Volkswagen’s Atlas Strategy: Plug the Hole Now, Worry About Selection Later

Volkswagen Atlas, Image: Seth Parks

The journey Volkswagen’s uber-American midsize crossover took in between CrossBlue notion and Atlas production model was a lengthy 1, but it isn’t more than.

Even though production begins next month in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the model designed in the hopes of tapping America’s utility automobile addiction leaves many queries about its future unanswered.

Speaking to Wards Auto, Matthias Erb, chief engineering officer for VW in North America and head of its Chattanooga engineering center, implies that obtaining the model to customers in any form was Job No. 1 for the struggling automaker.

Sporting three rows and styling that can only be described as generic, the Atlas is the vanguard of VW’s SUV-heavy push into the U.S. marketplace. The automaker is counting on the Atlas and future utility models to reclaim sales ground lost due to the diesel emissions scandal. There’s also that pesky issue of buyers shunning cars — VW’s standard sales territory — in increasing numbers.

The Atlas closes “the largest gap” in the automaker’s lineup, Erb told Wards Auto.

It was long rumored that the model would come in a plug-in hybrid version, but that plan is not set in stone. Erb claims the firm hasn’t however decided if a heavily electrified version ought to join the Atlas range.

“This is a issue we are nonetheless discussing, Erb stated. “At the moment, the plug-in is not so extremely desirable to us since of the upstream emissions (greenhouse gasses made in the generation of electricity).”

He added, “We genuinely don’t know how desirable these automobiles are anymore because the CO2 balance is not considerably better than the balance of (standard) hybrid autos.”

A plug-in is still attainable, but so is a conventional hybrid, he stated. As well, VW is open to letting other models carry the hybrid burden, even although Erb admits there’s clients willing to pay a premium for the technologies.

“This is open,” he mentioned. “We have a particular strategy, and I cannot actually talk about that, but we’re still thinking about where (in the model lineup) to electrify and where not to electrify so significantly.”

The automaker has a variety of hybrids and battery electric automobiles planned as part of its 2025 item method. Development carries a steep cost tag, and the Atlas sits at the core of VW’s fundraising efforts.

Provided initially in a seven-seat configuration to battle the likes of the Ford Explorer and other mid-sizers, a far more stripped-down Atlas variant could be on the way.

“If you appear into the SUV segment, you can see that it is type of separated into two parts, 7-seaters and five-seaters, and in our opinion it would make perfect sense to also offer you a five-seater,” Erb stated. It is feasible that the Atlas could sport two wheelbase lengths in the future, he added.

[Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Automobiles]

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BMW’s Game Strategy: Connectivity, Autonomous Technology and a Complete Lot of Plug-ins

2016 BMW i8 Hybrid Exterior-006

BMW Group is laying out its game program for the future, and it contains a lot of new electric vehicles.

Beyond the marketing and advertising buzzwords, there’s a lot similarity amongst BMW’s program, released yesterday, and those of so several other automakers: developing higher-tech comfort and connectivity into their vehicles, diversifying their electric offerings, building autonomous driving technologies, and making the customer really feel additional special.

The quick effect on BMW’s rolling stock will be an expanded “i” variety of all-electric or plug-in hybrid models, beginning with a convertible version of the i8 and a longer-ranged version of the i3 by the end of this year.

A plug-in Mini is the next new model on BMW’s radar. In total, the automaker desires to have seven models in the “i” range.

In addition to gas and electric, BMW plans to continue development of hydrogen fuel cell technologies in the hope that all 3 propulsion types can one particular day be applied to a single platform. It’s a move towards the adaptable architecture several automakers are pursuing.

Although BMW’s “project i” tackles electric automobile technologies, “project i two.0″ is made to mate that expertise with autonomous driving technologies.

“Our focus is clear: we are securing the BMW Group’s position as technological industry leader,” stated Klaus Fröhlich, the board member accountable for improvement, in a statement.

“With project i two. we will lead the field of autonomous driving. We will turn investigation projects into new kinds of industrial processes, bringing future technologies onto the road.”

Crucial areas of concentrate will be digital maps, sensor technologies, cloud technology and artificial intelligence. Some of the automaker’s early development of self-driving technology can be seen in the self-parking 7-series new advancements will be added on as the technology becomes offered on much more models.

Like other automakers, all of BMW’s new technologies is not necessarily going to be created in-home. By way of its BMW i Ventures group, the automaker plans to maintain an eye on independent startups, investing in them if necessary in order to capitalize on specific products or emerging trends.

The improvement of mobility services will continue alongside automobile technologies.

Regardless of its pursuit of a connected, driverless future, the automaker plans to continue wringing efficiencies out of its internal combustion engines, although expanding these model lines.

Every single enterprise wants income to develop, and BMW says it knows exactly where to uncover it: at the best end of the market place. A planned premium SUV, the X7, is designed to meet public’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for ultra-luxury utility vehicles while delivering a high rate of return.

When you are arranging on changing the (driving) world, you have to be truthful about where the funds will come from.

[Image: © Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]


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