Automotive industry company news
We scored a rare treat this week while attending the Detroit show and associated events in what I am told was a "really cold" Michigan this...
The global automotive industry stands on the brink of unprecedented change due to the impact of eight discrete megatrends, according to a ne...
Not unsurprisingly, given just-auto's audience, news from the supplier sector generated the most interest from readers this week. Topping the bill was news Corning's Gorilla Glass would be used for the windscreen and rear window/engine cover of the 2016 edition of Ford's delectable GT. The words gorilla and glass should ring a bell with many - it's also used on higher end smartphones and tablets as it often survives even cracking when said gadgets are accidentally dropped and its scratch-resistant properties keep screens looking box-fresh new longer, too.
The really interesting stuff all happened as this week drew to a close - yesterday Volkswagen 'fessed up over the 'dieselgate' scandal and, today, Tata Motors' English luxury vehicle unit Jaguar Land Rover finally confirmed the location for its new manufacturing plant.
The Volkswagen group 'emissions scandal' rumbled on this week as more skeletons were rattled out of closets. There's bound to be a few more when the automotive equivalent of the Spanish inquisition starts internally, following this week's report that "around 50" employees have come forward just ahead of the deadline to testify in the group's internal investigation into the emissions controls cheating scandal. Employees had been given until Monday to come forward to testify without fear of repercussions - on the part of VW.
In September 2015, the industry – and VW in particular – was dealt a seismic shock when it became clear that VW had sought to cheat US emission testing procedures with its diesel vehicles. Since then there has been much debate as to the impact this revelation – and other subsequent revelations – will have on diesel demand and on the company. In terms of diesel demand, the focus is on the European situation, as the market accounts for over 50% of worldwide light vehicle diesel volume. After considering the diesel market, the attention then switches to examining the particular impact on VW as a company.
Harman recently partnered with Renesas to improve its in-vehicle network and infotainment solutions. Matthew Beecham caught-up with Harman’s Phil Eyler, Executive Vice President and President of Infotainment to find out how this alliance and others are supporting the brand in a highly competitive sector. In Part 2, we interview Harman’s EVP and President Lifestyle Audio Division Michael Mauser about the audio innovations it is bringing to the market to sustain growth.
Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with tier one suppliers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Fritz Schweindl, Director Advanced Engineering International Automotive Components (IAC) Europe. IAC is a global supplier of automotive components and systems, including interior and exterior trim.
Beleaguered VW Group may be open to a public listing of its trucks business according to reports.
Following Volkswagen's announcement preparation of annual financial statements for 2015 had been delayed "due to remaining open questions relating to the consequences of the emissions issue and the resulting valuation issues", Porsche SE has made a similar announcement.
The German car market was up 3.3% to 218,365 units according to data released by the German KBA organisation.
In 2015 the European car market totalled 14.2m new registrations, an increase of 9.3% over 2014 full year results; the highest since 2009. The market benefited from the last two months of double-digit growth with December setting the highest positive monthly change of the last three years at 1.16m units. Therefore, the last quarter volume increase was the highest of the year, standing at 10.2% more than in Q4 2014, representing 3.42m cars sold in total. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, SAAR, came in at 16.52m units.
The Volkswagen brand says it has repositioned its organisation for vehicle development effective from the beginning of the year. The reorganisation reflects the company's ongoing response to its diesel emissions crisis and its review of the company's organisation - especially lines of accountability and responsibility.
President Obama's lofty goal of getting 1m plug-in electric cars on US roads by 2015, set back in 2008, with petrol prices averaging nearly US$4 a gallon, has been missed by about 600,000 units, a media report said.
Volkswagen has appointed Hinrich Woebcken head of the North America region effective 1 April, 2016 when he assumes responsibility for all the activities of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand in the region.
Proposals floated in Detroit last week by top federal auto safety officials indicating the agency is willing to allow auto manufacturers to detour US motor vehicle laws and regulations, particularly for unproven robot cars would, if true, be a "wrong turn" for the agency, Consumer Watchdog said.
Last year, 2015, new car registrations in Europe's Big Five markets passed the 10m units mark, increasing by 8.8% compared to 2014. All five markets posted positive growth with Germany leading the way with 3.2m units, up by 5.6%, although this was the lowest annual increase among the five countries.
New Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller faces a crucial meeting on Wednesday (13 January) with US regulators to discuss ways out of the emissions-cheating crisis, a day after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) rejected the automaker's initial proposed engine fix.
New vehicle sales in China jumped by 15.4% to 2.8m units in December, from 2.4m units in the same month of last year, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Former US senator and Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards is among over 140 plaintiffs' lawyers competing to lead private litigation against Volkswagen over its emissions cheating scandal, a media report said.
The only positive result for the Brazilian auto industry in 2015 was vehicle export volume jumping 25% to 416,955 units, heavy vehicles included, but not counting CKD assembly kits.
Volkswagen was expected to announce on Monday it is expanding its US goodwill diesel emissions compensation programme to tens of thousands of owners of larger diesel vehicles, the company's top US official told Reuters.
Volkswagen CEO has said the automaker is sticking to investment plans and continues to view the US as a core market, ahead of critical meetings this week with government officials over its admission that it rigged emission tests on 'clean diesel' vehicles.
Volkswagen may be preparing to buy back around as many as 100,000 cars in the US market, according to a German newspaper report.
Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea jumped by over 42% to 24,366 units in December, from 17,120 units in the same month of last year, according to data released by Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.
The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show saw the world premieres of various cars, concepts and automotive technologies as listed below. The press preview days were 5 and 6 January.
The US Justice Department has filed a civil lawsuit against Volkswagen Group for its emissions cheating actions that could see it face penalties and fines exceeding US$90bn, according to some reports.
Volkswagen Group has appointed Dr Manfred Döss as its new Head of Legal Affairs. He succeeds Michael Ganninger, who is leaving the company "at his own wish by amicable agreement" the company said in a statement.
German weekly Welt am Sonntag reports that Volkswagen is considering a limit to the time that some of its senior staff can remain in their roles in a move that would improve oversight and avoid the kind of internal cultural problems that resulted in the "dieselgate" affair.
European new car sales experienced a 27th consecutive month of growth during November 2015 with volume up 13.5% year on year, the second largest rise this year, according to analysts at JATO Dynamics. This followed a significant slowing of growth during October as a consequence of smaller increases in the 'Big Five' EU markets.
It's been quite a week for Volkswagen. The unfolding diesel emissions scandal is one of those stories that, as journalists love to say, has legs.
The departure of head designer Luc Donckerwolke from Bentley (replacement found) is an interesting one, not least for the question of where he will pop up next.
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