Monday morning car news roundup, November 24, 2014

Monday-N-courtesy-workingathome.com_

  • Ford looks to Vignale brand to boost European sales – Autocar: Bosses look to new super-luxury sub-brand as sales slump in Europe, with the hope that Vignale could become a brand of its own. Ford of Europe CEO Barb Samardzich has high hopes for the company’s new Vignale luxury brand and would “love that it takes off so much that it becomes a separate brand”. The Vignale sub-brand, which Ford says builds on the success of the highly specified Titanium X trim level, arrives with the all-new Mondeo early next year.As well as getting a separate area in Ford dealerships,…
  • Lexus SC to take on Porsche 911 Turbo in 2016 – Autocar: New sports coupé based on the LF-LC concept is set to replace the LFA as Lexus’s halo supercar. Lexus is poised to join the growing ranks of car makers looking to challenge the £120,000 Porsche 911 Turbo when it launches a production version of the Lexus LF-LC Hybrid Sports Coupé concept before the end of 2016.The 2+2 sports coupé is likely to revive the SC badge, although it is expected to be a far more focused sports car than the model that previously used the name until production ended in 2010. The…
  • Forecast: SAAR Could Reach 17 Million for Second Time in Four Months – Wards: Sales Forecast The latest WardsAuto forecast calls for U.S. automakers to sell 1.29 million light vehicles this month, equating to a 17 million-unit SAAR.
  • Why White Van Man is about to kick up a stink – Autocar: A European legal judgment could force the UK to sweep older diesel-fuelled vehicles off the streets. Yesterday was a bad day for the iconic White Van Man. A wealthy member of the Labour party’s shadow cabinet tweeted a picture which appeared to mock a house festooned in England flags and which had a large Transit van on the drive. Although the shadow minister resigned within hours of the errant tweet, it did much to reinforce the idea that Middle England’s White Van stereotype was one that could be openly…
  • GERMANY: Volkswagen Group to invest EUR86bn in next five years – Just-auto: Volkswagen Group says it will invest a total of EUR85.6bn (US$106.3bn) in new models, technologies and its global presence in its Automotive Division during the next five years.
  • VW to Invest $107.3 Billion – WSJ: Volkswagen said it would boost capital investment to $107.3 billion over the next five years, raising concern that fixed costs are spinning out of control.
  • UK under pressure from European air quality ruling – Autocar: European Court of Justice compels UK courts to ‘force’ government to meet pollution regulations. The British Government is under renewed pressure to meet European air quality regulations – particularly those covering nitrogen oxides (NoX) – after a ruling earlier this week by the European Court of Justice. The judgment could lead to Britain’s biggest conurbations having to introduce super-stringent low emissions zones, which could result in older diesel vehicles banned from city and town centres…
  • LA DEBUTS: Mullen defibrillates the Miles Coda EV – Just-auto: Mullen Technologies, the firm which bought the assets of the bankrupt Miles EV, has announced plans to reintroduce the Coda electric sedan. Its new name will be Mullen 700e.
  • LA motor show proves our hydrogen future is coming up fast – Autocar: Volkswagen, Audi and Toyota all showed off their near production-ready hydrogen-powered cars in LA, and now all that’s needed is the infrastructure to support themIt was interesting to see how much of a splash hydrogen made at this week’s Los Angeles Motor Show. This really seemed like the event where the technology entered the mainstream, with Audi and VW both announcing projects and Toyota revealing the production version and name of its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai.I drove a test mule…