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Found 203 results

  1. To shoulder the massive costs that will come from the diesel emission scandal, Volkswagen has agreed to terms to take out a 20 billion euro (about $21 billion) bridging loan with a number of banks. Sources tell Reuters the decision to go with a number of banks allows Volkswagen to spread the debt out and that the company hopes to start paying back the loans next year by issuing bonds in the company. A few weeks ago, we heard rumors that Volkswagen was planning to take out 20 billion Euros in short-term loans to act as a buffer for upcoming fines. But since that report, the news has only gotten worse. Volkswagen has admitted that 430,000 vehicles in Europe have "implausible" CO2 figures and prosecutors have opened an investigation into possible tax evasion in connection with the problem (CO2 emissions are taxed in Europe). Then Volkswagen admitted that the 3.0L TDI V6 used in a number of vehicles in U.S. had illegal software that wasn't revealed to the EPA. Finally this week, the German Transport Authority deemed the software Volkswagen uses in their diesel vehicles is illegal. Along with the loans, Volkswagen is considering all options of raising funds internally. Such items include cutting back on their development budget and possibly closing the Dresden factory where the Phaeton. But there is also the possibility of Volkswagen selling off some its assets to bring in more money. Source: Reuters, 2 View full article
  2. To shoulder the massive costs that will come from the diesel emission scandal, Volkswagen has agreed to terms to take out a 20 billion euro (about $21 billion) bridging loan with a number of banks. Sources tell Reuters the decision to go with a number of banks allows Volkswagen to spread the debt out and that the company hopes to start paying back the loans next year by issuing bonds in the company. A few weeks ago, we heard rumors that Volkswagen was planning to take out 20 billion Euros in short-term loans to act as a buffer for upcoming fines. But since that report, the news has only gotten worse. Volkswagen has admitted that 430,000 vehicles in Europe have "implausible" CO2 figures and prosecutors have opened an investigation into possible tax evasion in connection with the problem (CO2 emissions are taxed in Europe). Then Volkswagen admitted that the 3.0L TDI V6 used in a number of vehicles in U.S. had illegal software that wasn't revealed to the EPA. Finally this week, the German Transport Authority deemed the software Volkswagen uses in their diesel vehicles is illegal. Along with the loans, Volkswagen is considering all options of raising funds internally. Such items include cutting back on their development budget and possibly closing the Dresden factory where the Phaeton. But there is also the possibility of Volkswagen selling off some its assets to bring in more money. Source: Reuters, 2
  3. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, head of Audi's r&d has stepped down today. Hackenberg has been a key presence at Audi and the Volkswagen group since he joined in 1985. He has played a major role in a number of projects including the first-generation Audi TT, Volkswagen XL1, and the MQB modular platform. In 2013, he was named the head of Audi's r&d division. Hackenberg made headlines back in September as he and two other r&d heads at Volkswagen - Porsche's Wolfgang Hatz and Volkswagen's Heinz-Jakob Neusser - were suspended for possible involvement in the diesel scandal. “In the 30 years that he was active in the Volkswagen Group, Ulrich Hackenberg was involved in crucial strategies and model decisions. The highly flexible modular system resulted in flexible modular production. Both systems helped us to produce very efficiently and with high quality. Numerous car models from Audi, Volkswagen and Bentley were significantly affected by his commitment and expertise. On behalf of the entire Board of Management, I thank him for his many years of commitment and his professional passion,” said Audi’s Board of Management Chairman Rupert Stadler. Hackenberg's successor is Stephan Knirsch, currently the head of engine development at Audi. Source: Audi Press Release is on Page 2 Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg has reached a mutual agreement with the Supervisory Board of AUDI AG to step down as Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. The new Chairman of the Audi Supervisory Board, Matthias Müller, praised Hackenberg’s significant impact on the Technical Development divisions of the entire Volkswagen Group: “Above all, the modular toolkit system is inseparably connected with the name of Ulrich Hackenberg. He had that idea already in the early nineties at Audi. Today, the entire Group profits from it.” Audi’s Board of Management Chairman Rupert Stadler underscored his lifetime achievements: “In the 30 years that he was active in the Volkswagen Group, Ulrich Hackenberg was involved in crucial strategies and model decisions. The highly flexible modular system resulted in flexible modular production. Both systems helped us to produce very efficiently and with high quality. Numerous car models from Audi, Volkswagen and Bentley were significantly affected by his commitment and expertise. On behalf of the entire Board of Management, I thank him for his many years of commitment and his professional passion.” After graduating in mechanical engineering at Aachen RWTH University, Ulrich Hackenberg was employed as an assistant at the Institute for Motor Transport from 1978 until 1985. Amongst other positions there, he was the head of research into vehicle dynamics, developed lectures in motorcycle technology and gained a doctorate in 1985 on the stability properties of the “rider-motorcycle-road” system. Hackenberg moved to Audi in 1985, where he took over the position of Head of Concept Development in 1989 and later led the technical project management for the entire product range. That included the Audi 80, A2, A3, A4, A6, A8 and TT models as well as numerous concept studies and show cars, the technical conception of the modular toolkit strategy and the development of a simultaneous-engineering structure. He was active in the Volkswagen Group from 1998 until 2002. There, he was head of the Body Development department and additionally responsible as of late 1998 for Concept Development. From 2002 until January 2007, Hackenberg once again worked for AUDI AG and was in charge of the Concept Development, Body Development, Electrics and Electronics departments. During that time, he developed the “modular longitudinal toolkit.” On February 1,2007, he became Member of Volkswagen’s Brand Board of Management with responsibility for the Technical Development division. He pushed forward with the further development and complete renewal of the Volkswagen product range and the development of the modular transverse toolkit. Further highlights were the XL1, the first series-produced “one‑liter car”, and the entry of the Volkswagen Brand into motorsport. As of July 1, 2013, he was the Board of Management Member for Technical Development of AUDI AG. In addition, he was responsible for coordinating the development of all the brands of the Volkswagen Group. View full article
  4. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, head of Audi's r&d has stepped down today. Hackenberg has been a key presence at Audi and the Volkswagen group since he joined in 1985. He has played a major role in a number of projects including the first-generation Audi TT, Volkswagen XL1, and the MQB modular platform. In 2013, he was named the head of Audi's r&d division. Hackenberg made headlines back in September as he and two other r&d heads at Volkswagen - Porsche's Wolfgang Hatz and Volkswagen's Heinz-Jakob Neusser - were suspended for possible involvement in the diesel scandal. “In the 30 years that he was active in the Volkswagen Group, Ulrich Hackenberg was involved in crucial strategies and model decisions. The highly flexible modular system resulted in flexible modular production. Both systems helped us to produce very efficiently and with high quality. Numerous car models from Audi, Volkswagen and Bentley were significantly affected by his commitment and expertise. On behalf of the entire Board of Management, I thank him for his many years of commitment and his professional passion,” said Audi’s Board of Management Chairman Rupert Stadler. Hackenberg's successor is Stephan Knirsch, currently the head of engine development at Audi. Source: Audi Press Release is on Page 2 Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg has reached a mutual agreement with the Supervisory Board of AUDI AG to step down as Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. The new Chairman of the Audi Supervisory Board, Matthias Müller, praised Hackenberg’s significant impact on the Technical Development divisions of the entire Volkswagen Group: “Above all, the modular toolkit system is inseparably connected with the name of Ulrich Hackenberg. He had that idea already in the early nineties at Audi. Today, the entire Group profits from it.” Audi’s Board of Management Chairman Rupert Stadler underscored his lifetime achievements: “In the 30 years that he was active in the Volkswagen Group, Ulrich Hackenberg was involved in crucial strategies and model decisions. The highly flexible modular system resulted in flexible modular production. Both systems helped us to produce very efficiently and with high quality. Numerous car models from Audi, Volkswagen and Bentley were significantly affected by his commitment and expertise. On behalf of the entire Board of Management, I thank him for his many years of commitment and his professional passion.” After graduating in mechanical engineering at Aachen RWTH University, Ulrich Hackenberg was employed as an assistant at the Institute for Motor Transport from 1978 until 1985. Amongst other positions there, he was the head of research into vehicle dynamics, developed lectures in motorcycle technology and gained a doctorate in 1985 on the stability properties of the “rider-motorcycle-road” system. Hackenberg moved to Audi in 1985, where he took over the position of Head of Concept Development in 1989 and later led the technical project management for the entire product range. That included the Audi 80, A2, A3, A4, A6, A8 and TT models as well as numerous concept studies and show cars, the technical conception of the modular toolkit strategy and the development of a simultaneous-engineering structure. He was active in the Volkswagen Group from 1998 until 2002. There, he was head of the Body Development department and additionally responsible as of late 1998 for Concept Development. From 2002 until January 2007, Hackenberg once again worked for AUDI AG and was in charge of the Concept Development, Body Development, Electrics and Electronics departments. During that time, he developed the “modular longitudinal toolkit.” On February 1,2007, he became Member of Volkswagen’s Brand Board of Management with responsibility for the Technical Development division. He pushed forward with the further development and complete renewal of the Volkswagen product range and the development of the modular transverse toolkit. Further highlights were the XL1, the first series-produced “one‑liter car”, and the entry of the Volkswagen Brand into motorsport. As of July 1, 2013, he was the Board of Management Member for Technical Development of AUDI AG. In addition, he was responsible for coordinating the development of all the brands of the Volkswagen Group.
  5. Volkswagen is trying to save as much cash as they can to help offset the upcoming fines and penalties due to the cheating devices they fitted to a number of diesel vehicles. We have reported that Volkswagen is in the process of freezing and reevaluating a number of projects. Now it seems the German automaker is making cuts in the trims and variants it offers. Bloomberg reports that Volkswagen will be cutting back on the number of trims and variants that it offers. Bernd Osterloh, a supervisory board member at Volkswagen says the move will cut a fair amount of complexity and costs. How much are we talking about? About $1.9 billion Euros (about $2 billion). “We from the works council have long flagged the huge range of model variants and different components. That brings enormous complexity and adds to costs, for example, for logistics. We can take out costs there on a large scale and don’t have to talk about job cuts,” said Osterloh. Source: Bloomberg
  6. Volkswagen is trying to save as much cash as they can to help offset the upcoming fines and penalties due to the cheating devices they fitted to a number of diesel vehicles. We have reported that Volkswagen is in the process of freezing and reevaluating a number of projects. Now it seems the German automaker is making cuts in the trims and variants it offers. Bloomberg reports that Volkswagen will be cutting back on the number of trims and variants that it offers. Bernd Osterloh, a supervisory board member at Volkswagen says the move will cut a fair amount of complexity and costs. How much are we talking about? About $1.9 billion Euros (about $2 billion). “We from the works council have long flagged the huge range of model variants and different components. That brings enormous complexity and adds to costs, for example, for logistics. We can take out costs there on a large scale and don’t have to talk about job cuts,” said Osterloh. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  7. Volkswagen's diesel emission scandal went deeper this week as the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (known as the KBA) announced on Tuesday that the software Volkswagen uses on their diesel vehicles was deemed illegal. This decision opens up the possibility of lawsuits and penalties against the company, but the extent of this is unknown at this time. As the New York Times states 'it was a turbulent day for the company.' Aside from the KBA announcing the software Volkswagen used was deemed illegal, the company announced monthly sales in the U.S. dropped 25 percent. Volkswagen also announced that 50 employees have stepped forward and provided information about the software and who knew what as part of an amnesty program that ended in November. Then came Standard & Poor's announcement that it had downgraded Volkswagen's debt from A- to a BBB+, three notches away from junk status. The rating agency said the downgrade “reflects our view that VW’s manipulation of engine emissions exposes the group to material, wide-ranging adverse credit impacts.” Source: New York Times
  8. Volkswagen's diesel emission scandal went deeper this week as the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (known as the KBA) announced on Tuesday that the software Volkswagen uses on their diesel vehicles was deemed illegal. This decision opens up the possibility of lawsuits and penalties against the company, but the extent of this is unknown at this time. As the New York Times states 'it was a turbulent day for the company.' Aside from the KBA announcing the software Volkswagen used was deemed illegal, the company announced monthly sales in the U.S. dropped 25 percent. Volkswagen also announced that 50 employees have stepped forward and provided information about the software and who knew what as part of an amnesty program that ended in November. Then came Standard & Poor's announcement that it had downgraded Volkswagen's debt from A- to a BBB+, three notches away from junk status. The rating agency said the downgrade “reflects our view that VW’s manipulation of engine emissions exposes the group to material, wide-ranging adverse credit impacts.” Source: New York Times View full article
  9. While much of the focus of the investigations into Volkswagen diesel emission scandal has been focused on the German automaker, attention is now turning to one of their key suppliers. Reuters has learned from sources that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into what involvement did German auto supplier Bosch GmbH have in the scandal. Bosch built a number of key components that Volkswagen and its subsidiary brands would use on diesel engines. Now the sources are quick to point out that Bosch isn't charged with anything at the moment. A key part Bosch provided Volkswagen and a number of other German automakers is the engine control module (known as EDC17), and basic software. This module regulates how a vehicle cleans burned-up diesel fuel before it is expelled as exhaust. Each automaker has their own version of the module and software. Now Volkswagen modified the software to cheat emission tests and Bosch insisting that it had nothing to do with it or knew anything. But a source tells Car and Driver that the supplier had to know something was going on. “I’ve had many arguments with Bosch, and they certainly own the dataset software and let their customers tune the curves. Before each dataset is released it goes back to Bosch for its own validation. Bosch is involved in all the development we ever do. They insist on being present at all our physical tests and they log all their own data, so someone somewhere at Bosch will have known what was going on. All software routines have to go through the software verification of Bosch, and they have hundreds of milestones of verification, that’s the structure. The car company is never entitled by Bosch to do something on their own,” said the source. Source: Reuters, Car and Driver View full article
  10. While much of the focus of the investigations into Volkswagen diesel emission scandal has been focused on the German automaker, attention is now turning to one of their key suppliers. Reuters has learned from sources that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into what involvement did German auto supplier Bosch GmbH have in the scandal. Bosch built a number of key components that Volkswagen and its subsidiary brands would use on diesel engines. Now the sources are quick to point out that Bosch isn't charged with anything at the moment. A key part Bosch provided Volkswagen and a number of other German automakers is the engine control module (known as EDC17), and basic software. This module regulates how a vehicle cleans burned-up diesel fuel before it is expelled as exhaust. Each automaker has their own version of the module and software. Now Volkswagen modified the software to cheat emission tests and Bosch insisting that it had nothing to do with it or knew anything. But a source tells Car and Driver that the supplier had to know something was going on. “I’ve had many arguments with Bosch, and they certainly own the dataset software and let their customers tune the curves. Before each dataset is released it goes back to Bosch for its own validation. Bosch is involved in all the development we ever do. They insist on being present at all our physical tests and they log all their own data, so someone somewhere at Bosch will have known what was going on. All software routines have to go through the software verification of Bosch, and they have hundreds of milestones of verification, that’s the structure. The car company is never entitled by Bosch to do something on their own,” said the source. Source: Reuters, Car and Driver
  11. Audi announced this afternoon that the 3.0L TDI V6 did have a defeat device that allowed the engine to circumvent U.S. clean air laws. In a statement, the German automaker said that it failed to disclose three emission control software functions, also known as auxiliary emissions control devices (AECD) to the various agencies as required by law. One of devices, a 'temperature conditioning of the exhaust‑gas cleaning system' was deemed to be illegal by the EPA as it could detect when it was being tested for emissions and turn on the pollution-control equipment to cut emission levels down. Audi also announced the plan to fix the vehicles that will involve a software update to 85,000+ vehicles with the V6 diesel. The company will submit new U.S. government emission certification paperwork for the software. If approved by the EPA and California Air Resources Board, Audi will release software to dealers to perform the fix, Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Audi Press Release is on Page 2 Statement on Audi’s discussions with the US environmental authorities EPA and CARB Auxiliary emission control devices (AECD) for US version of V6 TDI 3 liter engine to be revised, documented and submitted for approval Technical solution for North America versions from 2009 model year onwards to be worked out in conjunction with the authorities Audi will revise, document in detail, and resubmit for US approval certain parameters of the engine-management software used in the V6 TDI 3 liter diesel engine. That is the result of the discussions held between a delegation from AUDI AG and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The updated software will be installed as soon as it is approved by the authorities. The three brands Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen are affected. Audi estimates that the related expense will be in the mid-double-digit millions of euros. The latest discussions focused on a notice of violation of November 2, in which Audi was informed that AECDs (Auxiliary Emission Control Devices) were not sufficiently described and declared in the application for US type approval. That will now be done with the updated software and the documentation. Audi has confirmed that three AECDs were not declared in the context of the US approval documentation. One of the AECDs relates to the temperature conditioning of the exhaust‑gas cleaning system. The other two AECDs are for the avoidance of deposits on the Ad-Blue metering valve and of HC poisoning of the SCR catalyst with unburnt hydrocarbons. One of them is regarded as a defeat device according to applicable US law. Specifically, this is the software for the temperature conditioning of the exhaust-gas cleaning system. Audi has agreed with the environmental authorities on further steps of cooperation in which the concrete measures to be taken will be specified. The company has committed to continue cooperating transparently and fully. The focus will be on finding quick, uncomplicated and customer-friendly solutions. The voluntary sales stop for models with the V6 TDI diesel engine, which the three affected Group brands had provisionally decided upon, has been extended until further notice. This engine was developed by Audi and is used in the Audi US models A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7 from model year 2009 onwards. Volkswagen uses the engine in the Touareg and Porsche has used it in the Cayenne since model year 2013. All affected models continue to be safe and roadworthy.
  12. Audi announced this afternoon that the 3.0L TDI V6 did have a defeat device that allowed the engine to circumvent U.S. clean air laws. In a statement, the German automaker said that it failed to disclose three emission control software functions, also known as auxiliary emissions control devices (AECD) to the various agencies as required by law. One of devices, a 'temperature conditioning of the exhaust‑gas cleaning system' was deemed to be illegal by the EPA as it could detect when it was being tested for emissions and turn on the pollution-control equipment to cut emission levels down. Audi also announced the plan to fix the vehicles that will involve a software update to 85,000+ vehicles with the V6 diesel. The company will submit new U.S. government emission certification paperwork for the software. If approved by the EPA and California Air Resources Board, Audi will release software to dealers to perform the fix, Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Audi Press Release is on Page 2 Statement on Audi’s discussions with the US environmental authorities EPA and CARB Auxiliary emission control devices (AECD) for US version of V6 TDI 3 liter engine to be revised, documented and submitted for approval Technical solution for North America versions from 2009 model year onwards to be worked out in conjunction with the authorities Audi will revise, document in detail, and resubmit for US approval certain parameters of the engine-management software used in the V6 TDI 3 liter diesel engine. That is the result of the discussions held between a delegation from AUDI AG and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The updated software will be installed as soon as it is approved by the authorities. The three brands Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen are affected. Audi estimates that the related expense will be in the mid-double-digit millions of euros. The latest discussions focused on a notice of violation of November 2, in which Audi was informed that AECDs (Auxiliary Emission Control Devices) were not sufficiently described and declared in the application for US type approval. That will now be done with the updated software and the documentation. Audi has confirmed that three AECDs were not declared in the context of the US approval documentation. One of the AECDs relates to the temperature conditioning of the exhaust‑gas cleaning system. The other two AECDs are for the avoidance of deposits on the Ad-Blue metering valve and of HC poisoning of the SCR catalyst with unburnt hydrocarbons. One of them is regarded as a defeat device according to applicable US law. Specifically, this is the software for the temperature conditioning of the exhaust-gas cleaning system. Audi has agreed with the environmental authorities on further steps of cooperation in which the concrete measures to be taken will be specified. The company has committed to continue cooperating transparently and fully. The focus will be on finding quick, uncomplicated and customer-friendly solutions. The voluntary sales stop for models with the V6 TDI diesel engine, which the three affected Group brands had provisionally decided upon, has been extended until further notice. This engine was developed by Audi and is used in the Audi US models A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7 from model year 2009 onwards. Volkswagen uses the engine in the Touareg and Porsche has used it in the Cayenne since model year 2013. All affected models continue to be safe and roadworthy. View full article
  13. On Friday, Volkswagen made an announcement that many of us were expecting, cutting its massive R&D budget. The company will cut 1 billion Euros (about $1.1 billion) from R&D to prepare itself for the massive fines that will be heading its way in the near future due to the emission scandal. Along with this, Volkwagen announced that it would be capping spending on property, plant and equipment at around 12 billion euros ($12.8 billion) for next year. This is about eight percent smaller than the previous plan put forth by the company. In a statement, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller said a number of projects are being delayed or put on hold, including a new design center in Germany and a paint shop in Mexico. "We are operating in uncertain and volatile times and are responding to this. We will strictly prioritize all planned investments ... anything that is not absolutely necessary will be cancelled or postponed," said Muller. Now a report from German publication WirtschaftsWoche says Volkswagen is considering closing the Dresden, Germany plant to cut more costs. This plant known as the Transparent plant is where Volkswagen currently builds the Phaeton. Currently the plant employs 500 people, but only produces eight Phaetons a week. The Phaeton has never been a big seller for Volkswagen as it only sold 4,000 models last year. If Volkswagen goes forward with closing the Dresden plant, it would move production of the Phaeton to another factory. It would also move the 500 workers to another facility. When reached for comment by Automotive News, Volkswagen neither confirmed or denied the report, only saying the factory was being considered for 'various scenarios'. Source: New York Times, WirtschaftsWoche, Automotive News (Subscription Required), Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 Volkswagen Group reduces level of capex CEO Matthias Müller: "We will strictly prioritize all investments and expenditures" Even greater focus on alternative drive technologies and digitalization Wolfsburg, 20 November 2015 - The Volkswagen Group is aligning investment activity in its Automotive Division with the current situation. The aim is for planned investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property and intangible assets, excluding capitalized development costs (capex), to be capped at approximately EUR 12 billion next year. The average figure for the previous planning period was about EUR 13 billion per year. "We are operating in uncertain and volatile times and are responding to this", said Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in Wolfsburg on Friday, after a regular meeting of the Company's Supervisory Board. "We will strictly prioritize all planned investments and expenditures. As announced, anything that is not absolutely necessary will be cancelled or postponed." In this context, Müller announced the intention to increase expenditure on alternative drive technologies by approximately EUR 100 million next year. "We are not going to make the mistake of economizing on our future. For this reason we are planning to further increase spending on the development of e-mobility and digitalization", he said. The core focus will be on rapidly developing electric drive systems for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi and Porsche brands. Most of the capex is earmarked for new products, the continuing rollout and enhancement of the modular toolkits, and the completion of ongoing investments to expand capacity. Examples include product start-ups such as the next-generation Golf, the Audi Q5, the new Crafter plant in Poland, as well as upfront expenditures for the modular electric toolkit (MEB). Approximately 50 percent of capex will be spent on the Group's 28 locations in Germany. Müller also outlined the first projects as examples where investments are being spread out to a greater extent or cut back. For example, construction of the planned new design center in Wolfsburg is being put on hold, saving approximately EUR 100 million. In addition, the construction of a paint shop in Mexico will be reviewed. In the model range, the successor to the Phaeton – a pure-play electric model – is being delayed. "We will review and potentially cancel further expenditures or spread them out to a greater extent in the next few weeks, but without putting our future viability at risk", explained Müller. He added: "Together with the works council representatives we will make every effort to keep our core workforce on board." The joint ventures in China are not consolidated and are therefore not included in the above figures. These companies will maintain their previously announced investment levels and are planning expenditures in the amount of approximately EUR 4.4 billion in 2016. These investments will be financed from the joint ventures' own funds. View full article
  14. On Friday, Volkswagen made an announcement that many of us were expecting, cutting its massive R&D budget. The company will cut 1 billion Euros (about $1.1 billion) from R&D to prepare itself for the massive fines that will be heading its way in the near future due to the emission scandal. Along with this, Volkwagen announced that it would be capping spending on property, plant and equipment at around 12 billion euros ($12.8 billion) for next year. This is about eight percent smaller than the previous plan put forth by the company. In a statement, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller said a number of projects are being delayed or put on hold, including a new design center in Germany and a paint shop in Mexico. "We are operating in uncertain and volatile times and are responding to this. We will strictly prioritize all planned investments ... anything that is not absolutely necessary will be cancelled or postponed," said Muller. Now a report from German publication WirtschaftsWoche says Volkswagen is considering closing the Dresden, Germany plant to cut more costs. This plant known as the Transparent plant is where Volkswagen currently builds the Phaeton. Currently the plant employs 500 people, but only produces eight Phaetons a week. The Phaeton has never been a big seller for Volkswagen as it only sold 4,000 models last year. If Volkswagen goes forward with closing the Dresden plant, it would move production of the Phaeton to another factory. It would also move the 500 workers to another facility. When reached for comment by Automotive News, Volkswagen neither confirmed or denied the report, only saying the factory was being considered for 'various scenarios'. Source: New York Times, WirtschaftsWoche, Automotive News (Subscription Required), Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 Volkswagen Group reduces level of capex CEO Matthias Müller: "We will strictly prioritize all investments and expenditures" Even greater focus on alternative drive technologies and digitalization Wolfsburg, 20 November 2015 - The Volkswagen Group is aligning investment activity in its Automotive Division with the current situation. The aim is for planned investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property and intangible assets, excluding capitalized development costs (capex), to be capped at approximately EUR 12 billion next year. The average figure for the previous planning period was about EUR 13 billion per year. "We are operating in uncertain and volatile times and are responding to this", said Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in Wolfsburg on Friday, after a regular meeting of the Company's Supervisory Board. "We will strictly prioritize all planned investments and expenditures. As announced, anything that is not absolutely necessary will be cancelled or postponed." In this context, Müller announced the intention to increase expenditure on alternative drive technologies by approximately EUR 100 million next year. "We are not going to make the mistake of economizing on our future. For this reason we are planning to further increase spending on the development of e-mobility and digitalization", he said. The core focus will be on rapidly developing electric drive systems for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi and Porsche brands. Most of the capex is earmarked for new products, the continuing rollout and enhancement of the modular toolkits, and the completion of ongoing investments to expand capacity. Examples include product start-ups such as the next-generation Golf, the Audi Q5, the new Crafter plant in Poland, as well as upfront expenditures for the modular electric toolkit (MEB). Approximately 50 percent of capex will be spent on the Group's 28 locations in Germany. Müller also outlined the first projects as examples where investments are being spread out to a greater extent or cut back. For example, construction of the planned new design center in Wolfsburg is being put on hold, saving approximately EUR 100 million. In addition, the construction of a paint shop in Mexico will be reviewed. In the model range, the successor to the Phaeton – a pure-play electric model – is being delayed. "We will review and potentially cancel further expenditures or spread them out to a greater extent in the next few weeks, but without putting our future viability at risk", explained Müller. He added: "Together with the works council representatives we will make every effort to keep our core workforce on board." The joint ventures in China are not consolidated and are therefore not included in the above figures. These companies will maintain their previously announced investment levels and are planning expenditures in the amount of approximately EUR 4.4 billion in 2016. These investments will be financed from the joint ventures' own funds.
  15. We're getting to the point where it is becoming a bad idea mentioning 'could it get any worse' when talking about Volkswagen and the diesel scandal it finds itself embroiled in. Sooner or later, it will get one step worse. Case in point is Volkswagen admitting on Friday that their 3.0L TDI V6 used on a number of their vehicles does violate emission standards. Earlier in November, the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) accused Volkswagen of using a defeat device in a number of vehicles with the 3.0L TDI V6. Volkswagen denied the allegations at the time. But Volkswagen and Audi told EPA and CARB officials this week that yes the 3.0L TDI V6 did violate regulations since 2009. This comes down to Volkswagen not revealing the engine had auxiliary emissions control software to the government. With this new information, the number of vehicles involved has climbed to 85,000. This has also caused the two agencies to investigate whether or not this was intentional on Volkswagen's part. Audi spokesman Brad Stertz tells Reuters that the software isn't illegal in Europe, but said the company didn't tell government regulators either. "We are willing to take another crack at reprogramming to a degree that the regulators deem acceptable," said Stertz. Source: Reuters View full article
  16. We're getting to the point where it is becoming a bad idea mentioning 'could it get any worse' when talking about Volkswagen and the diesel scandal it finds itself embroiled in. Sooner or later, it will get one step worse. Case in point is Volkswagen admitting on Friday that their 3.0L TDI V6 used on a number of their vehicles does violate emission standards. Earlier in November, the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) accused Volkswagen of using a defeat device in a number of vehicles with the 3.0L TDI V6. Volkswagen denied the allegations at the time. But Volkswagen and Audi told EPA and CARB officials this week that yes the 3.0L TDI V6 did violate regulations since 2009. This comes down to Volkswagen not revealing the engine had auxiliary emissions control software to the government. With this new information, the number of vehicles involved has climbed to 85,000. This has also caused the two agencies to investigate whether or not this was intentional on Volkswagen's part. Audi spokesman Brad Stertz tells Reuters that the software isn't illegal in Europe, but said the company didn't tell government regulators either. "We are willing to take another crack at reprogramming to a degree that the regulators deem acceptable," said Stertz. Source: Reuters
  17. Ahead of a November 20th deadline where Volkswagen must submit a plan to EPA about how they are planning to fix the nearly 500,000 vehicles with illegal emission software, Reuters has learned about a meeting between the EPA and officials from Volkswagen. According to sources, Volkswagen's powertrain development chief Friedrich Eichler will meet officials from the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to talk about the efforts being put forth by Volkswagen to fix the illegal vehicles. Sources go to say that officials from Audi will meet with the EPA and CARB in a separate meeting. Volkswagen and the EPA declined to comment about the meetings. Source: Reuters
  18. Ahead of a November 20th deadline where Volkswagen must submit a plan to EPA about how they are planning to fix the nearly 500,000 vehicles with illegal emission software, Reuters has learned about a meeting between the EPA and officials from Volkswagen. According to sources, Volkswagen's powertrain development chief Friedrich Eichler will meet officials from the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to talk about the efforts being put forth by Volkswagen to fix the illegal vehicles. Sources go to say that officials from Audi will meet with the EPA and CARB in a separate meeting. Volkswagen and the EPA declined to comment about the meetings. Source: Reuters View full article
  19. Volkswagen's emission scandal will not be an easy or quick problem to fix. Along with fixing a number of vehicles, the automaker will be facing a large amount of fines from various governments and possibly payouts from lawsuits. To make sure they have enough money to cover all of this, Volkswagen is reportedly is taking out some short-term loans. Bloomberg has learned from two sources that the German automaker will meet with a number of banks tomorrow to apply for 20 billion euros (about $21.5 billion) in short-term loans to act as a buffer for upcoming fines. The hope is to have the loans by the end of this year. “It makes perfect sense” to shore up financing, said Sascha Gommel, analyst for Commerzbank AG. “In order to protect their rating, they need to show that liquidity will never become an issue for them, because then you have a vicious circle. If the ratings agencies think you won’t have cash and they downgrade you, then your funding gets more expensive.” Source: Bloomberg View full article
  20. Volkswagen's emission scandal will not be an easy or quick problem to fix. Along with fixing a number of vehicles, the automaker will be facing a large amount of fines from various governments and possibly payouts from lawsuits. To make sure they have enough money to cover all of this, Volkswagen is reportedly is taking out some short-term loans. Bloomberg has learned from two sources that the German automaker will meet with a number of banks tomorrow to apply for 20 billion euros (about $21.5 billion) in short-term loans to act as a buffer for upcoming fines. The hope is to have the loans by the end of this year. “It makes perfect sense” to shore up financing, said Sascha Gommel, analyst for Commerzbank AG. “In order to protect their rating, they need to show that liquidity will never become an issue for them, because then you have a vicious circle. If the ratings agencies think you won’t have cash and they downgrade you, then your funding gets more expensive.” Source: Bloomberg
  21. If there is anything the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal has shown us, it has shown the various regulations used around the world are tricky to enforce and that automakers will take advantage of loopholes. General Motors' powertrain chief wants to change that by unifying emission standards around the world. Dan Nicholson, GM's powertrain chief tells Automotive News that he plans to use his upcoming presidency of the International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies (Fisita) to push for the unification of emission standards around the world. “We want all our engineering resources focused on improving air quality and reducing CO2. With different sets of rules, we have to put our engineering resources into nuanced regulatory differences rather than working on the root problem,” said Nicholson. Nicholson said the differences between emission standards set by the EPA and those upcoming from the European Union are small. But engineering the same vehicle to meet different standards was costing a large sum across the industry. Harmonizing the different standards will be difficult, but Nicholson says the benefits will outweigh the negatives. “There is more overlap in the areas of interest than people think,” said Nicholson. There's also another reason why Nicholson wants to take this on. China is in the process of setting up their own emission standards. “With China in discussions right now, we are at a key pivot point. I’m concerned that if we miss our opportunities now they won’t come again for a long time,” explained Nicholson. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  22. If there is anything the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal has shown us, it has shown the various regulations used around the world are tricky to enforce and that automakers will take advantage of loopholes. General Motors' powertrain chief wants to change that by unifying emission standards around the world. Dan Nicholson, GM's powertrain chief tells Automotive News that he plans to use his upcoming presidency of the International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies (Fisita) to push for the unification of emission standards around the world. “We want all our engineering resources focused on improving air quality and reducing CO2. With different sets of rules, we have to put our engineering resources into nuanced regulatory differences rather than working on the root problem,” said Nicholson. Nicholson said the differences between emission standards set by the EPA and those upcoming from the European Union are small. But engineering the same vehicle to meet different standards was costing a large sum across the industry. Harmonizing the different standards will be difficult, but Nicholson says the benefits will outweigh the negatives. “There is more overlap in the areas of interest than people think,” said Nicholson. There's also another reason why Nicholson wants to take this on. China is in the process of setting up their own emission standards. “With China in discussions right now, we are at a key pivot point. I’m concerned that if we miss our opportunities now they won’t come again for a long time,” explained Nicholson. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  23. After Volkswagen admitted that it used software to vary the amount of emissions being produced in their diesel vehicles, Volkswagen is using a legal loophole to provide a defense in Europe. In a letter sent last week to European regulators, Volkswagen Group Managing Director Paul Willis said that the company's cheat software might not be illegal under current European Union regulations. Crazy as might sound, there is a loophole that allows this. The New York Times reports that the European regulations have a massive loophole that could put Volkswagen in the clear. In fact, regulators knew about this loophole back in 2011. We'll let the New York Times explain the loophole. "The loophole lets carmakers change the performance settings of their engines before a pollution test. “A manufacturer could specify a special setting that is not normally used for everyday driving,” British regulators warned, according to minutes of a 2011 meeting in Geneva of officials across the region." Willis points this out in his letter, stating the automaker is considering "whether the software in question officially constituted a defeat device." Now this is only a small part of a number of problems with how Europe regulates how vehicles. Automakers can submit to testing in any of the 28 member states of EU and have those results recognized across the EU. Also, automakers can submit pre-production models and do various tweaks such as removing seats and taping up gaps for emission tests. "What we have developed is a phony system of testing where the member states [of the European Union] are in competition with each other for who can make it the most easy for the car manufacturers to pass the test," said Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch member of the European Parliament. Now the EU has the final say as to whether or not Volkswagen's cheating software is actually illegal or not. Lucia Caudet, a spokeswoman for the European Commission tells the Times that the governing body has "no formal view on whether” the software in question counts as "a 'defeat device' in the EU legal sense or not." We'll keep you updated on this. Source: New York Times Wills' letter is below. View full article
  24. After Volkswagen admitted that it used software to vary the amount of emissions being produced in their diesel vehicles, Volkswagen is using a legal loophole to provide a defense in Europe. In a letter sent last week to European regulators, Volkswagen Group Managing Director Paul Willis said that the company's cheat software might not be illegal under current European Union regulations. Crazy as might sound, there is a loophole that allows this. The New York Times reports that the European regulations have a massive loophole that could put Volkswagen in the clear. In fact, regulators knew about this loophole back in 2011. We'll let the New York Times explain the loophole. "The loophole lets carmakers change the performance settings of their engines before a pollution test. “A manufacturer could specify a special setting that is not normally used for everyday driving,” British regulators warned, according to minutes of a 2011 meeting in Geneva of officials across the region." Willis points this out in his letter, stating the automaker is considering "whether the software in question officially constituted a defeat device." Now this is only a small part of a number of problems with how Europe regulates how vehicles. Automakers can submit to testing in any of the 28 member states of EU and have those results recognized across the EU. Also, automakers can submit pre-production models and do various tweaks such as removing seats and taping up gaps for emission tests. "What we have developed is a phony system of testing where the member states [of the European Union] are in competition with each other for who can make it the most easy for the car manufacturers to pass the test," said Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch member of the European Parliament. Now the EU has the final say as to whether or not Volkswagen's cheating software is actually illegal or not. Lucia Caudet, a spokeswoman for the European Commission tells the Times that the governing body has "no formal view on whether” the software in question counts as "a 'defeat device' in the EU legal sense or not." We'll keep you updated on this. Source: New York Times Wills' letter is below.
  25. More bad news for Volkswagen this week. Speaking with German publication Wirtschaftswoche, California Air Resources Board's (CARB) chair Mary Nichols said in their testing, only Volkswagen TDI models were found to have cheating devices. "So far we have found in vehicles of other brands no fraudulent shutdown. This does not mean that all emissions are as we would wish. But there is nothing that comes close to the magnitude of the excess in VW vehicles," Nichols said CARB will continue testing diesel vehicles. Meanwhile, Automotive News reports that Volkswagen has halted production of 2016 Passat TDI models at its Chattanooga, TN plant. No word on production was ended as a spokesman tells AN that he only learned about it today, but it's safe to assume it had to be some after the company withdrew its application for EPA certification on 2016 models equipped with the 2.0 TDI. Automotive News says Volkswagen continued production of the Passat TDI even after the EPA announcement that the 2.0 TDI was found to cheat back in September. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Wirtschaftswoche, Reuters View full article

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