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  1. Mini has been struggling in the U.S. for the past few as more consumers shun small cars. The brand which expected annual sales to total 100,000 vehicles by 2017, peaked at about 66,500 models in 2013 according to Automotive News. Sales through the first ten months of the years have totaled 37,359. This isn't good news for the 127 standalone Mini dealers in the U.S. as it makes it tough for owners to justify the investment. In 2016, 45 percent of Mini dealers reported being unprofitable. A year later, that number rose to 54 percent. "As a dealer and a manufacturer you have a vision of where the brand is going, and you have to prepare for it. In this case, the vision now isn't what it was when some of these stores were built," explained Jason Willis, a member of the Mini National Dealer Council and general manager of fixed operations at Willis Auto Campus in Des Moines, Iowa. Mini's parent company, BMW is considering various options to help improve profitability. One of the options on the table is allowing dealers to integrate Mini into their BMW stores. To make sure the brands stand apart, Mini is looking into having a separate showroom with dedicated employees for sales and service. "We've given a lot of flexibility for the dealers to present ideas. This is to help make sure that, until our next wave of product, and the market becomes more favorable, our dealers each remain a strong and going concern," said Thomas Felbermair, vice president of Mini Region Americas. But there comes an issue with this idea. Mini has 31 dealers that don't have a BMW dealership that they can integrate into. A spokesman for Mini said they "are looking at additional forms of support for stores that remain fully exclusive," but didn't expand into how they plan on doing that. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  2. Kia's car-heavy lineup has been hurting them in terms of sales as consumers want more truck and utilities. Through September, Kia sales in the U.S. dropped 1.3 percent to 452,042 vehicles. But Kia CEO Han-Woo Park tells Automotive News that he expects "our performance in the U.S. market to rebound soon." This will be due in part to two new crossovers arriving next year; the Telluride next Spring, followed by a new subcompact crossover in the second half. The subcompact crossover will be based on the SP Concept that debuted at India's Auto Expo in March. Production of the U.S. version will take place in South Korea. Park said Kia would consider other crossover models and possibly a small truck, though there are no plans for the latter. "It's not an easy market, the pickup market in the U.S.," he said. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. Many people were hoping that Ford would bring the new Raptor Ranger to the U.S. It would offer the off-road performance and capability of the larger F-150 Raptor, but in a smaller and (hopefully) more affordable package. But that isn't going to be happening. Hermann Salenbauch, the vehicle line director for Ford Performance told journalists yesterday that the company has no plans to bring the Ranger Raptor to the U.S. A key reason mentioned by Salenbauch is due to the high costs to make the Ranger Raptor legal to sell in the U.S. as the model is based on the global Ranger. We have to assume a key part would come from trying to either make the twin-turbo 2.0L diesel legal or finding a possible replacement. But Autoblog notes there is another reason not mentioned by Salenbauch, pricing. Considering the base price of the F-150 Raptor is $52,855, we would guess the Ranger Raptor would be a few thousand dollars less taking into account the various changes that would be needed. For a number of buyers, spending a few extra thousand dollars to get a bigger and badder truck isn't that big of a problem. Plus, Ford is making a nice amount of profit on each Raptor sold - especially considering that Raptors sit on dealer lots for an average of 20 days. Why introduce a competitor that would make less money? That isn't to say Ford isn't taking the Raptor Ranger off the table for the U.S. fully. Autoblog writes that "Salenbauch didn't say the Ranger Raptor would never come here, and he and other Ford executives said they're always listening to feedback and open to new models." Source: Autoblog
  4. Volkswagen was originally planning to roll out the Arteon in the U.S. towards the end of this year. But complications stemming from the European Union's Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) has caused the German automaker to push back the launch to early 2019. Automotive News reports that the first hint of the delay came when Volkswagen cancelled a media drive event in California that was scheduled for next month. A spokesman told the outlet the delay comes down to delays in the certification process caused by a backlog in meeting [new] WLTP worldwide emissions testing." Beginning this month, all new vehicles sold in the European Union must meet the new WLTP emissions parameters. But long delays in testing have meant that automakers only started receiving certification recently. This in turn has meant automakers are under immense pressure to keep an adequate supply of WLTP-compliant vehicles to dealers. The Arteon is one of those models and Volkswagen has made the decision to prioritize production for Europe for the time being. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  5. Polestar has revealed new details as to how it plans on selling their vehicles in the U.S. As we have previously reported, Polestar will be using an online system for customers to do research, configure, and order their vehicle. They'll also have the choice of either purchasing a vehicle outright or doing a subscription model where insurance and maintenance is covered in the payment. But as Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar admits in a statement, "many people want to physically see a car before ordering." That's where Polestar Spaces come into play. These will be franchised by dealers and allow customers to check out the cars and learn more from product information specialists - not working on commission. The spaces will also handle servicing of the vehicles, although customers won't need to drop their vehicles off. Using a smartphone app, customers will be able to schedule a pickup for servicing. Once completed, Polestar will drop the vehicle back off. According to Car and Driver, Polestar will open their first space in New York City in late 2019 or early 2020. Nine more spaces will follow: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas or Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Source: Car and Driver, Polestar Polestar – the new electric performance brand and a new approach to car ownership for US customers As a new entrant into the electrified automotive industry, Polestar has confirmed its positioning and innovative go-to-market strategy in the important North American car market. As a start-up electric car brand owned by Volvo Car Group, Polestar will offer electric performance cars with a modern, fully digital customer experience. “Launching an entirely new car brand gives us the opportunity to assess what customers enjoy about car ownership, and what they are less keen on,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer at Polestar. “As an electric performance brand, we want to maximize our customer’s enjoyment of driving. Polestars will be great looking cars with avant-garde design that are full of modern technology and great to drive. “We also want to remove the hassle from traditional car ownership. The customer will be able to research, configure and order their car online. They can choose our innovative subscription model that enables them to have all their motoring costs covered by one single monthly payment. “We also know that many people want to physically see a car before ordering, so our customers will be able to meet the brand in a franchised Polestar Space. In a town center location, they’ll interact with non-commissioned product experts who are totally focused on enhancing their brand experience and giving them the information they want and need. They will also have pick-up and delivery servicing, meaning that their days of standing in line at service reception are over.” “Polestar is a global brand from day one, operating in the world’s most important car markets – Europe, China and North America. We will therefore be opening Polestar Spaces in major US cities as demand requires them. We are also developing a new Polestar North America organization to meet the demands of this important market,” concludes Thomas Ingenlath. Polestar’s momentum has been building following its launch as the new electric performance brand. The company’s first car, Polestar 1, was revealed in October 2017 as a 600 hp Electric Performance Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid in the world. The Polestar 1 will start production in mid-2019 at the new Polestar Production Centre, which is nearing completion. The first full year of production has already sold out, with 200 cars currently destined for North American customers. The brand’s second car, Polestar 2, will be the company’s first full battery electric vehicle and is designed to compete with Tesla Model 3. The Polestar 2 will be revealed early in 2019, with production starting a year later.
  6. Ford truck lineup will be growing by one with the introduction of the Ranger early next year. But a new report from Automobile says there's another truck in the cards, one that is smaller than the Ranger. Ford is working on a replacement for the Brazilian market Courier subcompact pickup truck, last sold in the 2013 model year. The model is expected to move from an old Fiesta platform to the platform underpinning the new Focus. This has caught the eye of Ford's product planners in the U.S. and there are plans to possibly bring it here by 2022. Production is expected to take place in Ford's Cuautitlan, Mexico plant. Currently home to the Fiesta, the plant will switch over to producing a new Focus-based crossover sometime in 2020, followed by the new truck. The elephant in the room deals with the NAFTA negotiations. Currently, trucks built in Mexico aren't subject to the 25 percent 'Chicken Tax'. But who knows what could change in next year or so considering not much progress has been in the talks. Source: Automobile
  7. Volvo is shifting production of XC60s destined for the U.S. from China to Europe in an effort to avoid a 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports. "We will, of course, reshuffle here and take XC60s for the U.S. from our factory in Europe, and let China produce for other markets," Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson told Reuters. Samuelsson went on to say that the shift has already begun. Earlier this month, the Trump administration slapped a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion in Chinese imports, including Volvo's XC60 and S90. Unlike the XC60, the S90 is only built in China, leaving it in a difficult place. In turn, the Chinese government increased tariffs on imported U.S. vehicles to 40 percent. Source: Reuters
  8. The threat of a 20 percent tariff on vehicles exported from the European Union has a number of automakers panicking. But that tariff could be taken off the table if the EU removes their tariff on vehicles exported from the U.S. German paper Handelsblatt learned from sources that a meeting was held between the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell and number of CEOs from German automakers. Grenell presented an offer directly from President Donald Trump - "elimination of all tariffs on automobile imports on both sides and removal of non-tariff barriers, such as regulations on the size of rear mirrors." Currently, the U.S. levies a 2.5 percent tariff on vehicles imported from EU. A 10 percent tariff is slapped on by EU members on vehicles imported from the U.S. The hope is that German automakers can put some pressure on the government to possibly bring this up with other EU members. Diamler, Volkswagen, the German Economy Ministry, and the European Commission declined to comment when asked by Reuters. Source: Handelsblatt, Reuters
  9. Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has been indicted for his involvement in the diesel emission scandal. The indictment, which was filed under seal at the U.S. District Court in Detroit back in March, was unsealed yesterday. U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in court filings the reason for unsealing is "because there is no longer a belief that unsealing these documents will compromise an ongoing investigation." Winterkorn has been charged with four felony counts, including wire fraud and violating the clean air act. In the indictment, it is alleged that Winterkorn was told about the efforts to manipulate U.S. emission tests with their TDI vehicles in May 2014 and July 2015. Winterkorn has previously stated that he only found out about the cheating in August 2015. The indictment also mentions a meeting that took place on July 27, 2015 at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg headquarters. It is reported that a Powerpoint presentation was shown to various executives, including Winterkorn, that laid out the process of deception that Volkswagen was doing to regulators. Allegedly at the meeting, Volkswagen employees recommended that the company work on getting the approval of 2016 model year diesel vehicles without revealing the existence of the cheat software. Various executives including Winterkorn agreed to the plan. "If you try to deceive the United States, then you will pay a heavy price," said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement. So, when should expect Winterkorn to appear in a U.S. courtroom? The answer is never and Automotive News explains why, Emphasis mine. A source told Reuters that Winterkorn is in Germany and will be staying there. He is likely aware of what happened Oliver Schmidt, who pleaded guilty for his participation in the scandal. Schmidt was arrested in late 2016 when he was traveling in the U.S. German prosecutors will continue their investigation into Winterkorn's involvement in the diesel emission scandal. "Our investigation strategy does not change just because the Americans have filed charges against Winterkorn," said a spokesman for the Lower Saxony prosecutors' office. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2, Reuters
  10. Ever since PSA Group announced that it would be making a return the U.S. as part of a 10-year plan, there has been a large amount of speculation as to which brand would be sold. Would it be Citroen, DS, Peugeot, or the recently acquired Opel/Vauxhall? “We’ve chosen a brand, but it’s too early to talk about it,” said Larry Dominique, president and CEO of PSA North America to Car and Driver. PSA Group is still in the first phase of its plan with the Free2Move mobility aggregation platform (shows various ways of getting around such as bikes and electric vehicles) in Seattle. Somewhat worrying is that the company has only “activated its marketing” in Seattle recently according to Dominique - Free2Move launched back in October. Out of all of the brands under PSA Group, Car and Driver says there is a good chance that Opel could be the brand coming to the U.S. They point out a comment made by PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares saying after purchasing Opel/Vauxhall is that Opel engineers can “ensure the future products for this market will be fully U.S. compliant,” in terms of regulations and taste. But there is a possible complication to PSA's plans. Yesterday, President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum went into effect. There is also talk about a possibly matching up the tariff on imported vehicles - currently, the U.S. imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported European vehicles. Earlier this month, Tavares told Automotive News that he is watching the situation closely and that if a new vehicle tariff does come, it will make the company rethink their plans. “If the overall framework of tariffs change, it may have an impact on our strategy. That’s clear, because if we don’t have a profitable business plan, then we don’t go,” said Tavares. Dominique is a little bit more hopeful. Speaking at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit this week, Dominique said he doesn't believe an increase in the tariff will happen and expressed confidence that the various trade issues could be worked out. Source: Car and Driver, Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2
  11. Last week, Ford unveiled the Raptor Ranger. The bad news as we reported was the model wasn't going to come here, but a tweet from Ford's North America Product Communications manager gave some hope that possibly, a smaller Raptor could come. More fuel has been added to this fire via some comments made by the chief engineer for Ford Performance, Jamal Hameedi. Speaking with Australian outlet Drive, Hameedi said the truck "would do really well in the states." “I think it’s certainly like it’s a baby Raptor, it depends what you’re looking for. There are a lot of people that just want that size in a pickup truck and they don’t want anything larger,” said Hameedi. Hameedi went on to say that the diesel engine found in the Ranger Raptor would likely be swapped for a gas engine. “I think most American off-roaders would actually prefer a petrol gas engine, but a diesel is the absolute way to go for the rest of the world.” We think a version of Ford's 2.3 EcoBoost could be the engine of choice for a U.S. variant. But it will likely be a while before a final decision is made on the Ranger Raptor coming to the U.S. “We haven’t said anything about availability in the US, our first priority is to get a Raptor available to everyone on the planet earth. So Americans already have an F-150 Raptor, we’ve got to spread Raptors to the rest of the planet,” said Hameedi. Source: Drive
  12. Subaru will be launching their first plug-in hybrid for the U.S. later this year and plans on offering a full electric vehicle in 2021. But to pull both of these off, Subaru is enlisting various automakers to help. Takeshi Tachimori, Subaru's chief technical officer said they are drawing heavily on partnerships with Daihatsu, Hino, Mazda, Suzuki, and Toyota to help with the upcoming plug-in hybrid and EV. The reason for using the expertise of other automakers is Subaru's r&d budget doesn't stretch to include in-house development of these models. "We can't engage in a large-scale development," he told Automotive News. As more stringent emission regulations come into effect around the world, Subaru is counting on this plan to meet them. Tachimori also talked about the upcoming plug-in hybrid. While he wouldn't reveal what model it will be based on, he did say the model would use the powertrain from the Toyota Prius Prime with a twist: the gas engine will be one of Subaru's boxer engines. "For our plug-in hybrid to be introduced this year, we have used Toyota's technologies as much as possible," said Tachimori. The plug-in hybrid will be sold initially in states that have adopted California's zero-emission vehicle regulations. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  13. There has been a small number of people wanting Volkswagen to bring the Amarok over to the U.S. There are numerous issues to this, the big one being the 25 percent Chicken Tax on trucks, But some recent news has brought hope to this small group. Motor Authority reports that Volkswagen filed a trademark application for Amarok last November. This could mean one of two things; either Volkswagen is planning on introducing the Amarok to the U.S., or the German automaker is covering all bases. As Motor Authority notes, Volkswagen has trademarked the name before. Aside from the Chicken Tax problem, the Amarok would run into the problem that other midsize trucks are facing at the moment, a slowdown in sales. Despite the massive rise in full-size truck sales, midsize trucks aren't seeing the same trend. A lot of this comes down to truck manufacturers offering generous incentives for their full-size trucks, bringing the price down to the same level as midsize trucks and causing buyers to go with the larger ones. Source: Motor Authority
  14. Volkswagen recently held an event for journalists and investors to talk about the upcoming Jetta. But the company also gave a preview of their product plans for the near future. According to Autoblog, those plans include two new crossovers. The first will be a five-seat model that will slot between the Tiguan and Atlas. Volkswagen North America CEO President and CEO Hinrich Woebcken described it as 'coupe-like'. We're assuming this model will compete with the likes of the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano. The second will slot below the long-wheelbase Tiguan (what we get in the U.S.). This could either be the short-wheelbase Tiguan or a new model that was hinted by Volkswagen's director of development, Dr. Frank Welsch back in September. It comes as no surprise that Volkswagen is planning to expand their crossover offerings. During his presentation, Woebcken showed that light truck sales increased a whopping 51 percent year-to-date, compared to 1 percent for car sales. Still, Volkswagen is planning to walk away from sedans just yet. 2018 will see the new Jetta and launches of the Arteon and Passat GT. Down the road, Volkswagen will introduce a new Jetta GLI and redesigned Passat. Source: Autoblog
  15. Mitsubishi's lineup in the U.S. is very thin, but that will change soon as the Japanese automaker introduces the new Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV crossovers. This is part of an effort to boost sales 30 percent for the U.S. by 2020. While the focus for the U.S. will be on crossovers, Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko hinted that other products could be in the pipeline if they leverage their alliance with Nissan-Renault. In an interview with Automotive News, Masuko said the opportunity to launch new products will come after 2020. This is when Mitsubishi is expected to share powertrains and platforms with Nissan-Renault. One of those new products could be a sedan. "But we don't have plans to develop a sedan on our own. It wouldn't be just a rebadge. The design will be completely different. We would like to clearly differentiate our models and show the special characteristics of each company," said Masuko. We're wondering if this sedan could be the replacement for the aging Lancer compact or discontinued Galant sedan. Masuko said there are no concrete plans at this time for the sedan. Automotive News followed this up by asking if there is the possibility of a pickup truck for the U.S. "The pickups we make are not so big. But the American market requires big-size pickup trucks," said Masuko. "We are focused on developing pickups for non-U.S. markets such as [Southeast Asia] and the Middle East. So for the U.S., if there is an opportunity, we might get it from Nissan. We would like to consider if there are opportunities from within the Alliance." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  16. If you want a Range Rover Evoque Coupe, you might want to snap up a 2017 model as soon as possible. Motor Authority reports that Land Rover will stop selling the Evoque Coupe in the U.S. at the end of this year. The reason given was due to slow sales. Surprisingly, Motor Authority notes that the Evoque Convertible outsells the coupe. Last month, Land Rover announced some changes to the 2018 Evoque lineup with the big news being an all-new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. The new engine produces either 237 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque or 286 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Source: Motor Authority
  17. Last summer, Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said a decision on whether or not the brand would come to the U.S. would be made sometime next year. But it seems that decision has been put on the back burner. Autocar reports that Skoda is taking the lead on developing a new low-cost vehicle for emerging markets. Earlier this year, Volkswagen had entered a partnership with Indian automaker Tata Motors to do the same. However, this would be dissolved as cost targets were not met. “We will need more time to work on the US plans now. The Group has asked us to lead development of a platform with a strong focus on India and to investigate building that business sustainably and in a predictable manner," said Maier. “That is a huge task, and we must always approach projects one step at a time. There is no hurry to rush into the US and no deadline to even decide if we should be looking to go there. There’s no need to make a decision right away.” The last two lines are very interesting, considering that Maier was gung-ho on entering the the U.S. last year. As we reported back in December, an anonymous Volkswagen board member said it would be mad for Skoda to enter the U.S., hinting that plans were scrapped. We'll keep you posted if anything changes. Source: Autocar
  18. Those who were hoping for a return performance of the Ford Fiesta ST will be disappointed to hear this news. According to CarBuzz, the director of Ford Performance of Europe, Leo Roeks said there isn't enough interest to bring the new model over. “It’s simply a matter of a lack of interest in the B-segment in America. It doesn’t make sense, nor is it possible financially speaking, to import a single trim level, and a niche one at that,” Roeks said. This news isn't that all surprising. Subcompacts have been seeing their sales drop for the past two years, and 2017 isn't looking much better. The Fiesta was one of the hardest hit models, seeing a decline of 24.3 percent in 2016. As we reported in the rumorpile back in July , Ford was considering cutting the Fiesta in either late 2018 or 2019. This was further bolstered by comments made Fiesta program manager Robert Stiller. When reached for comment by Autoblog, Ford issued this statement, "We have introduced the next-generation Fiesta for Europe and Middle East & Africa. We'll have more to say about other markets at a later date. Customer demand for small vehicles continues to grow globally, and Fiesta is an important part of our portfolio." We have two things to say. One, Ford STOP BEING SO CAGEY AND JUST TELL US IF THE FIESTA IS COMING OR GOING! Two, if you have been considering a Fiesta ST, you might want to consider picking one up ASAP. Source: CarBuzz, Autoblog
  19. As PSA Group - parent company of Citroen, DS, and Peugeot - gradually makes moves into possibly selling vehicles into the U.S., they are taking the next step by engineering their next-generation vehicles to meet U.S. regulations. "That means that from three years down the road we'll be able to push the button, if we decide to do so, in terms of product compliance vis-a-vis the U.S. regulations," said PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares to Automotive News. Tavares also said PSA has decided which of three brands will be the first appeared in the U.S., but it isn't ready to announce which one. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  20. A few weeks ago, we reported that Volkswagen wasn't planning to bring the T-Roc over to the U.S. No reason was given, but we suspected price was a key reason. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen's director of development, Dr. Frank Welsch confirmed the T-Roc isn't coming. "Let's be very clear: The T-Roc will not go to the U.S. I don't believe it's too expensive, but it's because it's a very small car. They tell us people in the U.S. expect more size for that money. It is too small. We are going to have an SUV that is even smaller than a T-Roc [the T-Cross] and it will also not go to the U.S., but will go to South America. We have the new Polo and the T-Cross in Brazil, but for North America, this car is also too small," he told Autoblog. That doesn't mean Volkswagen isn't planning something smaller than the Tiguan for the U.S. Welsch explained the company is working on a new model for China that will launch late next year. The model will around the size of the Tiguan Limited and feature gas and plug-in hybrid powertrains. There is talk about this vehicle coming to the U.S. "We are checking the feasibility of a car which is right between T-Roc and Tiguan, and this could be interesting for America," Welsch said. "In the U.S., you have Tiguan long wheelbase, and the other [new] one is close to what we have here in Europe as the Tiguan SWB. It's a little bit smaller than that, about the size of the old Tiguan, but new and it's off the MQB. This is the idea behind it. In China, we will have this car next year, and we are thinking whether this could be a good idea for America and Russia." Source: Autoblog
  21. If you were hoping that Kia would bring over the Stonic crossover as an alternative to the upcoming Hyundai Kona, we have some bad news. A Kia representative told Autoblog there are no current plans for selling the Stonic in the U.S. This is a bit surprising as the U.S. has gone crossover crazy and automakers are beginning to fill out their lineups with models of varying sizes. Autoblog throws out the suggestion that the Stonic could cannibalize the sales of the Soul and upcoming Rio (which the Stonic is based on). We would also throw in the Niro crossover as it's about the same size as the Stonic (both are considered subcompacts). But there might be another reason. Kia may be watching closely how its sister brand, Hyundai does with Kona. If sales are ok in the U.S., then Kia might make plans to sell the Stonic. Note, we're only guessing this might happen because of 'current' appearing in the representative's answer. Source: Autoblog
  22. Late last week, Volkswagen unveiled the production T-Roc crossover. The subcompact crossover is based on the MQB platform and stands out with a stylish look and range of gas and diesel engines. Previously, we have reported that the T-Roc was under consideration for the U.S.. But a new report says the model is off the table for the time being. “The car is meant for Europe and China. The most compact model of the Volkswagen range for the U.S. remains Tiguan,” a Volkswagen source tells Automobile Magazine. No reason was given as to why the T-Roc would skip the U.S. But if we were to hazard a guess, it might be due to Volkswagen not being able to get the price low enough for the U.S. Only a couple of months ago , we reported that Volkswagen wasn't planning to bring over the Polo subcompact for the same reason. There was a rumor floating around a month or two ago that Volkswagen might do a different subcompact crossover for the U.S. Whether this happens or if Volkswagen decides to send the T-Roc to the U.S., we'll let you know. Source: Automobile Magazine
  23. There was talk a few years back about Volkswagen possibly sending over the next-generation Polo over to the U.S. But it seems those plans have been scrapped. Speaking with Automotive News at the launch of the sixth-generation Polo, Volkswagen global sales boss, Juergen Stackmann said it doesn't make sense for the automaker to bring it over. "It doesn't make too much sense for us to bring a car like this, which has the substance of a class higher, into a segment that is so price driven in America," said Stackmann. Subcompacts are sold in North America mostly on price and high fuel economy figures. In Europe, it is a different story. While price is one key factor for buyers of subcompacts, they are also looking for something that is easy to maneuver in cities and doesn't hurt the wallet when it comes to registering. Buyers in Europe also tend to buy features you would find in bigger vehicles such as adaptive cruise control. If Volkswagen was to bring the Polo over, it would cost significantly more than its key rivals. For the timebeing, Volkswagen will focus on two segments in the U.S. - SUVs and sedans. "Our strategy for the U.S. will be SUV driven with the Atlas and Tiguan and there are two more coming. And we will also have sedans. That means we will compete in the segments that really make volume and business sense in the U.S." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  24. Daimler finds itself under investigation by both German and American authorities into whether or not they cheated emission tests with their diesel vehicles. As we reported last week, German prosecutors raided various Daimler buildings to find evidence. Now, the company is beginning to search out search criminal defense lawyers in the U.S. for various executives in the investigation being conducted by the Justice Department. Bloomberg has learned from two sources about the lawyer search as the Justice Department plans on interviewing various executives from the company. It is unclear whether the executives are based in Germany, U.S., or both. Spokespeople for both Daimler and the Justice Department declined to comment. Last year, Daimler disclosed in a filing that various authorities in the Europe and the U.S. were investigating the emission control systems and test results on various Mercedes-Benz diesel models. “It is possible that further civil and criminal investigative and enforcement actions and measures relating to Daimler and/or its employees will be taken,” the company wrote in a filing last month. Mercedes-Benz announced earlier this month that it would be stopping efforts on trying to certify 2017 model year diesel vehicles. Source: Bloomberg
  25. Chinese automakers see the U.S. as a land opportunity and have been making promises to start selling vehicles in the near future. None so far have made it. Now one Chinese brand is reconsidering their plans. SAIC Motor Corp., China's largest automaker and partner with GM, has put their U.S. ambitions on hold. Michael Yang, executive director of SAIC Motor’s international department said at a briefing that they have uncertainties about the trade policy between China and the U.S. due to the election of Donald Trump. Yang went on to say that the company would implement their U.S. strategy once it has gotten clarity. For the time being, SAIC has moved up plans to start selling vehicles in the European Union. “Eventually we aim to have all, but at the moment we are focusing on” China and then Europe, Yang said. “The reason is the ‘climate change’ after the new presidency.” This contrasts with another Chinese automaker, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., (GAC) which plans on entering the U.S. by 2019 with their Trumpchi brand. Although there is talk that GAC is considering changing the name of the brand before arriving in the U.S. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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