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By William Maley
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.
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By William Maley
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.
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By William Maley
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.
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By William Maley
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
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By William Maley
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
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.
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.
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.
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 fee on all models is $850.
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.
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