Following on Volkswagen's official announcement that it was working on a ten-speed, dual-clutch transmission, Auto Express has it on "good authority" that the new transmission will end up in the next GTI, GTD and Golf R. The brand's current seven-speed will be retained for lesser eight-generation Golfs.
Volkswagen Group has sacked – well, he left "by mutual agreement," at any rate – its production chief, Michael Macht, marking the second executive dispatched by the automaker in the last week. Macht, pictured above, left, with VW Group Chairman Martin Winterkorn, was the man responsible for overseeing the introduction of VW's extremely important MQB platform, which will underpin a huge array of vehicles in the coming years.
During a gathering of 20,000 Volkswagen Group employees at company headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany on Wednesday, CEO Martin Winterkorn dropped a bombshell. The boss stated that the automaker isn't operating efficiently enough and admitted the company needs to radically start cutting back to raise its profit margins. To right the ship, Winterkorn has proposed killing off less profitable models and spending less on research and development.
Financially, things are looking up for Volkswagen Group overall, yet deliveries are still falling in the Americas. Worldwide, the automotive giant's profits after taxes rose 26.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 2.47 billion euros ($3.4 billion). Total sales revenue was up 2.7 percent to 47.8 billion euro ($66 billion).
Lamborghini is known for many, many things. Beautiful, exotic and expressive styling, extreme performance and eye-watering prices are Lambo hallmarks. But the Raging Bull is perhaps best known for building its cars by hand... in Slovakia?
When the second generation of the four-door Porsche Panamera launches, it will likely be riding a new platform, complete with an all-new family of V6 and V8 engines, according to a report coming out of the UK.
Volkswagen Group believes it can sell over 10 million vehicles in 2014, with hopes of overtaking Toyota as the world's largest automaker in the process. If VW can do it, it would meet that goal four years earlier than planned. Of course, Toyota isn't sitting still – it also hopes to top the 10 million-car threshold this year and has the advantage of already holding the top spot.
It's a good time to be in the luxury car business. In Volkswagen Group's financial report for the 2013 fiscal year, it is revealed that that Porsche enjoyed an operating margin of 18 percent. That means the Stuttgart brand made on average about $23,200 per car sold, according to BusinessWeek. Bentley wasn't far behind, and Audi (which was combined with Lamborghini) posted a 10.1 percent margin. This compares to only around 2.9 percent for the Volkswagen brand.
J.D. Power has just revealed the results of its 2013 APEAL Study, which looks at which brands have the most appealing cars based on sales figures, dealer inventory, brand loyalty, transaction and trade-in prices. The study was revamped for 2013, and places a larger focus on the new tech and infotainment options available to customers. All told, study participants gauged their vehicles on 77 different attributes, delivering a score out of a 1,000 points.
Volkswagen still has its eyes set on becoming the top global automaker by 2018, and to get there, it's apparently going to need more boots on the ground. Automotive News Europe is reporting that VW is looking to increase its staff by 50,000 over the next five years – an increase of nine percent – which does not include an increase in its US dealer network.
A class-action lawsuit, lodged against Volkswagen Group of America over alleged defects with the continuously variable transmissions (CVT) it put in 64,000 2002-06 Audi A4 and A6 models, has been settled. The German automaker has denied all allegations, telling the New York Times that it settled the case because it was "'mindful of the fact that future protracted litigation, with the burdens and uncertainties it creates, may not be in the best interests of their customers." (That said, the plant
Bentley has announced Luc Donckerwolke will take over as the automaker's Director of Design. Donckerwolke started with Volkswagen in 1992 as a designer for Audi. Since then, he's worked with Škoda, Lamborghini and Seat in various design roles. His resume includes helping sketch out both the Lamborghini Murciélago and Gallardo among other notable models.
It's been a spell since we caught wind of the rumored BMW X6 fighter from Audi, but Automotive News Europe reports the vehicle is still in development. The publication quotes Walter de'Silva, design chief with the Volkswagen Group, as saying Audi will definitely launch a more athletic crossover positioned between the Q5 and the Q7. Details are understandably scarce at the moment, but the vehicle will likely be designed to help Audi tap into the premium softroader segment where buyers aren't afra
Volkswagen is on the rise, and has its eye on becoming the largest automaker in the world. But the VW Group is about more than just cars. Their considerable holdings and expanding corporate tree also encompasses several heavy truck manufacturers, and that part of the business has now been cleared to expand.
You may remember the name Franz-Josef Paefgen. Until recently, the German engineer and executive was head of both Bentley and Bugatti. Before that he was chief executive of Audi, after working for several years at Ford. He technically "retired" earlier this year, but like the cars he helped create, an executive like Paefgen could never really retire. So it should come as little surprise that the Volkswagen Group has named Dr. Paefgen head of its Classic program.
There's plenty of room to get lost in the Volkswagen Group. In addition to the VW brand, the group controls Skoda, Seat, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. But we can't forget its truck divisions. In addition to being Europe's largest automaker, VW is also one of its largest producer of trucks as well, producing VW commercial vehicles while holding nearly three-quarters of the shares in Swedish truckmaker Scania and a significant stake in MAN as well.
Volkswagen is looking for ways to improve the dismal sales of its Spanish brand, Seat. Rather than simply shutting it down, officials apparently wants to use the brand to expand the VW Group's presence in emerging markets. Positioning Seat as a sporty alternative, Automotive News Europe says VW will bring the brand to China and attempt to move the automaker a bit upmarket from where it currently sits.