Toyota and Volkswagen to Ride-Sharing Firms: ‘Take Our Money!’


Not wanting to be left out of the mobility celebration, Toyota and Volkswagen not too long ago invested in two ride-sharing organizations, becoming the most current automakers to sink money into the sharing economy.

Toyota invested a rumored $ one hundred million in the ubiquitous ride-sharing business Uber, while Volkswagen, which has to meter out its dough cautiously (thanks to a pesky tiny scandal), dropped $ 300 million on Uber’s taxi-hailing rival Gett.

Mobility solutions have the possible to make big, massive bucks — one thing automakers often have a hankering for. Wanting a thick slice of that pie, numerous vehicle organizations are adding mobility to their lengthy-term growth techniques.

Toyota’s gambit will see its merchandise provided to Uber drivers via a tailor-made leasing system. Lease terms would be versatile, with payments produced by means of their Uber earnings. Joint projects could crop up later this year.

Gett, an Israel-primarily based company operating in 60 European cities, as nicely as New York and Moscow, recently took over half of London’s taxi fleet. The organization desires to target more of the U.S. and European marketplace, and that is exactly where Volkswagen’s money proves beneficial.

The embattled automaker appears to have made a secure bet on Gett, which saw its income grow 300 percent final year — something Volkswagen can only dream of. Gett expects to make half a billion dollars this year.

Each investments sound big, but they’re massive-sized when compared to Common Motors’ $ 500 million gamble on ride-sharing service Lyft earlier this year. Ford Motor Firm chose an in-home alternative for its entry into the mobility field, making the subsidiary Ford Wise Mobility LLC in March to create salable products.

[Sources: Automotive News, Wall Street Journal]

Automobile Evaluations – The Truth About Vehicles

Low-cost and Green: Volkswagen Desires to Create You a Low-Priced Electric

2015 Volkswagen eGolf Motor

“Do those non-diesel items, only far better,” seems to be Volkswagen’s mantra these days.

The aftermath of the continuing diesel emissions scandal saw the embattled automaker dive deep into cleaner technologies, and it now appears like VW desires its name on a relatively cheap electric automobile, Autocar reports (through Carscoops).

The firm has been bullish on electrification ever given that the scandal broke, but its present financial predicament signifies careful preparing is in order. The standalone EV model would likely ride atop VW’s modular MEB platform, which the company sees as getting a large money saver — when more models commence utilizing it.

If the organization reaps the anticipated rewards of its plug-in platform, it hopes to offer the new EV at a value lower than its electric e-Golf, with a far much better variety.

“The MEB platform toolkit gives us the ideal chance to gain scale by using the platform answer in as many methods as possible,” said Frank Welsch, technical development head for VW. “If we can achieve scale then all sorts of things will become open to us, from decreased fees to more quickly R&ampD.”

The newest version of the e-Golf (which carries an MSRP of $ 28,995, prior to a federal tax credit) arrives in significantly less than a year with a 108-mile range, better than the existing model’s 83-mile range, but lagging that of upcoming models like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model three.

To stand out from the pack, the firm is aiming for a 310-mile range for its future EV (or a nicely rounded 300 kilometres for metric aficionados), with an ultra-quickly charging time of 15 minutes.

Volkswagen’s green epiphany is not relegated to just battery-powered automobiles and hybrids. Final week, the automaker showed off its new 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, festooned with each and every gas-saving technology it could lay its hands on.

The Truth About Automobiles » Auto Critiques

Some Very good News for Volkswagen Owners’ Panicky Shareholders


Right after Volkswagen announced final week that it would reduce dividends by 97 % due to the economic fallout of the diesel emissions scandal, there’s a ray of light for those who have shares in the company’s owner.

Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the investment car of Volkswagen AG’s ultra-wealthy owner family members, said it will front the money to permit shareholders a bigger return, according to Bloomberg.

Porsche’s management and supervisory boards will vote on the move, which would see the company’s proposed dividend rise from .21 euro to 1.01 euro per preferred share. The 308 million-euro payout, which is still just half of final year’s, will reportedly be financed from money reserves.

Final week, Volkswagen announced it would set aside 16.two billion euros ($ 18.two billion) to fund the automaker’s settlement plan with U.S. consumers and regulators.

The April 21 deal, which would see more than half a million automobiles purchased back or repaired, came at the same time as earnings figures that showed a four.1 billion euro operating loss for 2015. In 2014, the business posted a 10.85 billion-euro profit.

Simply because of the hit, Volkswagen proposed cutting its dividend to .17 euros per share, down from four.86 euros a year earlier.

The Truth About Vehicles » Auto Evaluations

The Volkswagen Beetle Will be Missed by People Who Weren’t Preparing on Getting A single

2015 Volkswagen Beetle Exterior-008

Will there be a Green Mile edition?

The slow-promoting Volkswagen Beetle is living on borrowed time, if a tweet by industry insider Autoline can be believed, but aside from nostalgia, why must the world mourn a vehicle that few buyers want?

In the wake of the disruptive and wildly expensive diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen requirements sales in a large way, and they’re not acquiring them from the Beetle. Seven months out from the diesel revelations, Volkswagen’s sales are still dropping, and the Beetle’s reputation with buyers has all the power of, properly, an original Beetle engine.

Once well-known with the varieties of people who would explain how the globe is supposed to function on Sesame Street, the Beetle saw its production peak in the early 1970s. Like Linda Lovelace’s profession, it was all downhill from there.

The diminutive Bug represented an automotive best born of unhappier times, but that perfect no longer resonates.

At 22,667 units, final year’s U.S. Beetle sales were half of what they have been when the previous New Beetle nevertheless has some whimsical clout in 2003. In truth, they had been virtually half of 2013 sales.

In Australia, exactly where life’s a beach every single damn day, the Beetle was place down like an injured wallaby following promoting just 240 units last year.

No one wants to see a storied nameplate fade into the history books, but the “new” Beetle is cursed with a retro design that shuns design updates, and buyers can not be blamed for wanting some thing that appears new and fresh.

So, if the model does get killed off at the end of 2018, buyers will shed a tear for the cute vehicle their elementary school teacher once drove, appropriate ahead of really thinking about putting income down on the compact crossovers and 3-row SUV that will actually save the company.

[Image: © 2015 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]

The Truth About Vehicles » Automobile Critiques

Volkswagen Hands North America the Automobile Keys, Extends its Curfew

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

More autonomy is coming to North American Volkswagen operations, thanks in portion to dealer protests calling for exactly that.

Today, Volkswagen established a new North American Area (NAR) encompassing Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, headed by no-longer-interim Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO Hinrich J. Woebcken (who replaced departing CEO Michael Horn in March).

The move permits North America more flexibility as to the volume of particular models and where they are sold. The automaker’s U.S. dealer network began revolting against their head workplace last month, accusing best brass of ignoring their pleas for item reassurances in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal.

Brand chief Herbert Diess failed to fully placate dealers at a meet-up earlier this month, especially these looking for reparations, but did commit to boosting production of popular models to stimulate U.S. sales.

By setting up the NAR, Volkswagen lessens the need for choices to come from across the Atlantic, and allows North American dealers and regional officials to feel far more in charge of their own destiny. All regional activities will be aligned through the NAR, such as solution development, procurement and production.

“The establishment of the North American Area provides the U.S., Mexico and Canada a lot more freedom and far more duty than ever just before,” Diess said in a statement.

The NAR will operate with a board structure, with Woebcken at the helm.

“With the new structure of the North American Area we will be empowered to make the choices to bring the cars that the buyers in the market are demanding,” stated Woebcken, adding that when a region calls for a lot more powerful-selling solution, they’ll get it.

Back at property, Diess is still facing opposition from organized labor over a expense-saving efficiency strategy and ongoing rumors of layoffs.

The Truth About Automobiles » Auto Testimonials

‘Backfire’ Documentary Focuses Lens On Volkswagen Diesel Scandal

Volkswagen Jetta TDI emissions test, Image: University of West Virginia

Oscar-nominated documentarian and businessman Steve Kalafer is again placing on his producer hat in his most current project, named “Backfire: The Volkswagen Fraud of the Century,” a documentary that aims to find the truth behind the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, reports Automotive News.

And he’s the excellent individual to do it: Kalafer is also a Volkswagen dealer.

Kalafer, very best known for “Sister Rose’s Passion,” a documentary about a nun’s efforts to fight anti-Semitism in the Catholic Church, and for “The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption,” which examined corruption and politics in New Jersey, will team up with his son, Jonathan, to make the film.

The film producer owns a 17-franchise group in New Jersey, one particular of them a Volkswagen store, so the project hits close to property for him. Nonetheless, he will remain behind the camera as he believes any on-camera involvement on his element will have a unfavorable impact on the film.

“I will not have a point of view,” he stated. “The participants will.”

The documentary will concentrate on other stakeholders, such as clients, dealers, regulators, and even former Volkswagen executives.

To date, Kalafer hasn’t launched a website for the film, and it is not listed as a existing project on IMDB. Nonetheless, we hope Kalafer is successful his project, if for no other cause than this a single line in the course of his interview with AN.

“When I came to Volkswagen [to discuss the film], they stated, “Why are you carrying out this?’ I said, “To tell the truth.’”

Atta boy.

[Image: University of West Virginia]

The Truth About Automobiles » Auto Critiques

Speak to Our Committee to Avoid Lawsuits, Volkswagen Dealers Inform Automaker

Volkswagen Dealer Sign (Image: Rob Brewer/Flickr)

Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. have formed a go-to team tasked with drawing compensation out of the automaker although avoiding a looming barrage of dealer lawsuits.

The five-member committee was formed at a dealers-only meeting held yesterday at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas, one particular day before U.S. dealers had been expected to meet with leading Volkswagen brass, Automotive News has reported.

The move is developed to head off a potential slew of lawsuits from U.S. dealers seeking reparations for sunk costs and lost income stemming from the automaker’s expansion push and subsequent diesel emissions scandal.

1 of the 5 negotiators in the committee is Jason Kuhn, chairman of Tampa’s Kuhn Automotive Group, who said the group plans to negotiate a settlement package out of Volkswagen so dealers can get back to the job of running their businesses.

“At the end of the day, we both require to get past this, and performing it in a courtroom is not acceptable,” Kuhn told Automotive News.

One particular New York-based lawyer has currently drafted a class-action lawsuit for a group of Volkswagen dealers, but that celebration is awaiting the results of this weekend’s NADA meeting with VW brand chair Herbert Diess and North American chief Hinrich Woebcken.

U.S. dealers stated they felt increasingly ignored by Volkswagen head office as the emissions scandal persisted, an alienation that worsened when their largest ally, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn, abruptly resigned in early March.

In addition to Kuhn, the dealer committee is created up of Mike Sullivan, owner of the LAcarGuy network in southern California, Jimmy Ellis of Atlanta’s Jim Ellis Automotive Group, Richard Fisher, owner of the Evanston, Illinois-primarily based Autobarn Evanston Dealer Group, and Jack Bertolet Jr., president of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania’s J. Bertolet Volkswagen.

The NADA convention wraps up Sunday.

[Image: Volkswagen, Rob Brewer/Flickr]

The Truth About Automobiles » Car Reviews

Spied: Is This a Three-Row Volkswagen SUV With Barely Something On?

Volkswagen 3-row SUV Spy Shot Front, Image: © 2016 Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars

What seems to be a barely disguised Volkswagen SUV has been photographed driving close to the automaker’s southern California test facility.

If it is what we consider, it’s an crucial car for the automaker. A three-row SUV has long been element of Volkswagen’s U.S. growth strategy, but now it may possibly serve as its survival strategy.

Volkswagen 3-row SUV Spy Shot Rear, Volkswagen 3-row SUV Spy Shot Front, Image: © 2016 Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars

Drawing design cues from the 2013 Crossblue concept, the midsize SUV was green-lit in 2014, and production is planned for the finish of 2016 at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee facility. The timeline for deliveries is tentatively set for early 2017.

Even as the pricey diesel emissions scandal raged about it, the automaker didn’t take funds earmarked for the Chattanooga plant off the table. Having an entry in the profitable midsize SUV market would have been a boon for Volkswagen before the scandal broke, and is even far more essential now.

Volkswagen 3-row SUV Spy Shot Front, Image: © 2016 Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars

The unnamed SUV is anticipated to seat seven passengers and be equivalent in size to a Honda Pilot, with power likely coming from a 3.six-liter V6 sourced from the Volkswagen Passat. Earlier speculation about a diesel powerplant has to be taken with a dose of reality now, for obvious reasons.

A gas turbo 4-cylinder is one more possibility, as is a hybrid setup. With Volkswagen attempting to become a leader in electric vehicle development, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a plug-in version to compete with the likes of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

[Image: © 2016 Spiedbilde/The Truth About Automobiles]

The Truth About Cars » Car Critiques

Volkswagen Dealers Are Just Receiving Started in Reparation Hunt

Volkswagen Chattanooga Tower

Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. want to be compensated for financial losses stemming from the diesel emissions scandal, and if the benefits of a recent meeting with firm brass is any indication, the demands will quickly grow louder.

Alan Brown, chairman of Volkswagen’s U.S. dealer council, led a small delegation of dealers to Germany final week to speak reparations and get a firm grip on the company’s strategy, Automotive News reports.

The size of the settlement they have been in search of is unknown, but the meeting with international brand chief Herbert Diess and new Volkswagen Group of America head Hinrich Woebcken didn’t yield any strategy to compensate dealers.

Brown had earlier referred to as on the automaker to aid “stop the insanity” that was engulfing dealers, several of whom are suffering from a huge income drop and a disorganized allocation approach — this soon after numerous sank large bucks into expanding their operations as Volkswagen embarked on a worldwide sales push.

Volkswagen of America has been sending dealers an allowance to offset lost sales because shortly following the scandal broke, but that does not cover the big losses some dealers have been hit with, nor does it take away the uncertainty of the future.

Although Volkswagen executives weren’t playing the reparation game just yet, they did shed some light on the brand’s method going forward.

Recent musings about Volkswagen becoming a larger-finish niche brand sent dealers into a close to panic, spurring Brown and other folks to go hunting for assurances.

In a letter distributed to U.S. dealers following the meeting, Brown stated Volkswagen had committed to continuing a mass-market place method of compact and midsize cars and crossovers.

In the brief term, Volkswagen was sturdy-armed by the dealers into providing a larger shipment of 2017 Golf Alltracks, a lately-announced variant of the Golf SportWagen, in order to create interest and (hopefully) enhance sales.

Reparations are certain to be a key subject among Volkswagen franchise owners at the April 2 National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas — an occasion both Diess and Woebcken have stated they will attend.

The Truth About Vehicles » Automobile Testimonials

Former Volkswagen Employee Claims Unlawful Firing More than Information Deletions

Data, Image: rh2ox/Flickr

A former employee, who was fired after news of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal broke, is claiming in a lawsuit that he was let go from the automaker after noticing data connected to the scandal was getting deleted, several German language outlets are reporting (via Automotive News).

The lawsuit, filed by a former employee of Volkswagen Group of America, is the initial possible evidence produced public so far of a good, old fashioned cover up on this side of the Atlantic.

The employee, who worked at VWGoA’s information center in Michigan, started flagging information deletions created by a co-worker that started on September 18, 2015, the identical day the scandal broke, the suit claims. According to reports, the deletions happened right after a U.S. Department of Justice order to stop all “routine” information deletions at VWGoA.

The plaintiff is searching for damages in the suit. He’s protected from retaliation beneath Michigan’s whistleblower laws.

[Image: r2hox/Flickr (CC BY-SA two.)]

The Truth About Automobiles » Vehicle Evaluations