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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Scott Keogh Changes Jobs from Audi of America's Boss to CEO of Volkswagen Group's North America Branch

      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.

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      Source: Volkswagen
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    • By William Maley
      Volkswagen's electric car offensive has already started in Europe with the ID.3. The next step is taking on the U.S. with the next electric vehicle, the ID.4 introduced today.
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      Pricing for the ID.4 will begin at $39,995 for the base Pro when it arrives at dealers at the end of the year. No mention on destination. But Volkswagen is planning to drop the price of the ID.4 once production begins at the Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee.
       
      Source: Volkswagen
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Volkswagen unveils the all-new 2021 ID.4 electric SUV
      Sep 23, 2020
      Reservations for the ID.4 start online today with 50-state launch in early 2021 MSRP starts at $39,995 for ID.4 Pro before potential $7,500 Federal tax credit Estimated 250 miles of range on ID.4 1st Edition Compact SUV will be available in rear-wheel drive 201-hp 82 kWh (launching first) and all-wheel-drive 302-hp 82 kWh configurations Three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost Modern design pairs with high-tech features, like DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology and a smart infotainment system, using voice and touch Localized production in Chattanooga, starting in 2022 with anticipated MSRP around $35,000 Herndon, VA — Volkswagen of America, Inc. revealed the all-new ID.4 electric SUV today—the brand’s first long-range EV to be sold stateside. This compact SUV will offer all the best features of Volkswagen’s current lineup—hallmark driving dynamics, bold design, and advanced technology—along with long-range EV capability and three years of fast charging with Electrify America for no additional cost, to customers in the largest segment in the U.S., all with a price point aimed at the heart of the segment.
      “The ID.4 was engineered, loaded and priced to win the hearts of SUV owners who are simply ready to go electric—and fall in love with Volkswagen again,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “It drives like a GTI, it has the packaging of a Tiguan and the purpose of the Beetle. All the best things about VW in one package.”
      Powertrain & Charging
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      At launch, the vehicle will be offered with an 82kWh (gross) battery and a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen estimates that the ID.4 82kWh RWD 1st Edition models will have a range of 250 miles with a full charge on the EPA cycle. A powerful, electric all-wheel-drive variant with 302 hp will follow later in 2021.
      The ID.4 also comes with three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost, helping to reduce range anxiety. The ID.4 can be charged with both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) fast-charging capability. The 11 kW onboard charger allows the ID.4 to charge the battery 33 miles in about one hour, and charges to full in around seven and a half hours at a home or public Level 2 charger. At a DC fast-charging station, with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes.
      Chassis
      The ID.4 is designed to be strong, yet agile. The chassis and body are made from steel. The front suspension is a strut-type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar. In the rear, the ID.4 uses a multi-link rear axle with coil springs, telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar. With 3.5 turns lock-to-lock and a stellar curb-to-curb turning radius of 33.5 feet, the ID.4 feels nimble, especially among other compact SUVs.
      A combination of brake types is used on ID.4. It features disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear—the difference being specific to electric vehicle needs. As EVs rely on regenerative braking, disc brakes on the rear can be less effective than drums after long periods of not being put to heavy use.
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      Like the platform, the design of ID.4 represents a move towards the future with a nod to the past. At the front, the Volkswagen logo is able to be positioned centrally because there is no radiator grille, as it was on the Beetle. Large LED headlights flow backwards, hinting at the aerodynamic nature of the car, while a sculpted front bumper with large intake-like scoops and honeycomb accents give the car a powerful presence. Models fitted with the Statement package add an illuminated Volkswagen logo and an illuminated light line that stretches outward from it, creating a striking light signature.
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      The ID.4 sits squarely in the middle of the compact SUV segment, size-wise. It is 4.6 inches shorter than the Volkswagen Tiguan, at 180.5 inches, with a 0.9 inch shorter wheelbase at 108.9 inches. It is 1.9 inches lower than Tiguan at 64.4 inches high for the rear-wheel drive model, and 0.5 inches wider, at 72.9 inches.
      The ID.4 will available in six exterior colors—Glacier White Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Moonstone Grey, Scale Silver Metallic, Blue Dusk Metallic and King’s Red Metallic. All models come with a body color roof, black roof rails, and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The Statement package adds a panoramic fixed-glass roof, premium LED projector headlights with Volkswagen’s Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) and power-folding side mirrors with puddle lamp signature, while the Gradient package (sold on top of the Statement package) upgrades to 20-inch wheels, black roof, and silver roof rails and accents.
      Interior
      Volkswagen’s first fully-electric SUV features ample space and a modern design. Passenger volume is similar to the Tiguan despite the overall smaller footprint, with 99.9 cubic feet total. Legroom is a comfortable 41.1 inches for front passengers and 37.6 inches in the rear seat. Cargo volume is 30.3 cubic feet behind the second row, and 64.2 cubic feet with the seats folded.
      The interior of the ID.4 mirrors the futuristic look of the exterior, with functionality almost completely controlled by touch or voice control. The 5.3-inch ID.Cockpit (digital driver display) replaces the traditional instrument cluster and is operated with touch-sensitive controls on the leather-wrapped multifunction heated steering wheel. Three tiles show the most important information, with the display for battery status and range underneath. The traditional gearshift is replaced by a large rocker switch on the right of the ID.Cockpit, and a control panel to the left of the steering wheel integrates the lighting functions, including automatic headlights.
      A 10-inch Discover Pro touch infotainment display is located in the middle of the dash panel, angled slightly towards the driver. This screen can be configured to driver preference, and manages the standard navigation system, all telematics, entertainment, driver-assistance systems and vehicle settings; it is upgraded to a 12-inch Discover Pro Max infotainment display with the Statement package. Menus can be moved using gesture control, simply swiping one’s hand in front of the screen. Sliders for volume and temperature adjustment are located on the inclined surface below the display.
      “Hello ID.” natural voice control is standard in the ID.4. The car follows the instructions spoken by the driver and passengers and is capable of understanding many commands from everyday language, such as “Hello ID., I’m cold” to turn up the heat.
      The ID.4 will feature ID. Light—a light strip below the windshield to support drivers in a host of situations with intuitive lighting effects in different colors and sound prompts. For example, ID. Light signals to the driver that the vehicle’s drive system is active and that the car has been unlocked or locked. It accentuates information issued by some of the driver-assistance and navigation systems and signals, both visually and acoustically, details like charge status indicator, braking prompts and incoming phone calls.
      The steering wheel, steering column, and the housings for the display and control panels in the doors are finished in Piano Black. Seats in the ID.4 are finished in black cloth on entry models and Lunar Gray or Galaxy Black leatherette on models with the Statement package. Entry ID.4 models feature six-way adjustable seats with power recline, while the Statement package adds 12-way power seats, with massage lumbar and memory, as well as 30-color ambient lighting.
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      To complete the high-tech package, ID.4 offers standard wireless mobile charging, wireless App-Connect, and Volkswagen Car-Net® with in-car WiFi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. Car-Net Hotspot allows passengers to access the internet with up to four connected devices simultaneously, including tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming devices, and more—all at 4G LTE-enabled speed.
      Safety & Driver Assistance Technology
      To help protect occupants, the ID.4 provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard—front and side airbags for front passengers, and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions. Additionally there are a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
      With regards to the battery, an extruded aluminum frame protects the battery system against damage in the event of a crash, and a replaceable aluminum underbody panel protects the battery against the road. Additionally, the battery is also disabled if the vehicle is involved in a serious accident.
      With the standard IQ.DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology, all ID.4 models include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist); Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist); Travel Assist; and Emergency Assist. In addition to IQ.DRIVE features, the ID.4 includes Dynamic Road Sign Display; Park Distance Control; and High Beam Control (Light Assist).
      Pricing & Sales
      Pricing for the ID.4 starts at $39,995, for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro (available in the first quarter of 2021), before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500 is applied. With those credits, the entry price of ID.4 is on par with the 2021 Tiguan SEL.  For highly qualified customers through Volkswagen Credit, the monthly lease payment for a 36-month lease with 10,000 miles a year, is $379 per month with $3,579 due at signing, excluding tax, title, license, options and dealer fees.
      Starting later in 2021, the ID.4 AWD Pro ($43,695) will be available. Both Pro models carry largely the same equipment, with AWD models putting out 302 hp, and adding a heated windshield and tow hitch. These models can be additionally outfitted with two packages—Statement ($4,500), and Gradient ($1,500), which is only offered with Statement.
      The ID.4 launches with a limited-run ID.4 1st Edition (MSRP $43,995). The 1st Edition models feature the same content as the Pro model, and Statement package (minus illuminated VW logo) and Gradient package come standard. These models also include unique features including accelerator and brake pedals with “play” and “pause” logos, the steering wheel and column, radio bezel and door island finished in Electric White, 1st Edition badging, black mirror caps, and a tow hitch.
      Volkswagen plans to offer the ID.4 electric vehicle across all 50 states, and throughout its network of more than 600 dealers. A reservation platform debuts today on VW.com, allowing customers to reserve an ID.4 before it hits dealer showrooms, with a fully refundable $100 reservation fee. As vehicle production starts, reservation holders will be invited to confirm their order with an additional fully refundable $400 vehicle deposit. From placing a reservation, to production and through delivery, the customer can see where they stand and when they can expect their ID. 4 to arrive at their preferred local VW dealer in a simple, transparent process. At that time, the customer can transact with their dealer and complete their purchase.
    • By William Maley
      The COVID-19 pandemic has possibly caused another auto show to rethink their plans. According to Automotive News, organizers of the show are planning to delay the show from November to next May. Three sources tell the outlet the new dates are May 21st to 31st. Two of sources go on to say that an announcement could come this week.
      Automotive News tried to get comment from Terri Toennies, president of the show, but did not reply.
      By possibly moving the LA Auto Show to May, automakers and organizers of the New York and Detroit shows find themselves in a difficult spot. The LA show sandwiches between New York (April) and the revised Detroit show (June), which may cause automakers to make difficult decisions as to which shows get the most significant unveilings or whether to attend at all.
      Auto shows in general have been struggling before the onset of the pandemic. With automakers deciding to hold their own events to have more time in the spotlight and save cash, the spectacle of the show has gone down.
      We'll keep you posted.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The COVID-19 pandemic has possibly caused another auto show to rethink their plans. According to Automotive News, organizers of the show are planning to delay the show from November to next May. Three sources tell the outlet the new dates are May 21st to 31st. Two of sources go on to say that an announcement could come this week.
      Automotive News tried to get comment from Terri Toennies, president of the show, but did not reply.
      By possibly moving the LA Auto Show to May, automakers and organizers of the New York and Detroit shows find themselves in a difficult spot. The LA show sandwiches between New York (April) and the revised Detroit show (June), which may cause automakers to make difficult decisions as to which shows get the most significant unveilings or whether to attend at all.
      Auto shows in general have been struggling before the onset of the pandemic. With automakers deciding to hold their own events to have more time in the spotlight and save cash, the spectacle of the show has gone down.
      We'll keep you posted.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      Jim Hackett's tenure as Ford CEO will be coming to a close on October 1st as he will retire from the position. His replacement is Jim Farley, currently Ford's Chief Operating Officer, a role he took on at the beginning of this year. In a press release, Ford said the two will be working together over the next two months on the transition. Hackett will stay on as "special advisor" for some time after.
      “I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future. Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic,” said Ford executive chairman, Bill Ford.
      Hackett became Ford's CEO in 2017 after the ousting of then CEO Mark Fields. His short tenure brought forth some major and controversial decisions such as Ford killing off most of their passenger car nameplates to focus on trucks and utility vehicles; spending $11 billion in electric vehicles by 2022, and the introductions of the Mach-E, 2021 F-150, and Bronco. He has also dealt with a lot frustration from various groups as The Detroit News outlines,
      Hackett admitted that his tenure did cause a fair amount of friction, but said his efforts are starting to show.
      "I aimed for moving ahead versus just moving fast. Could we aim for a longer-arc kind of reward. In this case, for the three years it takes to get products to market, you're starting to see the fruits of our labor."
      Farley, who has been with Ford since 2007, knows he has a tough road ahead. Aside from realizing the various paths laid out by Hackett, he also has to deal with the issues of the COVID-19 pandemic and hopefully launch two of Ford's key product without any issues.
      Source: Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2


      FORD ANNOUNCES JIM HACKETT TO RETIRE AS PRESIDENT AND CEO; JIM FARLEY TO SUCCEED HACKETT AS COMPANY CONTINUES TRANSFORMATION
      Jim Hackett, who has led Ford Motor Company’s transformation since 2017 as president and CEO, has elected to retire from the company Jim Farley, currently chief operating officer, becomes president and CEO of Ford effective Oct. 1. He was also elected to the Ford board of directors. He will work closely with Jim Hackett on the transition over the next two months Seamless CEO transition underscores strength of Ford’s leadership team, succession planning, and company progress over the past three years, Executive Chairman Bill Ford says DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 4, 2020 – Ford Motor Company today announced that Jim Hackett, who has led the company’s transformation since 2017, plans to retire from the company. Jim Farley has been named the company’s new president and CEO and will join the board of directors, effective Oct. 1.
      Hackett, 65, and Farley, 58, will work together on a smooth leadership transition over the next two months.
      Under Hackett, Ford moved aggressively into the new era of smart vehicles and drove a deeper focus on customers’ wants and needs. At the same time, Ford improved the fitness of the base business – restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy.
      “I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”
      Farley, an automotive leader with deep global experience and a successful track record, collaborated with Hackett over the past three years to develop and execute Ford’s Creating Tomorrow Together plan to transform Ford into a higher-growth, higher-margin business.
      “Jim Farley matches an innate feel for cars and customers with great instincts for the future and the new technologies that are changing our industry,” Bill Ford said. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known, and I have also seen him develop into a transformational leader with the determination and foresight to help Ford thrive into the future.”
      Farley joined Ford in 2007 as global head of Marketing and Sales and went on to lead Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all Ford global markets in successive roles. In April 2019, Farley was chosen to lead Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, helping the company determine how to capitalize on powerful forces reshaping the industry – such as software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation and new forms of propulsion. He was named chief operating officer in February of this year.
      Hackett, who will continue as a special advisor to Ford through March of 2021, said the time is right to pass the mantle of leadership to Jim Farley.
      “My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future,” Hackett said. “The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it’s entering rather than the world it has known. I’m very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future.
      “I have worked side-by-side with Jim Farley for the past three years and have the greatest confidence in him as a person and a leader,” Hackett said. “He has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world. He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world.”
      Said Farley: “I love Ford and I am honored by the opportunity to serve and create value for Ford’s employees, customers, dealers, communities and all of our stakeholders. Jim Hackett has laid the foundation for a really vibrant future and we have made tremendous progress in the past three years. I am so excited to work together with the whole Ford team to realize the full potential of this great company in a new era.”

      View full article
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