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Found 30 results

  1. The past couple of years has seen a lot of talk about consumers are turning away from cars towards trucks and utility vehicles. U.S. automakers have responded to this trend by announcing cuts to their car lineup - General Motors being the latest one. But other automakers are being more cautious. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America told a gathering at the Detroit Economic Club last week that car sales are reaching the point of bottoming out - just under 30 percent in November sales. Unlike the American brands, Lentz isn't giving up on cars as they represent more than 4 million compact, midsize, and near-luxury cars sold to buyers. "There’s no way I’m going to walk away from that. We are always going to have a bias toward passenger cars,” said Lentz. The Associated Press reports that sales of passenger cars "are on pace to be 800,000 vehicles below 2017, while truck and SUV sales should increase by the same amount." Source: Associated Press View full article
  2. The past couple of years has seen a lot of talk about consumers are turning away from cars towards trucks and utility vehicles. U.S. automakers have responded to this trend by announcing cuts to their car lineup - General Motors being the latest one. But other automakers are being more cautious. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America told a gathering at the Detroit Economic Club last week that car sales are reaching the point of bottoming out - just under 30 percent in November sales. Unlike the American brands, Lentz isn't giving up on cars as they represent more than 4 million compact, midsize, and near-luxury cars sold to buyers. "There’s no way I’m going to walk away from that. We are always going to have a bias toward passenger cars,” said Lentz. The Associated Press reports that sales of passenger cars "are on pace to be 800,000 vehicles below 2017, while truck and SUV sales should increase by the same amount." Source: Associated Press
  3. The project of a trade war between the U.S. and China (along with the European Union) has many automakers on edge. Some are beginning to speak out about the possible dangers it may bring. Mercedes-Benz's parent company, Daimler AG announced yesterday that its full-year earnings will be slightly lower than last year. Their reasoning comes down to consumers in China buying fewer SUVs that are imported from the U.S. Most of Mercedes-Benz SUVs are built in Alabama. “Remember, for those following from a Trump/global free trade perspective, this is now a German car maker, warning on the profits coming from their Alabama-made SUVs, which are then sold/exported into China –- a complicated situation indeed!!” wrote Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst. According to Bloomberg, shares in Daimler dropped 4.4 percent on this announcement. Meanwhile, Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the trade war could affect plans in the U.S. Speaking at the opening of the Swedish automaker's new assembly plant in South Carolina, Samuelsson told Bloomberg that Volvo would have to limit the number of models it sells due to the threat of a 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles. “I would have fewer models to choose from and they would cost more -- that would be the consequence. Shorter menu and higher prices -- not a very good restaurant,” said Samuelsson. The factory in South Carolina will provide a small relief for Volvo if tariffs do go into place. Small is the key word as LMC Automotive estimates 87 percent of the vehicles Volvo sells in the U.S. next year will come from other places - Sweden and China. Samuelsson also warned that the trade dispute could mess up plans to create up to 4,000 new jobs at the new plant. "If you have trade barriers and restrictions, we cannot create as many jobs as we are planning to," explained Samuelsson. "We want to export and if suddenly China and Europe have very high barriers, it would be impossible. Then you have to build the cars there. And then all cars will be more expensive, you have to invest more tooling and have every model in every country. That's against all the logic of modern economies that trade with each other." Source: Bloomberg, (2), Reuters View full article
  4. The project of a trade war between the U.S. and China (along with the European Union) has many automakers on edge. Some are beginning to speak out about the possible dangers it may bring. Mercedes-Benz's parent company, Diamler AG announced yesterday that its full-year earnings will be slightly lower than last year. Their reasoning comes down to consumers in China buying fewer SUVs that are imported from the U.S. Most of Mercedes-Benz SUVs are built in Alabama. “Remember, for those following from a Trump/global free trade perspective, this is now a German car maker, warning on the profits coming from their Alabama-made SUVs, which are then sold/exported into China –- a complicated situation indeed!!” wrote Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst. According to Bloomberg, shares in Diamler dropped 4.4 percent on this announcement. Meanwhile, Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the trade war could affect plans in the U.S. Speaking at the opening of the Swedish automaker's new assembly plant in South Carolina, Samuelsson told Bloomberg that Volvo would have to limit the number of models it sells due to threat of a 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles. “I would have less models to choose from and they would cost more -- that would be the consequence. Shorter menu and higher prices -- not a very good restaurant,” said Samuelsson. The factory in South Carolina will provide a small relief for Volvo if tariffs do go into place. Small is the key word as LMC Automotive estimates 87 percent of the vehicles Volvo sells in the U.S. next year will come from other places - Sweden and China. Samuelsson also warned that the trade dispute could mess up plans to create up to 4,000 new jobs at the new plant. "If you have trade barriers and restrictions, we cannot create as many jobs as we are planning to," explained Samuelsson. "We want to export and if suddenly China and Europe have very high barriers, it would be impossible. Then you have to build the cars there. And then all cars will be more expensive, you have to invest more tooling and have every model in every country. That's against all the logic of modern economies that trade with each other." Source: Bloomberg, (2), Reuters
  5. President Donald Trump is no fan of German automakers. Take for instance this quote from last January, He has also made comments about BMW in the past few months in light of possible tariffs (which appear to be going into effect today). Now, new comments have been brought to light where the president wants to try and ban German cars from the U.S. German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reports that during French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to the U.S. in April, Trump said that he will maintain his current trade policy "until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York." This information comes from several unnamed European and U.S. diplomats. At the time of this writing, Reuters hasn't able to verify this information. As we reported last week, the Trump administration has ordered a probe into new car imports on the basis of national security. It may result in imported vehicles being hit with a 25 percent tariff. Let's suppose that President Trump somehow presents a ban on German cars, trying to get it implemented may be quite problematic .For one, not all vehicles from German automakers will fall under the ban - an example is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is built in Austria by Magna-Steyr. German automakers also have a sizable production presence in the U.S. Germany’s auto industry association VDA said German automakers built 804,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year. One thing is for sure; automakers will be dealing with more uncertainty for some time. Source: Wirtschaftswoche, Reuters
  6. President Donald Trump is no fan of German automakers. Take for instance this quote from last January, He has also made comments about BMW in the past few months in light of possible tariffs (which appear to be going into effect today). Now, new comments have been brought to light where the president wants to try and ban German cars from the U.S. German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reports that during French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to the U.S. in April, Trump said that he will maintain his current trade policy "until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York." This information comes from several unnamed European and U.S. diplomats. At the time of this writing, Reuters hasn't able to verify this information. As we reported last week, the Trump administration has ordered a probe into new car imports on the basis of national security. It may result in imported vehicles being hit with a 25 percent tariff. Let's suppose that President Trump somehow presents a ban on German cars, trying to get it implemented may be quite problematic .For one, not all vehicles from German automakers will fall under the ban - an example is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is built in Austria by Magna-Steyr. German automakers also have a sizable production presence in the U.S. Germany’s auto industry association VDA said German automakers built 804,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year. One thing is for sure; automakers will be dealing with more uncertainty for some time. Source: Wirtschaftswoche, Reuters View full article
  7. Some recent comments made by Subaru UK's managing director, Chris Graham has some wondering if manual transmissions will become an endangered species for the company. According to Auto Express, Subaru has been putting more focus on their EyeSight driver-assist technology - comprised of stereo cameras on the windshield to provide adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist. Subaru doesn't offer this on any model equipped with manual transmission and there doesn't appear to be any plans to engineer EyeSight for manuals. ”I’m not sure if it’s compatible at all with a manual gearbox. There are certainly no rumours we’ve heard that manual will continue, or Eyesight will be [offered] with manual," said Graham. “My gut tells me it will be Eyesight with Lineartronic ongoing and long term. They want to steal the mantle of the safest car in the world. I think if they do that, then they say ‘here’s a manual without Eyesight’, they’ll just ruin that [message]." This decision could affect the next-generation STI. Graham said he would like to see the manual stay, but Subaru has the final say. "For me an STI has to be a manual in the guise it is today, however if you look at [auto-only] M-series BMWs, I don’t think this is the end and I’d be very excited if they had a hybrid petrol STI. That would be phenomenal in terms of its acceleration,” said Graham. Before you start getting out the pitchforks and torches, let us take a few steps back. The comments made by Graham could only be for European market vehicles. As an example, the Crosstrek in the UK is only offered with a CVT. In the U.S., Subaru offers both a CVT and manual transmission. Source: Auto Express View full article
  8. Some recent comments made by Subaru UK's managing director, Chris Graham has some wondering if manual transmissions will become an endangered species for the company. According to Auto Express, Subaru has been putting more focus on their EyeSight driver-assist technology - comprised of stereo cameras on the windshield to provide adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist. Subaru doesn't offer this on any model equipped with manual transmission and there doesn't appear to be any plans to engineer EyeSight for manuals. ”I’m not sure if it’s compatible at all with a manual gearbox. There are certainly no rumours we’ve heard that manual will continue, or Eyesight will be [offered] with manual," said Graham. “My gut tells me it will be Eyesight with Lineartronic ongoing and long term. They want to steal the mantle of the safest car in the world. I think if they do that, then they say ‘here’s a manual without Eyesight’, they’ll just ruin that [message]." This decision could affect the next-generation STI. Graham said he would like to see the manual stay, but Subaru has the final say. "For me an STI has to be a manual in the guise it is today, however if you look at [auto-only] M-series BMWs, I don’t think this is the end and I’d be very excited if they had a hybrid petrol STI. That would be phenomenal in terms of its acceleration,” said Graham. Before you start getting out the pitchforks and torches, let us take a few steps back. The comments made by Graham could only be for European market vehicles. As an example, the Crosstrek in the UK is only offered with a CVT. In the U.S., Subaru offers both a CVT and manual transmission. Source: Auto Express
  9. Volkswagen has been gung-ho on electric vehicles ever since it was revealed that it used illegal software on diesel vehicles to pass emission tests. The company recently unveiled plans to invest $82.5 billion into electric vehicles over the next five years. So it seems bizarre for Volkswagen's CEO to make this comment at the Geneva Motor Show. “Diesel will see a renaissance in the not-too-distant future because people who drove diesels will realize that it was a very comfortable drive concept. Once the knowledge that diesels are eco-friendly firms up in people’s minds, then for me there’s no reason not to buy one,” said Matthias Mueller. *record scratch* Yes, Volkswagen's CEO sees diesel making a comeback. This is somewhat hard to believe as stronger CO2 emission regulations from the European Union start to go into effect. Various countries and cities are planning to ban diesel vehicles in an effort to cut down on pollution. But Muller sees diesel as a way to meet emission standards until electric vehicles are more viable. “The rules of the game in the EU in relation to climate protection and emissions goals on CO2 are so challenging that governments cannot do without diesel. We’re doing everything to avoid” coming up short, but “if there’s less diesel, then getting to that goal just gets tougher.” But ultimately, it will come down to consumers. Already, sales of diesel vehicles in Germany have dropped by a third. With bans looming and resale values taking a dive, consumers may look elsewhere. “At the end of the day, consumers have the final world. We have a very clear strategy in terms of multi-energy platforms, which means we can assemble on the same assembly line petrol cars, diesel cars, electric-powered cars,” said Carlos Tavares, CEO of PSA Group. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  10. Volkswagen has been gung-ho on electric vehicles ever since it was revealed that it used illegal software on diesel vehicles to pass emission tests. The company recently unveiled plans to invest $82.5 billion into electric vehicles over the next five years. So it seems bizarre for Volkswagen's CEO to make this comment at the Geneva Motor Show. “Diesel will see a renaissance in the not-too-distant future because people who drove diesels will realize that it was a very comfortable drive concept. Once the knowledge that diesels are eco-friendly firms up in people’s minds, then for me there’s no reason not to buy one,” said Matthias Mueller. *record scratch* Yes, Volkswagen's CEO sees diesel making a comeback. This is somewhat hard to believe as stronger CO2 emission regulations from the European Union start to go into effect. Various countries and cities are planning to ban diesel vehicles in an effort to cut down on pollution. But Muller sees diesel as a way to meet emission standards until electric vehicles are more viable. “The rules of the game in the EU in relation to climate protection and emissions goals on CO2 are so challenging that governments cannot do without diesel. We’re doing everything to avoid” coming up short, but “if there’s less diesel, then getting to that goal just gets tougher.” But ultimately, it will come down to consumers. Already, sales of diesel vehicles in Germany have dropped by a third. With bans looming and resale values taking a dive, consumers may look elsewhere. “At the end of the day, consumers have the final world. We have a very clear strategy in terms of multi-energy platforms, which means we can assemble on the same assembly line petrol cars, diesel cars, electric-powered cars,” said Carlos Tavares, CEO of PSA Group. Source: Bloomberg
  11. Just a week ago, we reported that Porsche was getting out of the diesel game as sales of the Macan S Diesel and Panamera 4S Diesel ended. But Porsche's sales chief f Detlev von Platen told Automotive the company is planning to launch a diesel engine for the new Cayenne and possibly offer it in the Macan. Wait, what?! "We're not saying that we are exiting [diesel]," said von Platen. "Presently, the planning process foresees one for the Cayenne and probably for the Macan, too. For the SUV models, it [diesel] makes sense where customers want range and torque." Von Planten also downplayed the importance of diesel to the brand. "It was never extremely relevant. Only about 14 percent of the 246,000 cars we sell worldwide are a diesel. We see big demand for our plug-in hybrids, especially with the latest generation, now that its electric range was extended to 50 kilometers [up from 36km]. That plays a big role." This apparent reversal comes as Germany's highest federal administrative court approved the ban of older diesel vehicles in the cities of cities of Duesseldorf and Stuttgart - the latter being home to Porsche. While it will not affect newer diesels, it only gives the fuel another black eye and will likely cause sales to fall further. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  12. Just a week ago, we reported that Porsche was getting out of the diesel game as sales of the Macan S Diesel and Panamera 4S Diesel ended. But Porsche's sales chief f Detlev von Platen told Automotive the company is planning to launch a diesel engine for the new Cayenne and possibly offer it in the Macan. Wait, what?! "We're not saying that we are exiting [diesel]," said von Platen. "Presently, the planning process foresees one for the Cayenne and probably for the Macan, too. For the SUV models, it [diesel] makes sense where customers want range and torque." Von Planten also downplayed the importance of diesel to the brand. "It was never extremely relevant. Only about 14 percent of the 246,000 cars we sell worldwide are a diesel. We see big demand for our plug-in hybrids, especially with the latest generation, now that its electric range was extended to 50 kilometers [up from 36km]. That plays a big role." This apparent reversal comes as Germany's highest federal administrative court approved the ban of older diesel vehicles in the cities of cities of Duesseldorf and Stuttgart - the latter being home to Porsche. While it will not affect newer diesels, it only gives the fuel another black eye and will likely cause sales to fall further. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  13. Porsche seems to be going ahead on electrifying their iconic 911 sports car. Speaking with Automotive News, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume revealed that the company is working on a plug-in hybrid variant of the next-generation 911. "It will be very important for the 911 to have a plug-in hybrid," said Blume. The decision on whether to move forward with the project hasn't received final approval, but Blume said it's "my opinion that we will go for it." Blume's comments help clear the confusing mess of rumors from the past few years which said one minute that they were considering it and the next minute being taken off the table. Earlier this year, plans were dropped due to weight concerns of the batteries. The next-generation 911's platform has been designed to accommodate the batteries needed for the plug-in hybrid system. Currently, Porsche is planning to launch the plug-in hybrid 911 during midcycle refresh of the next-generation 911. With the launch of the next-generation 911 expected to take place in 2019, this could mean the 911 plug-in hybrid will debut in 2023. Why is Porsche waiting until the midcycle refresh? Blume said this would allow the company to get batteries that deliver more power and range. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  14. William Maley

    Porsche CEO Says A 911 Plug-In is on the Way

    Porsche seems to be going ahead on electrifying their iconic 911 sports car. Speaking with Automotive News, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume revealed that the company is working on a plug-in hybrid variant of the next-generation 911. "It will be very important for the 911 to have a plug-in hybrid," said Blume. The decision on whether to move forward with the project hasn't received final approval, but Blume said it's "my opinion that we will go for it." Blume's comments help clear the confusing mess of rumors from the past few years which said one minute that they were considering it and the next minute being taken off the table. Earlier this year, plans were dropped due to weight concerns of the batteries. The next-generation 911's platform has been designed to accommodate the batteries needed for the plug-in hybrid system. Currently, Porsche is planning to launch the plug-in hybrid 911 during midcycle refresh of the next-generation 911. With the launch of the next-generation 911 expected to take place in 2019, this could mean the 911 plug-in hybrid will debut in 2023. Why is Porsche waiting until the midcycle refresh? Blume said this would allow the company to get batteries that deliver more power and range. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  15. Rolls-Royce has made it clear that it plans on introducing electric powertrains to their vehicles in the future once the technology has fully developed and customers want one. But new regulations are forcing their hand. Rolls' CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Car and Driver that the Phantom will receive the option of an electric powertrain sometime during its lifecycle. The platform that underpins the Phantom and future models have been built with electrification in mind. “We are more regulator driven than consumer driven. We might well see, in the next decade, some Asian markets closing down city centers to combustion engines completely. And then, of course, [electrification] is a must,” said Müller-Ötvös. Müller-Ötvös admitted that no one is clamoring for an electric Rolls at this time, but expects that situation to change in the next 10 years or so. Source: Car and Driver
  16. Rolls-Royce has made it clear that it plans on introducing electric powertrains to their vehicles in the future once the technology has fully developed and customers want one. But new regulations are forcing their hand. Rolls' CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Car and Driver that the Phantom will receive the option of an electric powertrain sometime during its lifecycle. The platform that underpins the Phantom and future models have been built with electrification in mind. “We are more regulator driven than consumer driven. We might well see, in the next decade, some Asian markets closing down city centers to combustion engines completely. And then, of course, [electrification] is a must,” said Müller-Ötvös. Müller-Ötvös admitted that no one is clamoring for an electric Rolls at this time, but expects that situation to change in the next 10 years or so. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  17. Ever since the S2000 was discontinued back in 2009, many people wished for Honda to do an affordable sports car. Some of those folks work for Honda. Case in point is Stephen Collins, director of Honda Australia who told CarAdvice that he would like to see something like this make a return. “We’ve said it a number of times: we really want to dial up the sportiness of our range and our brand. NSX is one part of that, Type R is another. But if anything else becomes available, we’d really be chasing that pretty hard,” said Collins. “Type R is a hot hatch and if there’s another type of sports car that becomes available to us, say if it was a convertible or something that could come in at around $30,000 (list price), that would be very desirable for us.” When asked about S660 roadster, Collins shot down this idea. “The S660 is a beautiful little sports car but it was only really designed for Japanese domestic market,” he said. “To get it homologated and up to a standard for the Australian market would be difficult. It’s also very constrained by production and, unfortunately, it’s not made for export. But if a small, sporty car like that became available to Honda Australia we’d definitely stick up our hand for it. Sadly, the S660 is not an option for us.” Source: CarAdvice
  18. Ever since the S2000 was discontinued back in 2009, many people wished for Honda to do an affordable sports car. Some of those folks work for Honda. Case in point is Stephen Collins, director of Honda Australia who told CarAdvice that he would like to see something like this make a return. “We’ve said it a number of times: we really want to dial up the sportiness of our range and our brand. NSX is one part of that, Type R is another. But if anything else becomes available, we’d really be chasing that pretty hard,” said Collins. “Type R is a hot hatch and if there’s another type of sports car that becomes available to us, say if it was a convertible or something that could come in at around $30,000 (list price), that would be very desirable for us.” When asked about S660 roadster, Collins shot down this idea. “The S660 is a beautiful little sports car but it was only really designed for Japanese domestic market,” he said. “To get it homologated and up to a standard for the Australian market would be difficult. It’s also very constrained by production and, unfortunately, it’s not made for export. But if a small, sporty car like that became available to Honda Australia we’d definitely stick up our hand for it. Sadly, the S660 is not an option for us.” Source: CarAdvice View full article
  19. Ever since the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal broke, the fuel has been demonized by the media. governments, and even automakers. But someone is standing up for diesel. Speaking with Autocar, Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth said the company would be ramping up efforts on promoting modern diesel vehicles. “The latest diesel technology is really such a step in emissions, performance, particulates; it’s better for the environment when compared to [an equivalent] petrol. Diesel has to – needs to – have a future,” said Speth. Speth tells the publication that the issue of diesel isn't just for the automotive industry, but the entire transport industry. Diesel is the primary fuel for commercial fleets such as buses and semi-trucks, which contribute more to the overall pollution problem. He said, "the complete automotive industry needs diesel to fulfill legislative requirements”. Not helping matters is the public perception of diesel vehicles has taken a huge hit. Speth said some of this can be laid at the hands of the media as they have exacerbated certain misconceptions by combining images of old diesel vehicles with sooty black smoke coming out of the tailpipe with modern vehicles. “Anyone can see the black smoke coming out of old diesels is bad. We need to replace them with newer ones.” Speth also lays blame at Volkswagen for kicking off this current mess. “This kind of manipulation software is not acceptable. Unfortunately, the whole automotive industry suffers, not just Volkswagen,” said Speth. “Nobody believes the automotive industry anymore. They see us as offenders and not giving the right information. We have to show our technology is the best you can buy, to reduce the damage to health and the environment.” Source: Autocar View full article
  20. Ever since the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal broke, the fuel has been demonized by the media. governments, and even automakers. But someone is standing up for diesel. Speaking with Autocar, Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth said the company would be ramping up efforts on promoting modern diesel vehicles. “The latest diesel technology is really such a step in emissions, performance, particulates; it’s better for the environment when compared to [an equivalent] petrol. Diesel has to – needs to – have a future,” said Speth. Speth tells the publication that the issue of diesel isn't just for the automotive industry, but the entire transport industry. Diesel is the primary fuel for commercial fleets such as buses and semi-trucks, which contribute more to the overall pollution problem. He said, "the complete automotive industry needs diesel to fulfill legislative requirements”. Not helping matters is the public perception of diesel vehicles has taken a huge hit. Speth said some of this can be laid at the hands of the media as they have exacerbated certain misconceptions by combining images of old diesel vehicles with sooty black smoke coming out of the tailpipe with modern vehicles. “Anyone can see the black smoke coming out of old diesels is bad. We need to replace them with newer ones.” Speth also lays blame at Volkswagen for kicking off this current mess. “This kind of manipulation software is not acceptable. Unfortunately, the whole automotive industry suffers, not just Volkswagen,” said Speth. “Nobody believes the automotive industry anymore. They see us as offenders and not giving the right information. We have to show our technology is the best you can buy, to reduce the damage to health and the environment.” Source: Autocar
  21. One group that has been fighting tooth and nail against Tesla and their direct sales model is the National Automobile Dealers Association. With Tesla filing a federal lawsuit against the state of Michigan over a law banning direct sales, NADA Chairman Jeff Carlson has made some comments as to why Tesla's direct sales model is bad. The Detroit Free Press reports that Carlson said the direct sales model is bad for consumers because it would lead to higher prices. Competition between dealers is a good thing for consumers. In a study commissioned by NADA and done by Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies, competition between dealers lead to an average of $700 in price reduction. "Every state has to look to their consumer and decide what’s best for them. Either they can continue to support the franchised dealers' discount of up to $700 ... or, the choice for the policy makers is they can offer the consumer a vertically integrated model that prices vehicles at retail," said Carlson. "The public policy makers are going to go to the consumers and say which (model) do you want? The discounted product? Or the product at retail?" Carlson also pointed out a memo that Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent out to all employees saying that they need to abide by the company's “no negotiation and no discount policy.” It should be noted that policy that Carlson used as an example only pertains to new vehicles. Vehicles that were used as floor models, test drives, or were damaged in transit are allowed to be discounted. We're to jump in here now and bring a little editorial. Carlson's argument of using price to say why the franchise model is better is ok. But there is another part that either Carlson forgot or neglected to mention - service. There is a reason why people don't like to go to dealerships. They don't feel like they are being treated as a person, more of a number for this month. You see in various ways from dealer markups on popular models, pushing rust proofing or extended warranties during the sales process, and we're only scratching the surface. Yes, Tesla may be a more expensive option. But at least you don't feel that you're being pressured to buy something. Before someone jumps in and says 'not all dealerships are like this' or some variation of it, we know. The problem is those dealers are so few. It's basically trying to find a strand of hay in a bushel of needles. Source: Detroit Free Press, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  22. One group that has been fighting tooth and nail against Tesla and their direct sales model is the National Automobile Dealers Association. With Tesla filing a federal lawsuit against the state of Michigan over a law banning direct sales, NADA Chairman Jeff Carlson has made some comments as to why Tesla's direct sales model is bad. The Detroit Free Press reports that Carlson said the direct sales model is bad for consumers because it would lead to higher prices. Competition between dealers is a good thing for consumers. In a study commissioned by NADA and done by Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies, competition between dealers lead to an average of $700 in price reduction. "Every state has to look to their consumer and decide what’s best for them. Either they can continue to support the franchised dealers' discount of up to $700 ... or, the choice for the policy makers is they can offer the consumer a vertically integrated model that prices vehicles at retail," said Carlson. "The public policy makers are going to go to the consumers and say which (model) do you want? The discounted product? Or the product at retail?" Carlson also pointed out a memo that Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent out to all employees saying that they need to abide by the company's “no negotiation and no discount policy.” It should be noted that policy that Carlson used as an example only pertains to new vehicles. Vehicles that were used as floor models, test drives, or were damaged in transit are allowed to be discounted. We're to jump in here now and bring a little editorial. Carlson's argument of using price to say why the franchise model is better is ok. But there is another part that either Carlson forgot or neglected to mention - service. There is a reason why people don't like to go to dealerships. They don't feel like they are being treated as a person, more of a number for this month. You see in various ways from dealer markups on popular models, pushing rust proofing or extended warranties during the sales process, and we're only scratching the surface. Yes, Tesla may be a more expensive option. But at least you don't feel that you're being pressured to buy something. Before someone jumps in and says 'not all dealerships are like this' or some variation of it, we know. The problem is those dealers are so few. It's basically trying to find a strand of hay in a bushel of needles. Source: Detroit Free Press, Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  23. Volkswagen is getting ready to start the $10 billion compensation program for owners of the 2.0L TDI engine in the U.S. But some folks want the German automaker to do something similar for TDI owners in Europe. "Volkswagen should voluntarily pay European car owners compensation that is comparable with that which they will pay U.S. consumers," said EU Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska last week. In a interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag over the weekend, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller said that isn't going to happen. "But we have just a different situation," said Müller. "In the U.S. the (emission) limits are stricter, which makes the fix more complicated. And taking part in the buyback is voluntary (for customers), which is not the case in Germany, for example." The U.S.' regulations concerning emissions are some of strictest in the world, with automakers having to meet specific limits on how much pollutants come out of a tailpipe. This is why all diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. have some sort of after treatment system to help cut down on the amount of NOx emissions. In Europe, the regulations are bit more lax. This is why Volkswagen was able to fix a number of vehicles by reprogramming the engine computer and swapping some parts. For the U.S., the fix would have be more extensive with a number of parts being replaced or added, which means added cost. Source: Welt am Sonntag, Reuters View full article
  24. Volkswagen is getting ready to start the $10 billion compensation program for owners of the 2.0L TDI engine in the U.S. But some folks want the German automaker to do something similar for TDI owners in Europe. "Volkswagen should voluntarily pay European car owners compensation that is comparable with that which they will pay U.S. consumers," said EU Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska last week. In a interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag over the weekend, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller said that isn't going to happen. "But we have just a different situation," said Müller. "In the U.S. the (emission) limits are stricter, which makes the fix more complicated. And taking part in the buyback is voluntary (for customers), which is not the case in Germany, for example." The U.S.' regulations concerning emissions are some of strictest in the world, with automakers having to meet specific limits on how much pollutants come out of a tailpipe. This is why all diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. have some sort of after treatment system to help cut down on the amount of NOx emissions. In Europe, the regulations are bit more lax. This is why Volkswagen was able to fix a number of vehicles by reprogramming the engine computer and swapping some parts. For the U.S., the fix would have be more extensive with a number of parts being replaced or added, which means added cost. Source: Welt am Sonntag, Reuters
  25. William Maley

    Volvo's CEO Sees Hybrids Taking Over From Diesel

    Despite the diesel scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen, the fuel is still going strong in Europe. But that could be changing with stricter emission standards coming and regulators starting to keep a keen eye on automakers. Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson believes with these changes, many automakers will switch from diesel to hybrid vehicles. “It is a very attractive alternative to a diesel engine. It offers much lower CO2 levels but more or less the same performance in both horsepower and torque. On cost, I would say that within a couple of years we will see a crossover, the diesel getting more expensive and the [hybrid system] going down,” said Samuelsson. “Diesels will be more expensive, they will have much more advanced after-treatment with additional fluids that have to be filled not once a year, but probably every time you refuel the car.” Volvo has one hybrid system in the form of the T8 Twin-Engine found in the 90 Series (S90, V90, and XC90), and recently introduced the T5 Twin-Engine that will be used in the upcoming 40 Series. While fuel economy and emission figures still need to be worked on the T5, Car and Driver were told the T5 Twin-Engine would achieve fuel economy figures similar to a comparable diesel and 95 g/km of CO2. But that doesn't mean Volvo will not be building diesel vehicles in the near future. “I think that it’s very realistic that the percentage will go down. If it will go down to zero, I think we don’t need to speculate—let the future decide, let customers decide. We are flexible enough that we can make petrol and diesels on the same line, basically,” said Samuelsson. Source: Car and Driver

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