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William Maley

VW News: Volkswagen Board Member Says It Would Be "Suicide" For Skoda To Enter U.S.

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As we have been reporting since this summer, Skoda is putting serious consideration into entering the U.S. market. Currently, a decision is expected sometime next year. But ask their parent company, Volkswagen what they think of the idea of Skoda entering the U.S. and they would likely say something to the effect of this,

“We may be crazy, but we’re not mad. Entering this huge market with an unknown brand, a model range focused on Europe, and a non-existent dealer network is pure suicide. Furthermore, the last thing Volkswagen of America needs now is in-house cannibalization,” said an unnamed Volkswagen board member to Automobile Magazine.

Without having any support from the parent company, Skoda's plan of entering the U.S. seems dead in the water. Whether this happens or not remains to be seen.

There is one other interesting tidbit from Automobile Magazine. Reportedly, Volkswagen was considering replacing certain models in U.S. with slightly restyled Skoda vehicles badged as VWs. This idea was scrapped however which is a shame since we could see the likes of the Superb being an excellent replacement for the current Passat as an example.

Source: Automobile Magazine


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Skoda does not have the baggage VW does, this might actually make sense...

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38 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Skoda does not have the baggage VW does, this might actually make sense...

Agree with this, right now VW name is MUD to most consumers and except for hard core fans, their current product line up is not winning any conquest buyers and they are currently I bet loosing existing ones over Dieselgate!

Depending on what they do in the next 12-18 months, they just might need to replace the VW dealers as rebadged Skoda Dealers or at least add Skoda specific models to the VW dealers. Have both in the same place.

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10 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Agree with this, right now VW name is MUD to most consumers and except for hard core fans, their current product line up is not winning any conquest buyers and they are currently I bet loosing existing ones over Dieselgate!

Depending on what they do in the next 12-18 months, they just might need to replace the VW dealers as rebadged Skoda Dealers or at least add Skoda specific models to the VW dealers. Have both in the same place.

Or at least some sort of rational recovery plan in place...VW reminds me of Air France 447, where the pilots through simple errors took a perfectly flyable plane and made basic aviation errors, killing everyone on board.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_447

VW is not even making basic changes that would rationally ensure their survival. I really love the Golf Alltrack, but one model plus the GTI is not enough to carry the US market.

Local dealer where I bought the Jetta was down 25-30 cars a month over where they were ten or fifteen years ago before diesel gate, things have obviously not improved since.

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12 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Agree with this, right now VW name is MUD to most consumers and except for hard core fans, their current product line up is not winning any conquest buyers and they are currently I bet loosing existing ones over Dieselgate!

Depending on what they do in the next 12-18 months, they just might need to replace the VW dealers as rebadged Skoda Dealers or at least add Skoda specific models to the VW dealers. Have both in the same place.

 

This absolutely totally untrue, and you have nothing to back it up. VW sales are UP, and that is with existing models netting sales gains. With new products about to drop in the coming months- and in critical segments- they will only continue to see growth. VW isn't closing up shop and suggesting they do so is absurd.

 

Bringing Skoda here was only going to happen as a last resort if VW had to exit the US market. That is obviously not going to happen. Skoda cannot coexist with VW here. There would be far too much overlap. VW is already hampered by VAG not wanting to step on Audi's toes. Throwing another brand into the mix would be disastrous. Especially one with no equity among US buyers. 

VW just needs to stay the course and focus on marketing their current models and continuing to bring new products to market. The TDI deal will soon be water under the bridge, and though they may have burnt some of their loyal buyers, and lost some sales due to lack of TDi offerings, it is totally possible to bounce back from this. Hell, look at Toyota and GM.

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6 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

 

This absolutely totally untrue, and you have nothing to back it up. VW sales are UP, and that is with existing models netting sales gains. With new products about to drop in the coming months- and in critical segments- they will only continue to see growth. VW isn't closing up shop and suggesting they do so is absurd.

 

Bringing Skoda here was only going to happen as a last resort if VW had to exit the US market. That is obviously not going to happen. Skoda cannot coexist with VW here. There would be far too much overlap. VW is already hampered by VAG not wanting to step on Audi's toes. Throwing another brand into the mix would be disastrous. Especially one with no equity among US buyers. 

VW just needs to stay the course and focus on marketing their current models and continuing to bring new products to market. The TDI deal will soon be water under the bridge, and though they may have burnt some of their loyal buyers, and lost some sales due to lack of TDi offerings, it is totally possible to bounce back from this. Hell, look at Toyota and GM.

They are also not currently selling small crossovers, the whole SUV lineup is dated and unappealing, they have clung to the beetle and CC far to long, and they are selling cars at fire sale prices.

While I do not expect them to die tomorrow, they are by no means doing what they should to pull ahead in the US auto market.

They are still thinking too much like Germans, and trying to force a German way of thinking on the US auto market.  They need to act like they are serious about the US auto market if they are going to make a dent.

Yes, sales are up, but up over a year ago when we were two months past diesel gate...

Really serious work and a change in attitude need to happen at VW if they ever want to be more than one or two percent of the domestic US auto market.

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Just now, A Horse With No Name said:

They are also not currently selling small crossovers, the whole SUV lineup is dated and unappealing, they have clung to the beetle and CC far to long, and they are selling cars at fire sale prices.

While I do not expect them to die tomorrow, they are by no means doing what they should to pull ahead in the US auto market.

They are still thinking too much like Germans, and trying to force a German way of thinking on the US auto market.  They need to act like they are serious about the US auto market if they are going to make a dent.

Yes, sales are up, but up over a year ago when we were two months past diesel gate...

Really serious work and a change in attitude need to happen at VW if they ever want to be more than one or two percent of the domestic US auto market.

Despite being the oldest CUV on the market, the Tiguan is actually a competitive product and is still selling well. And it's replacement will be here within 6 months. That is in addition to the Atlas. The CC makes up a fraction of VW sales, and is not vital to the brand's sales numbers. It is getting a replacement sometime next year, anyway. The Beetle is a niche product that will never do large numbers. There will continue to be special models here and there. The Beetle is nothing but a money maker at this point. It costs very little to build them. It doesn't need huge sales numbers. Passat numbers are up, GTI and Golf R sales numbers continue to increase, and Golf SportWagen sales are increasing, too.

In addition to the Tiguan and Atlas, the E Golf is on the way, there will be a smaller CUV to slot below the new Tiguan, and the Jetta and Passat are both due for replacement in the near future. If VW continues with their plans moving forward, they will be fine. A new van in the vein of the Bus would really be a wise move that would bolster sales, as well. Something is in the works, but Idk how close it is, or exactly what form it will take. 

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5 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

Despite being the oldest CUV on the market, the Tiguan is actually a competitive product and is still selling well. And it's replacement will be here within 6 months. That is in addition to the Atlas. The CC makes up a fraction of VW sales, and is not vital to the brand's sales numbers. It is getting a replacement sometime next year, anyway. The Beetle is a niche product that will never do large numbers. There will continue to be special models here and there. The Beetle is nothing but a money maker at this point. It costs very little to build them. It doesn't need huge sales numbers. Passat numbers are up, GTI and Golf R sales numbers continue to increase, and Golf SportWagen sales are increasing, too.

In addition to the Tiguan and Atlas, the E Golf is on the way, there will be a smaller CUV to slot below the new Tiguan, and the Jetta and Passat are both due for replacement in the near future. If VW continues with their plans moving forward, they will be fine. A new van in the vein of the Bus would really be a wise move that would bolster sales, as well. Something is in the works, but Idk how close it is, or exactly what form it will take. 

Do you sell VW's at work?

E golf has technical issues, would find VW battery tech suspect.

I hope like crazy VW survives, I love their products. One positive is that they are not at this time offering zero percent to move iron...

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Sales might indicate up against last year, but off from before that. At least here in Washington state VW is hurting compared to what they did before. Every auto has zero down, zero first month payment and .9% interest for 60 months when you look at specials via www.vw.com. 0% for 60 months on Golf and Tiguan. Yet then if you go out to the local dealer web sites, it gets even more interesting with thousands off each model, oil changes for life, maintenance covered free during warranty period. 

I get the feeling that VW is hurting far more than the sales numbers indicate. Talking to people about what they think, one does not get a rosey feeling when you ask a person, "What do you think of VW auto's?"

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30 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

Dear FCA,

Take note.

Sincerely, Everybody

Thank you, captain obvious.....! 

(Not meant with the sound of sarcasm that reads with.....but FCA is not just neglecting new product they are actively working towards their own demise....)

Edited by A Horse With No Name
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2 hours ago, dfelt said:

Sales might indicate up against last year, but off from before that. At least here in Washington state VW is hurting compared to what they did before. Every auto has zero down, zero first month payment and .9% interest for 60 months when you look at specials via www.vw.com. 0% for 60 months on Golf and Tiguan. Yet then if you go out to the local dealer web sites, it gets even more interesting with thousands off each model, oil changes for life, maintenance covered free during warranty period. 

I get the feeling that VW is hurting far more than the sales numbers indicate. Talking to people about what they think, one does not get a rosey feeling when you ask a person, "What do you think of VW auto's?"

 

Well, considering there are no TDI's to sell, of course the numbers are going to be down from before Dieselgate. That's obvious.

Incentives are strong across the entire market, that's nothing new or anything to put much stock in.

Dealers the nation over, regardless of brand, advertise stupid prices everyday. You may or may not qualify for them. Again, nothing of merit there. 

It would seem a lot of people think they are worth buying seeing as in how they are still posting projected or increased sales in most of their models. What people may or may not think about a brand they may or may not ever have intentions to purchase from don't count for much. It'd be like me asking you what you thought about Ferrari. It doesn't matter, because you're not buying a Ferrari regardless of what your thoughts on them are. The blue collar Midwest worker who has a union job wasn't buying a VW anyway. What he thinks of the brand means about as much as what he thinks of evolution.

 

 

2 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Do you sell VW's at work?

E golf has technical issues, would find VW battery tech suspect.

I hope like crazy VW survives, I love their products. One positive is that they are not at this time offering zero percent to move iron...

 

I do now, yes. I went back to my old dealer. 

Incentives across the board at VW are really no heavier or lighter than usual. Some models are considerably less incentivized they have been in the recent past.

Edited by Frisky Dingo
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1 minute ago, Frisky Dingo said:

 

Well, considering there are no TDI's to sell, of course the numbers are going to be down from before Dieselgate. That's obvious.

Incentives are strong across the entire market, that's nothing new or anything to put much stock in.

Dealers the nation over, regardless of brand, advertise stupid prices everyday. You may or may not qualify for them. Again, nothing of merit there. 

It would seem a lot of people think they are worth buying seeing as in how they are still posting projected or increased sales in most of their models. What people may or may not think about a brand they may or may not ever have intentions to purchase from don't count for much. It'd be like me asking you what you thought about Ferrari. It doesn't matter, because you're not buying a Ferrari regardless of what your thoughts on them are. The blue collar Midwest worker who has a union job wasn't buying a VW anyway. What he thinks of the brand means about as much as what he thinks of evolution.

An absolute metric crap ton of truth here....

2 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

 

Well, considering there are no TDI's to sell, of course the numbers are going to be down from before Dieselgate. That's obvious.

Incentives are strong across the entire market, that's nothing new or anything to put much stock in.

Dealers the nation over, regardless of brand, advertise stupid prices everyday. You may or may not qualify for them. Again, nothing of merit there. 

It would seem a lot of people think they are worth buying seeing as in how they are still posting projected or increased sales in most of their models. What people may or may not think about a brand they may or may not ever have intentions to purchase from don't count for much. It'd be like me asking you what you thought about Ferrari. It doesn't matter, because you're not buying a Ferrari regardless of what your thoughts on them are. The blue collar Midwest worker who has a union job wasn't buying a VW anyway. What he thinks of the brand means about as much as what he thinks of evolution.

 

 

 

I do now, yes. I went back to my old dealer. 

Incentives across the board at VW are really no heavier or lighter than usual. Some models are considerably less incentivized they have been in the recent past.

The guys at my local VW dealership actually seem a little bit encouraged.  I really, really hope the Sportwgon/Alltrack does well for them, would love to own them.

Powering the Alltrack with a TDI from the GTD  would be the best of all worlds, but we will never see that here....

GTI really is the best car under 30K in many ways....

Golf R is absolutely lust worthy also.  Last time I was in the VW dealership a very affluent lesbian couple was in the midst of purchasing one...seems like the R buyers are a very diverse lot, which is a good thing.

Be interesting to see what happens with the TDI buy back....

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20 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

An absolute metric crap ton of truth here....

The guys at my local VW dealership actually seem a little bit encouraged.  I really, really hope the Sportwgon/Alltrack does well for them, would love to own them.

Powering the Alltrack with a TDI from the GTD  would be the best of all worlds, but we will never see that here....

GTI really is the best car under 30K in many ways....

Golf R is absolutely lust worthy also.  Last time I was in the VW dealership a very affluent lesbian couple was in the midst of purchasing one...seems like the R buyers are a very diverse lot, which is a good thing.

Be interesting to see what happens with the TDI buy back....

 

It is a more diverse buyer pool that buys GTI's and the like than I have ever seen. Everyone from young kids, to old retirees and everything in between. It's nuts, and also very cool.

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1 minute ago, Frisky Dingo said:

 

It is a more diverse buyer pool that buys GTI's and the like than I have ever seen. Everyone from young kids, to old retirees and everything in between. It's nuts, and also very cool.

...maybe I will be part of that pool soon...who knows?

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4 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

...maybe I will be part of that pool soon...who knows?


Can't go wrong with the GTI or the Alltrack either one. Both phenomenal little cars.

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Just now, Frisky Dingo said:


Can't go wrong with the GTI or the Alltrack either one. Both phenomenal little cars.

Yeah, hoping VW has a very good 2017...they could use something to break right for them....

Time will tell.

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20 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:


Can't go wrong with the GTI or the Alltrack either one. Both phenomenal little cars.

That's kind of their problem is that is all they REALLY have going for them right now. The GTI/Jetta platform are exactly that, phenominal, but the rest of their lineup is very "meh".

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3 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

That's kind of their problem is that is all they REALLY have going for them right now. The GTI/Jetta platform are exactly that, phenominal, but the rest of their lineup is very "meh".

The Passat and Tiguan still find plenty of buyers. And again, they have 2 new vehicles due out in just months. They have nothing but good things coming.

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Anddddddddd in that lays the problem. VW clearly markets to the quirky customer and seems to miss the rest of the country. They come across as a very generic, blah way too conservative auto company with nothing that stirs the passion in me.  

In fact the only thing that comes to mind is that VW I associate with the Make Love, Not War Drug using Hippies of the 60's. Auto's that are always clogging up the roads and going slow.

Where is the  "Fahrvergnügen" ? I remember my parents checking out VW in the 90's and both were Meh, just did not resonate other than a cool commercial, but the actual auto's just missed everything that the rest of the auto companies seem to hit.

Here is where I think VW has failed to realize that their German marketing program does not really work in the US. What fly's elsewhere in their larger markets seems to be what really holds them back here.

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They're just last year's VWs anyway....  bringing them over would be like VW trying to rebuild the Mercury brand in the US. 

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2 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

They're just last year's VWs anyway....  bringing them over would be like VW trying to rebuild the Mercury brand in the US. 

Outstanding analogy that makes perfect sense.

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1 hour ago, A Horse With No Name said:

...maybe I will be part of that pool soon...who knows?

Ya sure about that?

VeeDub sure made caca out of certain things in dat pool!

poo-in-the-pool-o.gif

Seriously though:

The Golf GTI is one incredible machine. The only reason why I cant see myself in one is because back in the day in my 20s, some of my friends at that point in time drove Golf GTIs. VR6s. Corrados too with that same engine.  I made fun of them since I was an American gung ho car guy with the pony car scene. Yeah, they in turn made fun of me for V8s and all....This was the 1990s when the Tuner car craze was hot.

In other words, I cant bring myself to own cars I made fun of back then...

 

 

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      “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.
    • 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.
      Source: Autoblog

      View full article
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