal concept for an electric van, particularly for delivering packages and goods to the inner cities."
    Although Volkswagen's oldest and newest Microbuses will be separated by more than seven decades when the new model is launched, the I.D. BUZZ undoubtedly has the original's genes, as it offers maximum utilization of space on the footprint of a mid-size passenger car. Based on the new all-electric architecture, the production version of the I.D. BUZZ will incorporate many design ideas from the concept car, including multi-variable seating, interactive connectivity and highly automated driving.

    William Maley

    A crossover and not a hatchback will arrive in the U.S. first

    Volkswagen has shown three different I.D. concepts - I.D. hatchback, I.D. Buzz, and the I.D. Crozz. We know that Volkswagen is working on making the hatchback production ready by 2020 and the Buzz has been given the green light. What about the Crozz? According to a report from Autoblog, the Crozz will follow the hatchback in production - arriving in either late 2020 or 2021 - and will be the first I.D. model to arrive on our shores.
    The I.D. Crozz which made its debut earlier this year at the Shanghai Motor Show is Volkswagen's vision of an electric crossover. Using Volkswagen's MEB platform, the I.D. Crozz produces 302 horsepower from two electric motors. On-demand all-wheel drive is done through single-speed, fixed-ratio gearboxes fitted between each electric motor and its respective axle.
    Volkswagen's decision on sending the I.D. Crozz to the U.S. first makes a lot of sense as buyers are crossover hungry.
    The two sources also dropped some information on the I.D. Buzz which conflicts with earlier reports. First, the sources said the Buzz been confirmed for production - the opposite of what reported back in June where Volkswagen's Herbert Diess slyly dropped that it would go into production. If approved, the model would likely go into production in 2025.
    We recommend checking out Autoblog's report as there are more details on what to possibly expect with the Crozz.
    Source: Autoblog

    William Maley

    It's coming...

    The Volkswagen Passat isn't the most exciting sedan to look at. But the German automaker injected some style and sport with the Passat GT Concept at last year's LA Auto Show. It took some design ideas from the Golf GTI -  black grille with red accent lines and a more aggressive body kit - along with new wheels. Volkswagen also lowered the suspension and added a sport exhaust system. Volkswagen didn't go crazy with the engine - it is the same 3.6L VR6 found in the standard Passat.
    According to a new report from Digital Trends, Volkswagen is bringing the Passat GT into production. A spokesperson tells the outlet the production GT will closely resemble the 2016 concept. This will likely mean it will also come with the sports tuned suspension and VR6 engine. 
    No timeframe was given as to when Volkswagen will show off the Passat GT.
    Source: Digital Trends

    William Maley

    Finally! The 1st-generation 2.0L TDI's have a fix.

    There were concerns that Volkswagen would not be able to come up with a fix for their 1st-generation 2.0L TDI models that would meet the approval of various U.S. regulators. But never say never as the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board have given their approval for Volkswagen's proposed fix for 326,000 vehicles with this engine.
    Reuters reports the fix will involve Volkswagen making numerous upgrades to the hardware and software, including a new emissions catalyst. This will make these vehicles legal, but drop average fuel economy figures by 2 mpg.
    “To obtain this approval, VW submitted test data and technical information that demonstrates that the modification will reduce emissions without negatively affecting vehicle reliability or durability. VW will thoroughly identify any differences in vehicle attributes (such as fuel economy) so owners may make an informed choice,” said the EPA in a statement.
    Volkswagen still needs to come up with a resale plan for 2009-2014 TDI models that were bought back as part of their settlement. Reuters says a plan is due in the coming weeks.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley

    Farewell Touareg

    2017 will be the last year Volkswagen sells the Touareg in the U.S., according to Motor Trend.
    While a reason as to why wasn't given, we have to think declining sales played a key role. The past few years have seen sales fall at a steady rate - 2016 saw a 40 percent drop to 4,223 units. 2017 isn't faring any better with 1,630 Touaregs sold through June. There is also the model being squeezed by the larger Atlas crossover and the upcoming Tiguan, which is slightly longer than the Touareg.
    Volkswagen will continue to sell the Touareg in other markets, with the next-generation model due out later this year.
    Source: Motor Trend

    William Maley

    Volkswagen executives were reportedly told about the massive costs due to the diesel emission scandal a month before it came to light

    Weeks before the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal came to light, several executives were reportedly warned about the possible costs during a meeting.
    German tabloid Bild am Sonntag reports that Oliver Schmidt, a Volkswagen executive that was arrested earlier this year in U.S., said the costs of diesel emission cheating could cost the company up to $18.5 billion during a presentation held on August 25, 2015. Those that attended the presentation included former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, VW's development chief at the time Heinz-Jakob Neusser, and Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess. This information comes from U.S. investigation documents obtained by the paper.
    The issue at hand is that German law requires a company publish any news dealing with the stock in a timely fashion. Volkswagen notified investors about the cheating on September 18, almost a month after this reported meeting. 
    A number of Volkswagen investors have filed suit against the company due to the losses from the diesel emission scandal. German prosecutors are also investigating Volkswagen into possible market manipulation.
    Source: Bild am Sonntag via Reuters

    William Maley

    Those hoping for Volkswagen's subcompact to arrive in the U.S. will be disappointed by this news.

    There was talk a few years back about Volkswagen possibly sending over the next-generation Polo over to the U.S. But it seems those plans have been scrapped.
    Speaking with Automotive News at the launch of the sixth-generation Polo, Volkswagen global sales boss, Juergen Stackmann said it doesn't make sense for the automaker to bring it over.
    "It doesn't make too much sense for us to bring a car like this, which has the substance of a class higher, into a segment that is so price driven in America," said Stackmann.
    Subcompacts are sold in North America mostly on price and high fuel economy figures. In Europe, it is a different story. While price is one key factor for buyers of subcompacts, they are also looking for something that is easy to maneuver in cities and doesn't hurt the wallet when it comes to registering. Buyers in Europe also tend to buy features you would find in bigger vehicles such as adaptive cruise control.
    If Volkswagen was to bring the Polo over, it would cost significantly more than its key rivals.  
    For the timebeing, Volkswagen will focus on two segments in the U.S. - SUVs and sedans.
    "Our strategy for the U.S. will be SUV driven with the Atlas and Tiguan and there are two more coming. And we will also have sedans. That means we will compete in the segments that really make volume and business sense in the U.S."
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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