Monday, December 29, 2014

Volkswagen's Audi to step up investments in 2015-19 on models, plants

(Reuters) - Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) flagship Audi division is to increase spending on new models, plants and technology through 2019 to push its goal of surpassing German rival BMW as the world's largest luxury-car manufacturer.
Audi, which contributes 40 percent of operating profit at Europe's biggest automotive group, said on Saturday it will push up investment in car-making operations by 2 billion euros ($2.44 billion) to a record 24 billion euros over the next five years.
Seventy percent of spending will be assigned to developing new models and technologies such as emission-cutting plug-in hybrid vehicles, Audi said. The brand is also working on purely electric cars to catch up with BMW (BMWG.DE) and Tesla Motors(TSLA.O).
More than half of the funds will be spent on Audi's two German factories in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm which accounted for half the carmaker's nine-month output of 1.34 million autos, Audi said, confirming a Reuters story.
"We place top priority on sustainable growth," Chief Executive Rupert Stadler said. "That’s why we are making large investments in the innovative areas of electric mobility, connectivity and lightweight construction."
Audi, the world's second biggest luxury automaker, is aiming to expand its model range to 60 from currently 50 by 2020 and is spending over 1 billion euros on new factories inMexico and Brazil.
Ingolstadt-based Audi said on Saturday it will hire another 850 workers in Mexico next year where the Q5 sport-utility vehicle will be assembled from 2016.
Under its previous budget drawn up a year ago, Audi announced investments of 22 billion euros over the 2014-18 period. Parent VW in November unveiled auto investments of 85.6 billion euros through 2019, slightly more than a year earlier, even as the carmaker is pushing cost cuts at its core brand.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Volkswagen Group considering future Formula 1 entry

December 4, 2014
BBC Sport

The Volkswagen Group, the world's second biggest car maker, is conducting a feasibility study into a potential Formula 1 entry.
Sources say the review is being conducted by ex-Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, who was hired by VW's Audi brand earlier this year.  Its interest is being piqued by the global marketing success achieved by rivals and new F1 champions Mercedes.  But any entry would depend on management changes at VW or F1.  Ferdinand Piech, the head of the supervisory board of the VW Group, and F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone have long had a difficult relationship. At least one of them would need to leave their current position before a VW Group brand could enter F1.
VW was on the working group of car manufacturers that decided on the new turbo hybrid engine rules introduced into F1 this season, but decided against entering at that time - and, publicly, has not changed its stance since.
But sources say that some senior board members now believe F1 would be a more effective global promotional tool than its existing motorsport programmes.

BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

"The Volkswagen Audi Group is the second biggest car maker in the world and as such it needs to be in Formula 1. But it will not enter it while the sport remains under the control of Bernie Ecclestone, who VAG boss Ferdinand Piech dislikes on a personal and professional basis. Martin Winterkorn - the chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen - is being groomed as Piech's successor and he has always believed that F1 is a great platform for the group's brands. I am told he privately believes VAG should be a part of F1. If VAG did come to F1, I believe it would be with their own team, with the car designed and made in Germany."
Among the Volkswagen Audi Group's brands, as well as VW and Audi, are Porsche, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley, Skoda and Seat.VAG currently has three main motorsport programmes - with Audi and Porsche in the World Endurance Championship, Audi in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) and Volkswagen in the World Rally Championship.The global advertising value of Mercedes' television appearances during its F1 campaign in 2014 was $2.8bn (£1.8bn).
Experts believe the equivalent value for VAG of their sportscar and touring car programmes was about $30m (£19m).Mercedes spent a net 130m euros (£103m) on F1, once external sponsorship and prize money is taken into account. VAG spent about 320m euros (£254m) on DTM and sportscars.Some reports have linked a potential VAG return with the Austrian Red Bull team - Piech has a close relationship with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz.But sources say that VAG turned down an approach from Red Bull some years ago and that if it did enter F1 it would be with its own team based in Germany.Asked for a comment, a spokesman did not deny the information but pointed to an interview with the chairman of the VW board of management Martin Winterkorn in the German newspaper Bild Am Sonntag last month, in which he suggested the group was happy with its existing commitments.Winterkorn said: "Our brands in motorsport are as successful as ever, whether in the DTM with Audi or Le Mans with Audi and Porsche, or in the World Rally Championship with Volkswagen. We feel we have really good position."Audi chairman Rupert Stadler said in an interview with another German newspaper, Heilbronner Stimmer, that Domenicali had expressed a desire not to work in motorsport and that he was working in "organisation and new business fields in the areas of service and mobility".

Thursday, October 30, 2014

2006 Beetle Convertible new project.

2006 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
74,XXX miles

This car just in.  Light damage to core.  Radiator support, radiator, hood and headlamps to be replaced.  No structural damage.  Will show rebuilt on title.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Porsche has confirmed diesel powered Macan for U.S.

2014 Porsche Macan
2014 Porsche Macan2014 Porsche Macan2014 Porsche Macan2014 Porsche Macan2014 Porsche Macan2014 Porsche Macan2014 Porsche Macan2014 Porsche Macan
Posted Oct 15th 2014 4:29PM

The idea of a diesel-powered Porsche is the sort of thing that sounds really, really weird... until you actually drive it. The result of sticking glow plugs under the hood of Stuttgart's finest, though, is a vehicle that's nearly as entertaining as a gas-powered model but with much more torque and better fuel economy. Considering that, we think it's absolutely splendid news that following previous reportsPorsche has now confirmed a diesel-powered Macan for the US market.

"We are now busy with the development and the engineering," Andre Oosthuizen, Porsche's North American marketing VP, told Automotive News. "I can confirm that V6 diesel offering with about 245 horsepower."

Yep, that's the same 3.0-liter V6 found, most notably, in the CUV's Audi Q5 platform-mate as well as a plethora of other Volkswagen Group vehicles, both in the US and abroad. Stuttgart already offers the 3.0-liter oil-burner in the Euro-spec crossover, where it churns out 258 hp and 427 pound-feet of torque.

As for the rumored four-cylinder Macan, we shouldn't count on that one for the US, with Oosthuizen pointing to the limited production capacity.

"We don't have enough capacity," the exec told AN, "so it's probably the Macan S and Turbo and then our next priority will be the diesel."

Oosthuizen pointed to the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show as a possible destination for the diesel's debut, where it may be announced with a starting price under $60,000. Of course, as we all know, that figure means very little when we're talking about Porsche's options catalog.

What are your thoughts? Would you consider a diesel-powered Macan were you in the market? 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Not for the U.S. VW do Brazil's Saverio

2014 VW Saveiro Cross Double Cab
2014 Volkswagen Saveiro2014 Volkswagen Saveiro2014 Volkswagen Saveiro2014 Volkswagen Saveiro2014 Volkswagen Saveiro2014 Volkswagen Saveiro2014 Volkswagen Saveiro2014 Volkswagen Saveiro
Posted Sept 6th 2014 

Volkswagen may have come a long way since the original Beetle to produce hatchbacks, coupes, convertibles, sedans, wagons and crossovers... but pickups? As we found out in England recently, theAmarok is a notable exception, but it's not the only one. Head down to South America and you can also pick up the Saveiro.

Based on the Brazilian-made Gol hatchback, the Saveiro is a neo-Camino-esque coupe with a pickup bed – similar in form to the Fiat Strada that's also made in Brazil for the South American market. Like the Corvette, the Saveiro (Portuguese for "sloop") takes its name from a nimble sailing warship. It's been on the market in its current iteration since 2009, but Volkswagen do Brasil has recently rolled out an updated version.

As you can see, the facelifted Saveiro adopts a front end more in keeping with VW's current design language, but that's not the end of the updates. For the first time VW is also offering the Saveiro in a Double Cab configuration with an extra row of seats for three more passengers.

In addition to the standard, extended or new double cab body styles, buyers can also choose between Startline, Trendline, Highline or Cross trim levels, the latter adopting an off-road treatment to bring that much closer to the Amarok. A new 1.6-liter flex-fuel four mated to a five-speed manual gearbox offers up to 120 horsepower (in the Saveiro Cross) or 104 hp (in the less rugged models) and can run on gasoline, ethanol or both.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

MK4 Jetta turned into modern day caddy!

Volkswagen Jetta Ute
Smyth Performance Volkswagen Jetta Ute PickupSmyth Performance Volkswagen Jetta Ute PickupSmyth Performance Volkswagen Jetta Ute PickupSmyth Performance Volkswagen Jetta Ute PickupSmyth Performance Volkswagen Jetta Ute PickupSmyth Performance Volkswagen Jetta Ute Pickup

Inexpensive, small pickup trucks used to be everywhere in the US, whether they were from Japanese brands like Datsun or Toyota, the truly weird Subaru Brat or even from Europe with the Volkswagen Caddy based on the Golf. These days that market has completely disappeared, but if you're willing to pick up some tools to build your own, there's a company out there bringing the Caddy back as a kit for the Jetta.

Mark Smith knows a thing about building a vehicle at home. He has over two decades in the DIY-car business as a co-founder of Local Motors and the company that became Factory Five Racing. His latest venture is Smyth Performance and already offers a mid-engine, VW-based kit called the G3F. His new product, though, started as a fluke. "I just wanted a shop truck," said Smith to Autoblog. He already had aFord F-450 but found that he was driving around with the bed empty most of the time. The result was a pickup truck based on the fourth-generation Jetta that he dubbed the Ute.

The kit retails for $3,500 and ships in three, big boxes, and it's designed to be built and painted in a weekend. Buyers get fiberglass exterior panels, a fiberglass rear window surround, sliding rear window, an aluminum reinforced bed with a tubular steel subframe, taillights, a fully functional steel tailgate, and other parts. In the end, you get a vehicle with a six-foot bed and a payload of around 700-750 pounds. The Ute maintains all of the factory suspension, fuel tank and emissions equipment and requires just a few cuts in the body to complete. "We did a modern Caddy," admits Smith.

Sales are already progressing well for the Ute with "hundreds, not thousands" moved so far, Smith said. You can learn more about this reborn compact pickup at the Smyth Performance website.
News Source: Smyth Performance

Monday, July 28, 2014


2015 GTI

Jul 28, 2014

Volkswagen GTI outperforms seven other contenders in contest to determine the car with the best performance for the price
Herndon, VA — Just one month after arriving in U.S. dealerships, the all-new 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI has been named winner of’s first-ever “Cheap Speed Challenge.” The challenge focused on compact coupes, sedans and hatchbacks that cost less than $30,000 and are equipped with features popular among drivers seeking performance in a new car. The 2015 Golf GTI beat out seven contenders in the “Challenge”.
“Not only does the all-new 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI offer the best performance bang for the buck, it is also one of the most comfortable,” said Joe Wiesenfelder, Executive Editor at “The GTI outperformed most cars in just about every test we conducted. Also, unlike some of the other Cheap Speed competitors, the GTI offers an impressively roomy and high-quality interior in addition to being seriously fun-to-drive.”
“We are thrilled that the Golf GTI has been recognized by such expert media as a high-performing vehicle that offers an incredible value, and we thank the voters for their choice,” said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing, Volkswagen of America. “The Golf GTI is an iconic vehicle for Volkswagen, and we are extremely proud that is already earning accolades and admiration in the U.S. market.”
Experts from, USA Today, and MotorWeek, as well as an actual car shopper in the market for an affordable performance car, tested the eight contenders over a five-day period. Additional performance-focused testing was done on a racetrack.
Tests included:
  • Zero-to-60-mph times and quarter-mile times and speeds
  • 60 mph to zero braking distances
  • Professional road course testing on a closed track
  • 200 miles of driving on varying roads to test each car for real-world fuel economy
  • Round-robin driving where each expert evaluated each car on the same street route, back-to-back, to gather overall impressions on drive, features and comfort
The 2015 Golf GTI went on sale in the United States in June 2014, and has enjoyed healthy sales, delivering 1,927 units for the month—the best since March 2006.
The Golf GTI features a highly sophisticated EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine that makes 210 horsepower and a healthy 258 pound-feet of torque, figures that are 10 hp and 51 lb-ft higher than in the previous-generation GTI model. When equipped with the optional Driver Assistance Package, the Golf GTI has also earned the coveted 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Friday, July 18, 2014

If only............

VW, Fiat deny merger talks

Volkswagen badge
Posted Jul 17th 2014 5:31PM

Fiat badgeAll parties involved are actively denying a potentially Earth-shattering shakeup in the automotive universe, as a German business publication claimed that Volkswagen and Fiat have been discussing the possibility of a merger.

The magazine, Manager Magazin, claimed that Fiat was looking to ditch its volume automotive business in order to focus even more heavily on Ferrari, according to Automotive News Europe. The report claims that the merger would allowChrysler to help bolster the Volkswagen brand in the United States.

Not surprisingly, Volkswagen, Fiat and the Agnelli family (which owns a 30-percent stake in FCA) have all denied this report. VW has said it's focusing on efficiency within its own group, and isn't looking at any takeover plans, according to AN. The Agnelli family, meanwhile, has also denied talks, while Fiat officials say are unaware of any talks.

That hasn't stopped some analysts from speculating that a merger between the two companies might not be a horrible idea, although any potential deal likely wouldn't be a full-scale merger, so much as a piecemeal plundering.

"Volkswagen has an urge to become the number one global automaker, and an acquisition of that size would bring them to their target immediately," Juergen Pieper, an analyst with Frankfurt-based Bankhaus Metzler, told AN. Pieper cautioned, however, that due to Fiat's troubles in Europe and the potential for antitrust woes in South America that a full-scale merger would be "rather unrealistic."

As for the Manager Magazin report, Chrysler might not be able to help VW quite as much as the German publication thinks.

VW's issues "are more image and pricing problems and not so much problems of distribution and manufacturing," an unnamed auto analyst told AN. "Buying Chrysler would not really help VW."

Of course, should we hear anything else on this fascinating rumor, we'll be sure to check it out. Stay tuned.
Image Credit: Volkswagen, Copyright 2014 AOL