Basic Motors Wants $two Billion For Opel/Vauxhall: Report


What’s the selling price tag for a large automaker’s entire European operations? $ 2 billion, apparently — one billion in money and an additional billion in gained liabilities.

That is the valuation that General Motors and PSA Group are discussing as the American automaker attempts to unload its Opel and Vauxhall divisions, Bloomberg reports.

Sources close to the discussions claim an agreement could be reached as soon as subsequent Thursday. That’s when PSA releases its 2016 earnings report.

However, there’s no shortage of sticking points that could sink the deal. The sources claim issues like pension liabilities, brand worth and savings possible have however to be hammered out.

Germany was shocked to understand of GM’s plans earlier this week, with politicians joining Opel’s performs council and union in expressing concern — bordering on outrage — more than the American company’s failure to seek the advice of them. The sources claim that GM will require to stroll a economic tightrope. On one side, the price has to be low enough for PSA to shake hands, but there also requirements to be expense savings that Germany, Britain and the unions can agree on. A tall order.

Neither nation desires to see any if the assembly plants close, nor drop any of its workforce. Three Opel plants are situated in Germany, whilst Britain hosts two Vauxhall plants.

Whilst an acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall by PSA would assist the companies seize a greater European market share while sharing technology, some merchandise — and the factories in which they’re built — might not have a long lifespan.

“We are prepared to conduct talks with PSA in the case of an acquisition openly and in a constructive manner and to bring those talks to a conclusion as soon as possible,” said Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug, Opel’s top labor representative, stated in a statement these days.

“Our objective need to be to seize the current possibilities to safeguard employment and internet sites to produce a profitable Opel/Vauxhall.”

What the sell-off implies for Buick, which relies heavily on Opel for its U.S. lineup, is up for debate. TTAC, of course, has a handful of ideas.

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Audi to Buy Back 25,000 3.-Liter Diesel Models in U.S.: Report

2012 Audi Q7 white

A German newspaper claims that Audi will get back 25,000 U.S. autos sold with a 3.-liter diesel V6 engine.

According to a story published in Der Spiegel, the automaker has determined the cars can not be fixed, Reuters reports. A total of 85,000 Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen automobiles include the exact same emissions-cheating defeat device identified in the automaker’s 2.-liter TDI engines, which are currently in the procedure of being purchased back.

The brief report claims the impacted automobiles are “older-generation cars” that will not pass emissions tests, but does not specify which models.

Audi USA claims the Environmental Protection Agency’s notice of violation extends to 5 models sold in the U.S.: the 2009-2016 Q7 and 2014-2016 model year Q5, A8L, A7 quattro and A6 quattro vehicles. Of these, the Q7 is the most plentiful.

In response to the report, the automaker released a statement from its American workplace:

“We are functioning tough with U.S. regulators to reach an agreement an authorized resolution for affected three.-liter V-six TDI cars and thank our clients for their continued patience. The Court has scheduled a status conference for November 3, 2016 to go over the matter further.”

Till now, all of the three.-liter autos stayed have been in limbo as parent organization Volkswagen sought out a fix for the high-end models, hoping to avoid a costly buyback. The fines and buyout fees associated with the two.-liter buyback leading $ 16.five billion.

In August, the U.S. District Court judge overseeing Volkswagen’s American settlement issued an ultimatum demanding the automaker show regulators a repair for the three.-liter engine and forcing it into settlement talks. Regulators soundly rejected a preceding fix proposal. Audi previously mentioned any fix would contain software updates and modifications to the vehicles’ emissions equipment.

The question now is: how a lot of non-Audi models will now grow to be subject to a buyback?

[Image: Audi AG]

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Volkswagen to Axe the Two-door Golf GTI: Report


It is a sad day for Volkswagen Golf GTI purists and fanboys. The GTI — 1 of autodom’s quintessential hot hatches — will drop its two-door variant in the U.S. as the scandal-rocked automaker jettisons low-volume offerings.

A quite familiar face and name broke the story at Jalopnik after a Volkswagen item manager described the cancellation in the course of the company’s Golf Alltrack media test drive.

When Mark Baruth (a.k.a. Bark M) asked about pricing on 2017 GTI two-doors, Megan Garbis, Golf product manager at Volkswagen of America, stated that production of that model would end in two weeks.

That leaves a very quick 2017 model year run for the two-door GTI. Whilst we don’t have sales figures for distinct GTI variants, overall sales of the model reached a high point in the U.S. last year. Improved demand apparently didn’t translate into far more sales of the two-door model.

Garbis mentioned that consumers and dealers overwhelmingly ask for the 4-door GTI. The automaker’s new U.S. strategy is to give clients what they demand most (and not a factor more, it would seem), so the two-door, as standard as it is, demands to exit stage left. The order approach for a four-door GTI has reportedly been streamlined.

“We’ve decreased the complexity, which makes it possible for the consumer to configure the GTI he or she desires online and go to the dealership and pick it up nowadays,” Garbis said.

With crossovers overtaking family members sedans in sales and two-door coupes slowly disappearing from the automotive landscape, it seems practicality genuinely guidelines the day.

[Image: Volkswagen of America]

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Musk Pushed Back Against Tesla Employees’ Autopilot Concerns: Report

2016 Tesla Model S

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s drive to develop and market new driving technology is nicely recognized, but former employees say he brushed aside their concerns about the security of the company’s Autopilot system.

Several employees, like a former Autopilot engineer, told CNN Funds that their concerns fell on deaf ears, as Musk usually reverted back to a “bigger picture” position on safety.

The automaker’s semi-autonomous driving system came under scrutiny in the wake of a fatal May crash. Musk claims that although the Autopilot didn’t recognize a transport truck in that case, the technique tends to make roads safer. He’s pledged to do far more to educate owners on how to effectively use Autopilot, but has no plans to stop providing the technique.

Musk told the Wall Street Journal “we knew we had a technique that on balance would save lives.”

Speaking to CNNMoney, ex-Autopilot engineer Eric Meadows claims he was pulled more than by police in 2015 although testing Autopilot on a Los Angeles highway, a few months just before the system’s release. The Tesla had difficulty handling turns, and the police suspected him of becoming intoxicated.

Meadows was later fired for overall performance motives, but he claims his worries about Autopilot’s security — specifically the possibility that owners would “push the limits” of the technologies — grew over time.

“The last two months I was scared an individual was going to die,” he said.

The report mentions a former Tesla executive who worked closely with Musk, and claims the CEO was regularly at loggerheads with “overly cautious” employees. Tesla’s self-parking feature went ahead as planned, another source claims, despite worries that sensors wouldn’t function effectively if the vehicle was close to the edge of a steep slope. Again, the greater great of preventing driveway deaths overruled these concerns.

The employee mix at Tesla falls into two categories — younger, data-driven personnel and seasoned automotive sector varieties. The report cites several sources who claim that information is the guiding element in Tesla’s decisions, meaning slight risk is allowed if it means a greater possible for general safety.

Even though this bothers some engineers and customer safety groups, even the agency investigating the Might crash sides with Musk’s views on security. Recently, National Highway Targeted traffic Security Administration administrator Mark Rosekind mentioned the sector “cannot wait for perfect” when it comes to advertising and marketing potentially life-saving autonomous technology.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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Volkswagen to Slash Workplace Jobs by Next Year, Says Report

Volkswagen Chattanooga Tower

Like ripples in a pool of sulphur-wealthy oil, the impact from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal keeps spreading.

In a cost-cutting measure made to mitigate the growing financial damage caused by the scandal, Volkswagen is organizing to cut three,000 administration jobs in Germany, according to Reuters.

The supply of unofficial claim comes from two contacts inside the business who contacted German news outlet DPA. How and where the positions would be eliminated is unknown, but the report says the jobs would be gone by the finish of 2017.

Volkswagen employs about 40,000 workers in different workplace positions in Germany, and has already announced it will be shedding short-term administrative positions as an efficiency measure. Other measures consist of a drop in corporate investment and a business-wide efficiency blitz, which the head of Volkswagen’s worker’s union referred to as “unrealistic” earlier this week.

At Tuesday’s meeting amongst Volkswagen executives and employees, labor boss Bernd Osterloh produced it clear he did not want the planned efficiencies to harm the employment of his members.

Volkswagen is at present in triage mode as it tries to save a patient that is getting money bled from it, seemingly from each and every pore.

The route forward will mean hard options, and Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller stated Tuesday that the financial pain to the organization will be “substantial and painful.”

The recalls of 11 million impacted diesel cars has but to be achieved, and a fix could still be months away.

In addition to widening investigations in Germany, a fraud case starting in France, and looming environmental fines and a roughly $ 40 billion lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department (in addition to a fraud investigation from that exact same entity), the automaker discovered this week that German insurer Allianz plans to sue.

Reports have stated Allianz will go right after Volkswagen this month to recoup money it lost when the company’s share costs nosedived right after the scandal became public final September.

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Report: A lot of Volkswagen Managers Knew About ‘Defeat Device’

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

A lot of staffers and managers inside Volkswagen’s engine-development division knew about Volkswagen’s illegal emissions-cheating “defeat device,” such as a whistleblower who told other executives, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported (by means of Reuters).

The report stated that there was a “desperation” amongst engineers tasked with producing a U.S.-emissions compliant diesel engine. Rather than going to the executive board with a failed engine, workers developed the cheat technique to avoid repercussions from larger-ups.

The report also indicates that Volkswagen alone — not alongside auto supplier Bosch — developed the defeat device.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung cited a supply inside Volkswagen who helped manipulate application to evade emissions tests, but said the supply alerted one more senior executive outside the division who said nothing at all.

According to Reuters, Volkswagen in Germany didn’t comment on the report.

The German newspaper mentioned the department took a “Schweigegelübde,” or “vow of silence” to safeguard themselves in the course of the investigation due to the fact that’s just a nightmare for Volkswagen.

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Report: Volkswagen’s Repair is New Catalytic Converter

TDI Clean Diesel

Engineers at Volkswagen have proposed fitting a catalytic converter to more than 400,000 vehicles in the U.S. to comply with emissions, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday (by means of Reuters).

The costly and lengthy repair could bring into compliance vehicles that Volkswagen admitted cheated diesel emissions test by means of an illegal “defeat device” that lowered nitrogen oxides by up to 40 times in the course of test cycles.

Officials at Volkswagen didn’t comment on the report.

Volkswagen and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency have struggled to agree on how to fix a lot more than 500,000 illegally polluting cars in the U.S. Last week, the Justice Department on behalf of the EPA sued Volkswagen for the vehicles, searching for up to $ 48 billion in damages and penalties. In announcing the lawsuit, EPA deputy Cynthia Giles stated Volkswagen had not “produced an acceptable way forward” with its proposals to fix its vehicles. 

German newspapers have reported that Volkswagen may possibly be preparing to get back more than one hundred,000 cars in the U.S. if they couldn’t be repaired.

According to the Bild am Sonntag report, the catalytic converters would only be fitted to vehicles equipped with Volkswagen’s EA 189 engine. In testimony to Congress, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn told officials that newer automobiles would only want a software update to bring those cars into compliance with the law.

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Report: Honda Engineers Berated Takata Ahead of Scandal Erupted


Bloomberg (via Automotive News) reported that engineers at Honda demanded to know why Takata airbags had been injuring drivers and passengers during a 2009 meeting held 4 months ahead of investigators started their inquiry.

“Why does it explode? I want to know the truth,” an engineer identified as “Otaka” asked Takata’s CEO at the meeting, according to Bloomberg.

Minutes from a July 2009 meeting amongst Honda executives and Takata officials have been produced public as element of a lawsuit against the airbag maker.

Federal regulators Wednesday identified the ninth fatality linked to the defective airbags, which could burst so violently that they could spray metal shards into the passenger cabin. National Highway Visitors Security Administration officials mentioned the victim was a minor driving a 2001 Honda Accord close to Pittsburgh in July, according to USA Nowadays.

The teen was hospitalized and died a number of days soon after the crash, according to investigators.

Honda was Takata’s largest customer and owned 1.2 percent of the auto supplier when investigators began examining the defective airbags, according to Bloomberg.

In 2009, when the companies met outside Los Angeles, engineers at Honda accused Takata officials of becoming too slow to act and not treating the predicament seriously.

The documents were unsealed as portion of a Florida woman’s lawsuit against Takata and show that, as far back as 2005, engineers at Takata notified the company of falsified data and the company’s illegal practices.

According to the report, a Takata engineer named Bob Schubert wrote that the business was “prettying up” information about its airbags and that the firm was lying about testing: “It has come to my focus that the practice has gone beyond all affordable bounds and likely constitutes fraud,” he wrote in 2005, according to Bloomberg.

Honda, along with 11 other automakers, are recalling much more than 19 million vehicles — with far more than 23 million faulty inflators — in a single of the biggest recalls in history. NHTSA officials in November fined Takata far more than $ 70 million, which could rise to $ 200 million if the organization can’t fulfill its obligations.

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Report: Hyundai To Spin Off Genesis-branded Luxury Line

MY16 Hyundai Tucson

Reuters reported Tuesday that Hyundai will spin off Genesis as a global premium brand to compete with German automakers such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi. The news agency quoted sources “close” to the organization and said an announcement could come as early as Tuesday.

Hyundai didn’t comment on the report.

According to Reuters, Hyundai would launch Genesis with the Genesis sedan — and possibly coupe — and the Equus sedan. Genesis would add a mid-size SUV about 2019.

According to the sources, Genesis would use Hyundai’s dealer network and be sold alongside Hyundai models — at least for now.

“A tiny line of upscale products is going to be sold under the Genesis brand name. It’s not a physically separated brand with its own channel,” the supply told Reuters.

Hyundai has toed the waters with spinning off its personal luxury brand prior to. Analysts say that it might take years prior to a committed luxury line would turn into profitable. According to reports, Toyota spent a lot more than $ five billion to start Lexus, which didn’t make a profit for a decade.

The luxury vehicle market is considerably larger than it was in 1989 and a lot more profitable.

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Report: Supplier Warned VW About Illegal Device in 2007

Passat TDI engine

According to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Bosch engineers told Volkswagen in 2007 that computer software the supplier had offered for the vehicles in testing, which produced it into road vehicles, was illegal and ought to not be utilized.

The newspaper, which did not cite any sources in the story, stated a spokesperson for Bosch did not comment on the report.

If true, the report shows a fast push from the supplier — who admitted it supplied Volkswagen with the parts used to circumvent emissions requirements — to isolate the automaker’s duty for the scandal. Bosch issued a statement last week saying as a lot (emphasis mine):

As is usual in the automotive supply sector, Bosch supplies these elements to the automaker’s specifications. How these elements are calibrated and integrated into comprehensive vehicle systems is the responsibility of each automaker.

Bild’s story also suggests that VW executives had known about the deceitful measures its cars utilised to pass emissions tests, though it didn’t specify who or when executives may have identified.

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said last week when he resigned that he was unaware of the “defeat devices” used by his diesel cars to cheat emissions tests.

The German newspaper (through Automotive News) mentioned that a 2005 initiative — just before Winterkorn’s tenure as CEO — to develop a diesel engine for the U.S. market place initially showed promise, but when engineers said that when a urea-based method would be required to clean emissions, executives balked at the additional $ 335 cost per car. The engines had been at some point developed with faulty application to skirt emissions guidelines.

Separately, German newspaper FAZ said Volkswagen was produced conscious by a single of its personal engineers in 2011 that its emissions management systems had been illegal.

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