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Found 120 results

  1. Skoda Puts Plans for U.S. On Hold

    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
  2. 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 View full article
  3. 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) View full article
  4. 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 View full article
  5. 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
  6. 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)
  7. 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 View full article
  8. 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
  9. Kia Stonic Not to Make Journey to the U.S... Maybe

    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
  10. 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 View full article
  11. 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 View full article
  12. Volkswagen T-Roc Not Coming to the U.S.

    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
  13. 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) View full article
  14. 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)
  15. 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
  16. 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 View full article
  17. 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) View full article
  18. SAIC Puts Their U.S. Plans On Hold

    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)
  19. Mercedes-Benz is still waiting on the EPA to give the ok for them sell 2017 model year diesel vehicles. This is causing them to rethink their diesel strategy in the U.S. Speaking with reporters at the New York Auto Show this week, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler said engineers are still in talks with the EPA over their diesel vehicles. Exler admitted that he isn't aware of the current status of those talks. When asked about the future of diesel sales for the U.S., Exler said, "No decision made one way or the other." Before the EPA put all 2017 model year diesel vehicles under an intense review process, only 2 to 3 percent of Mercedes' total U.S. sales were made up of diesels. It should be noted that Mercedes-Benz has also canned plans on bringing over diesel version of the C-Class sedan last year. Exler said the focus going forward would be electric vehicles, with 10 new EVs being launch by 2025. Source: Reuters View full article
  20. Mercedes-Benz is still waiting on the EPA to give the ok for them sell 2017 model year diesel vehicles. This is causing them to rethink their diesel strategy in the U.S. Speaking with reporters at the New York Auto Show this week, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler said engineers are still in talks with the EPA over their diesel vehicles. Exler admitted that he isn't aware of the current status of those talks. When asked about the future of diesel sales for the U.S., Exler said, "No decision made one way or the other." Before the EPA put all 2017 model year diesel vehicles under an intense review process, only 2 to 3 percent of Mercedes' total U.S. sales were made up of diesels. It should be noted that Mercedes-Benz has also canned plans on bringing over diesel version of the C-Class sedan last year. Exler said the focus going forward would be electric vehicles, with 10 new EVs being launch by 2025. Source: Reuters
  21. Volkswagen sees crossovers as its savior in the U.S. marketplace. Speaking with Wards Auto, Volkswagen North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken said their model mix would change from 10 to 12 percent crossovers to 40 percent in the next few years. “We are shifting the brand into a position where we will enjoy more business volume because we were not present in those segments. We’re currently at 12% and the industry is nearly 60% light trucks and SUVs, so we are severely underrepresented,” said Woebcken. To accomplish this, Volkswagen will be launching the brand-new Altas and redesign Tiguan later this year. Interestingly, Volkswagen will keep the current Tiguan for a bit to act as an entry-level model for the crossover lineup. Down the road, Volkswagen will introduce an all-new Touraeg and is considering doing another crossover using the Atlas' platform. One vehicle that is still off the table is a truck. Rumors have been flying around about Volkswagen doing a car-based pickup (i.e. Honda Ridgeline). Woebcken said there is little interest for this at Volkswagen's HQ due to how small the segment is. Source: Wards Auto View full article
  22. Volkswagen sees crossovers as its savior in the U.S. marketplace. Speaking with Wards Auto, Volkswagen North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken said their model mix would change from 10 to 12 percent crossovers to 40 percent in the next few years. “We are shifting the brand into a position where we will enjoy more business volume because we were not present in those segments. We’re currently at 12% and the industry is nearly 60% light trucks and SUVs, so we are severely underrepresented,” said Woebcken. To accomplish this, Volkswagen will be launching the brand-new Altas and redesign Tiguan later this year. Interestingly, Volkswagen will keep the current Tiguan for a bit to act as an entry-level model for the crossover lineup. Down the road, Volkswagen will introduce an all-new Touraeg and is considering doing another crossover using the Atlas' platform. One vehicle that is still off the table is a truck. Rumors have been flying around about Volkswagen doing a car-based pickup (i.e. Honda Ridgeline). Woebcken said there is little interest for this at Volkswagen's HQ due to how small the segment is. Source: Wards Auto
  23. Last week, we reported on comments made by Volkswagen NA CEO Hinrich Woebcken on wanting to expand the number of crossovers in their lineup. It seems there is another crossover possible destined for the U.S. According to a source, Volkswagen is planning to launch the T-Roc compact crossover for the U.S. beginning in 2019. First shown as a concept back at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the production model will launch this summer in Europe. The decision was made by Volkswagen once dealers in the U.S. gave a firm commitment to the company they would be able to sell enough T-Rocs to make a profit. It also appears this decision was made only last week judging from a comment made by VW brand chief Herbert Diess. "It was only yesterday that we decided on an additional SUV for 2019," Diess told reporters when asked about product strategy for the U.S. There are still a number of items up in the air, however. For one, Volkswagen needs to decide where it will build the T-Roc. It could import the model from Volkswagen's Portugal plant, build it in Puebla, Mexico, or have it in the same assembly plant as the Atlas in Chattanooga, TN. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Pic Credit: Newspress
  24. Last week, we reported on comments made by Volkswagen NA CEO Hinrich Woebcken on wanting to expand the number of crossovers in their lineup. It seems there is another crossover possible destined for the U.S. According to a source, Volkswagen is planning to launch the T-Roc compact crossover for the U.S. beginning in 2019. First shown as a concept back at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the production model will launch this summer in Europe. The decision was made by Volkswagen once dealers in the U.S. gave a firm commitment to the company they would be able to sell enough T-Rocs to make a profit. It also appears this decision was made only last week judging from a comment made by VW brand chief Herbert Diess. "It was only yesterday that we decided on an additional SUV for 2019," Diess told reporters when asked about product strategy for the U.S. There are still a number of items up in the air, however. For one, Volkswagen needs to decide where it will build the T-Roc. It could import the model from Volkswagen's Portugal plant, build it in Puebla, Mexico, or have it in the same assembly plant as the Atlas in Chattanooga, TN. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Pic Credit: Newspress View full article
  25. We're excited by the new Opel and Vauxhall Insignia, especially considering we'll be getting our hands on it as the Buick Regal. But we don't know what form the Regal will come in. Opel has shown off a five-door hatchback and wagon, and there is talk about a sedan for China. According to a report from Automotive News, Buick will be selling the Regal as a hatchback and wagon. This information comes from two auto forecast firms: LMC Automotive and AutoForecast Solutions. Dropping the Regal sedan may seem odd, but there is some method to this madness. Sales of midsize sedans has been falling for the past two years and the segment has seen a 20 percent drop in the first two months. Going a different route could give the Regal a possible chance in the U.S. As for the wagon, it is unclear if it will be the standard Insignia wagon or an off-road variant like the Audi A4 Allroad.bu Not surprisingly, Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle declined to comment. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article