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September 28, 2015 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
VW Launches Consumer Site, Vows Quick Fix
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal: How Are Individual Dealers Being Affected?
VW's New CEO Is Moving Forward With a Strategy Shift
Design Differentiation Tricky for Luxury Brands
Automakers Gamble on Wireless Charging Standard
Top Stories
VW Launches Consumer Site, Vows Quick Fix

Volkswagen of America on Sunday launched a new consumer information site vowing to fix the 482,000 diesel cars in the United States that are committing excess pollution as "soon as possible." The German automaker has admitted to installing "defeat devices" in 11 million vehicles worldwide and has set aside $7.3 billion to address the problem. The companies long time CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned last week and the company named the new CEO Friday — one of a series of management changes.
Source: The Detroit News
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Volkswagen Diesel Scandal: How Are Individual Dealers Being Affected?

On a calm Friday afternoon, the lot at Bay Ridge Volkswagen in the Brooklyn borough of New York appeared to be packed to capacity with new and used VWs parked neatly beside one another, barely any space between most of them. Even though almost every inch of the dealership’s grounds seemed to be occupied by vehicles, no customers were driving them off the lot. One could see this as a slump in sales, possibly caused by the news that the automaker Volkswagen AG had been rigging some of its diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests, but Bay Ridge Volkswagen’s general manager Jed Kass said the scandal hasn’t hit the dealership at all -- it doesn’t even sell that many diesel cars. “The percentage of our business that’s diesel is very small,” said Kass, who has been in the automotive-sales business for 31 years and has been selling Volkswagens for the past five years. “Though we have a few customers affected, it’s a minority.”
Source: International Business Times

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VW's New CEO Is Moving Forward With a Strategy Shift

Matthias Mueller pressed the Volkswagen AG board to move ahead with a reorganization he helped devise before the carmaker was caught up in an emissions-cheating scandal, as the new leader seeks to put his stamp on the company. The former Porsche boss wanted the new strategy to remain on the agenda of the Friday meeting in Wolfsburg, Germany, according to a person familiar with Mueller’s thinking, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private. Volkswagen had intended to hold off on a reorganization aimed at streamlining decision-making to give the new boss a chance to settle in. But Mueller, who had assisted his predecessor Martin Winterkorn with devising the plan, didn’t want to wait to start making the changes.
Source: Bloomberg

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Design Differentiation Tricky for Luxury Brands

Premium brands have some of the narrowest design differentiation between their models, often to the point they're hard to tell apart on the road. Audi is a good case in point. But why? Because it aids recognition, says Jaguar's head of design, Ian Callum. "Luxury buyers want continuity," he told Automotive News at the recent European launch of the XF sedan. "People want to recognize a Paul Smith suit or a piece of Chanel jewelry. They like to hang their hat on something that's obviously part of a brand. And they want their neighbors to be able to see it, too."
Source: Automotive News
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Automakers Gamble on Wireless Charging Standard

Apple CEO Tim Cook had much to say about the iPhone on Sept. 9, when he took the stage to unveil the company's newest models. For automakers, the biggest takeaway was the feature he didn't discuss: wireless charging. Automakers such as Audi, General Motors and Toyota are adding wireless charging pads for smartphones to their cars. But without a clear signal from Apple, it's a "crapshoot," says John McLaughlin, the national manager of cross-car-line planning at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.
Source: Automotive News
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Quotable
"Volkswagen is committed to finding a remedy as soon as possible. We want to assure customers and owners of these models that their automobiles are safe to drive, and we are working to develop a remedy that will meet the expectations of the government agencies."

    -- VW in a statement vowing to fix the 482,000 diesel cars not meeting U.S. emission standards, The Detroit News, Sept. 27

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