Tesla too late as Volkswagen and Toyota join their truck forces

Shimo and Renschler – (c) Bertel Schmitt

Should you be among the people highly excited about Tesla’s prospects with heavy trucks, count yourself lucky that you weren’t in the ballroom of Tokyo’s Grand Prince Hotel this afternoon. Would you have been, you went home with all hopes abandoned.  In said ballroom, two global players in the heavy truck business announced that they would join hands, because doing it alone is fraught with dangers.  Unsaid, but quickly evident: Newcomers, don’t even try.  Also, the allied bus and truck makers, will not bet on either battery electric or fuel cell. They will do both. [Continue Reading]

World’s Largest Automakers 2018: The new race begins with VW in the lead

And they are off: The race for World’s Largest Automakers 2018 ended the first of its 12 laps with Volkswagen way ahead of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Toyota. Separated by only 529 units, the Alliance and Toyota are neck and neck.

With a 10.1% unit growth over January 2017, Volkswagen continues its strong showing of the last two months of 2017, giving the lie to those who mused that the Germans could have brought a few units forward into 2017 to regain the top spot.

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Audi continues to use dieselgate defeat devices. 127,000 cars affected

“Unbelievable!” exclaims Germany’s  BILD tabloid: More than two years after the dieselgate scandal became public, Volkswagen Group’s premium brand Audi still “produces and sells diesel cars with the illegal software.”  

According to the paper [German, paywall], Germany’s regulator KBA has found “illegal defeat devices” in V6 TDI diesel engines used in Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5, SQ 5, SQ 5 plus and Q 7.  127 000 vehicles are affected, the paper writes.

Even more unbelievable: The illegal engines were launched end of 2015, AFTER the scandal became public. [Continue Reading]

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance most likely world’s largest automaker, Volkswagen to be 2nd

We interrupt our self-imposed Christmas holiday with the news that in all likelihood, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance will end the year as the world’s largest automaker group. Volkswagen Group most likely will come in second. [Continue Reading]

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi maintains the lead in final stretch of world’s largest automaker race

Come-from-behind Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance continues to amaze. Only a major disaster can keep it from ending the as World’s Largest Automaker. Not even a small disaster in Japan could sufficiently dent the Alliance’s chances. Volkswagen and Toyota will fight neck-and-neck until the last minutes of the year.

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Volkswagen boss rips Elon Musk as destroyer of jobs and money

Matthias Müller (Picture: Volkswagen)

Car companies used to refrain from commenting on the competition, but the veil of propriety seems to develop more rips than the jeans of a grunge rocker. Last night, Volkswagen’s CEO Matthias Müller tore Elon Musk a big one, blasting the head of Californian carmaker Tesla as deficient of both social responsibility, and profits.

At an evening talk show in Passau, Germany, the moderator mentioned that Tesla “fascinates customers with its electric cars.” This triggered Müller to deliver a forceful statement he audibly had wanted to make for quite some time. Here is the video, along with a translation from Müller’s heavily Bavarian-tinged German:

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Dieselgate: 13 VW Managers Indicted Around The World, Big Guys Unbothered

Volkswagen managers are living dangerously, as 13 of their own have been indicted by governments around the world. In the U.S., six current and former Volkswagen managers have been charged, outgoing Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said yesterday in a press conference in Washington D.C. On the same day, South Korea enlarged a list of Volkswagen managers charged with criminal wrongdoings to seven, per reports of South Korea’s Yonhap wire.

In a DOJ press conference that had its thunder stolen by President-elect Trump’s NYC presser with more salacious appeal, AG Lynch announced the by then well known $4.3 bln deal with Volkswagen, an indulgence trade that bought Volkswagen’s way out of criminal persecution by the U.S. government. The trouble for Volkswagen’s people however has just begun.

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U.S. Case Against Arrested Dieselgate Manager Threat To VW Higher-Ups

“VW bosses live dangerously,” was the headline in Germany’s BILD tabloid (German – paywall) after the FBI arrested Volkswagen manager Oliver Schmidt over the weekend during a trip to Florida. The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling an array of witnesses against Volkswagen while the company is trying to close a deal to make a criminal case go away before Donald Trump comes in.

In the complaint against Schmidt, it is alleged that Volkswagen orchestrated a massive cover-up of its use of illegal defeat devices to cheat on vehicle emissions tests. Sure, this has been insinuated before, but now, the FBI is saying it. Dangerously for VW bosses, the FBI’s writ officially implicates other Volkswagen managers in the cover-up, which should impact their travel plans.

 

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