AutoPacific Names 2016 Golf Most Ideal Compact Vehicle

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AutoPacific Names 2016 Golf Most Ideal Compact Vehicle

Automotive research company AutoPacific has named the 2016 Volkswagen Golf the “Ideal Vehicle” in the compact class. This is the third year in a row that the Golf nameplate has won the Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA). An extensive survey of compact-car owners asks new-car buyers what they would like to change on their new vehicle. The top vehicles – and IVA winners – are those that the buyers are least likely to want to change. In other words, owners are driving their “ideal” vehicle.

In the IVA survey, vehicle owners were asked questions based on 15 key vehicle attributes such as exterior styling, power and acceleration, ride, handling, interior comfort and roominess, safety features, and infotainment technology.

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Hitting the Mark with Owners

“We’re honored to hear that the Volkswagen Golf has earned its third AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award in three years, and that our buyers are so satisfied,” said Vinay Shahani, Vice President, Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “The seventh-generation Golf is the best iteration of a nameplate that’s been in the U.S. for 42 years, now with a stellar combination of versatility, safety features, and innovative App-Connect smartphone integration.”

About the Award

The Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA) are unique from other automotive awards given each year in that they are based on actual owner input. More than 65,000 owners across all manufacturers were surveyed – after having purchased their new vehicle and driving it for 90 days. The Golf scored highest among 18 compact cars ranked by AutoPacific respondents. This is the fifth win for Golf in the past seven years

Coming SUV to Represent a Shift in Volkswagen Culture

The Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., in November  2015. Volkswagen AG announced plans to build a seven-seat SUV in Tennessee  it says is designed to appeal to American ‘soccer moms.’

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.— Volkswagen AG’s plan to cede more control to its U.S. operation in the wake of its costly emissions scandal is getting a boost from an unlikely source: a spacious sport-utility vehicle that executives say is designed to appeal to American soccer moms.

The German auto maker is in the final stages of developing the seven-seat SUV, which will be built in Tennessee, use a meaty gasoline engine and hit dealer lots early next year. Volkswagen’s North American chief, Hinrich Woebcken, said in an interview the vehicle will compete head on with SUVs from Honda Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp.—three auto makers with far more U.S. market share and a heavier focus on light trucks.

For now, the vehicle is code-named B-SUV. But Mr. Woebcken said officials at Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, will let the U.S. unit give the vehicle a distinct name for the region by the time it goes on sale, and that name will differ from the name the vehicle carries in other markets. The new moniker, he said, will be “a solid American name.”

Many of Volkswagen’s vehicles share the same name around the world, he said.

He declined to disclose the new name because Volkswagen’s lawyers are still vetting at least one option. Dealers in the U.S. have been told about the naming strategy, but haven’t been given specific details, two dealers said.
Volkswagen has launched SUVs in the past decade that were designed for global markets, including the small Tiguan and a Touareg, which includes a costly five-seat model sharing parts and design cues with a Porsche counterpart. The names of those vehicles are used globally but have fallen flat with buyers accustomed to shopping for family SUVs dubbed Explorer, Pathfinder, Pilot, Highlander or Traverse.

Driving the B-SUV on public roads earlier this week, Mr. Woebcken said the car will compete head on with those established products and will have the added benefit of having been crafted by German engineers who focused on driving dynamics. “Soccer moms will love this car,” he said while cornering hard and fast through a roundabout near Volkswagen’s factory here on Monday.

While the job of naming a vehicle might seem minor, Mr. Woebcken says it is evidence “Wolfsburg is willing to let go.” Hired in January to hem together Volkswagen’s sprawling operations in the region—which include factories in Mexico and the U.S., more than 1,000 engineers in both countries, and marketing staff in Virginia—Mr. Woebcken hopes the ability to give a U.S. vehicle its own unique name is the start of an “eye-to-eye” relationship with headquarters.

While Volkswagen’s pricier Porsche and Audi brands have thrived in the U.S., especially as those brands added SUV models, the namesake brand has long struggled to gain traction. Once aiming for 800,000 vehicles by 2018, the company has just 1.7% of the U.S. market, making the No.2 auto maker in terms of global sales a much smaller player in the market than Japan’s Subaru or South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp.

The company’s reputation and sales took a hit in September when a long-running scheme to cheat on diesel emissions tests was disclosed. Diesel engines have long been Volkswagen’s focus in the U.S., which is dominated by gasoline engines, and the scandal has forced the auto maker to agree to billions of dollars in settlements and led the auto maker to back away from making diesel a centerpiece of its future strategy.

Mr. Woebcken said Volkswagen also is backing away from firm volume targets for the near term, and now focusing on 2025. In the near-term, the company aims to update its sedans, add an all-wheel-drive wagon to compete with Subaru and extend the wheelbase of the Tiguan, which is among Volkswagen’s most popular models in the U.S.

The auto maker will start building and selling new electric vehicles in North America by 2020.

Article courtesy of: http://www.wsj.com/articles/volkswagen-to-build-seven-seat-suv-in-tennessee-1469109497?mod=pls_whats_news_us_business_f

Updated TDI Information

You may have seen news reports regarding new complaints filed Tuesday against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche by the State Attorneys General of New York, Massachusetts and Maryland. Below is a brief update on the topic.

It is regrettable that certain states have decided to make new environmental claims at this stage. However, we are working on a comprehensive national resolution of all remaining environmental issues arising from the diesel matter, in close collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. This would be in addition to the $2.7 billion environmental remediation fund that we agreed to establish as part of the proposed 2.0L TDI settlement announced last month. We can also clarify that the allegations made in Tuesday’s complaints have been part of our discussions with U.S. federal and state authorities, with whom we continue to cooperate fully. Those allegations are essentially not new.

We continue to make progress on the TDI issue. Next week, the court has scheduled a hearing on preliminary approval for the 2.0L TDI settlement program, and eligible owners and lessees will then be notified about their options. The court has also scheduled a status conference regarding vehicles with affected V6 3.0L TDI engines on August 25.

We will continue to keep you updated about further developments as we move forward with the settlement process. Thank you for your patience and continued support.

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF ALLTRACK RECEIVES NHTSA 5-STAR SAFETY RATING

(July 5, 2016) Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) announced today that the 2017 Golf Alltrack has earned a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which runs the government’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and has provided consumers with vehicle safety information since 1978. The addition of the Alltrack, which hits showrooms this fall, will complete the Golf family of vehicles which includes the Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R and Golf SportWagen. The 2017 Golf Alltrack joins the Golf family as well as the Passat, Jetta, and Beetle coupe as 2017 Volkswagen models that have an overall 5-Star Rating.