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AUTOS
January 31, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
It's hard not to spot an import brand car on American roads. That wasn't always the case, Volkswagen reminds us as it commemorated the shipment of the first Beetle to New York City 65 years ago. Back in January 1949, Volkswagen delivered a VW “Type 1,” or Beetle, to Ben Pon Sr., a Dutch businessman and the world's first official Volkswagen importer. “It made inroads very tentatively selling only two that first year and then seemed to burst like wildfire,” said Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum.
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AUTOS
January 31, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
It's hard not to spot an import brand car on American roads. That wasn't always the case, Volkswagen reminds us as it commemorated the shipment of the first Beetle to New York City 65 years ago. Back in January 1949, Volkswagen delivered a VW “Type 1,” or Beetle, to Ben Pon Sr., a Dutch businessman and the world's first official Volkswagen importer. “It made inroads very tentatively selling only two that first year and then seemed to burst like wildfire,” said Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum.
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BUSINESS
March 25, 2011 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
Construction has begun on a $25-million laboratory in Oxnard that its owners hope will be one of the most advanced auto emissions testing and powertrain development facilities in the country. Engineers for Volkswagen Group of America Inc. will work there on the company's signature VWs as well as other brands it owns: Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. The 63,000-square-foot facility on four acres at 201 N. Del Norte Blvd. will also be a customer service support center for Bugatti dealers and customers in North and South America.
AUTOS
January 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
In a move to get closer to its lofty goal of selling 1 million vehicles annually in the U.S. by 2018, Volkswagen will bring a seven-seat sport utility vehicle to the market in two years, the automaker's chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, said at the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Speaking to reporters Sunday night, Winterkorn said he believes the German automaker is on track to reach that sales figure.  It sold just about 570,000 autos in the U.S. in 2013 and replaced Jonathan Browning, its top executive in North America, at the end of the year.
BUSINESS
October 27, 2010 | By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
With Halloween around the corner, imagine for a moment Volkswagen's Jetta as a piece of candy. For decades it was the rich German chocolate of the compact segment: mass marketed and similar to other cars in its class, yet with a distinctive European flavor and a touch of luxury that its competitors couldn't match. Yet for 2011 , VW has diluted the new Jetta's character to the point where it's now merely a Hershey bar; good at a lot of things, great at very little. With apologies to 13,000 people in Pennsylvania, the car is now a mainstream product that satisfies American tastes without exciting them.
AUTOS
July 23, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Bentley, builder of some of the world's largest and most expensive luxury cars, is getting into the SUV business. The British automaker, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, confirmed Tuesday that it would build the yet-unnamed vehicle at its facility in Crewe, England. The vehicle will be the fourth in Bentley's lineup and will go on sale in 2016. "Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand's first SUV," said Martin Winterkorn, head of the Volkswagen Group.
AUTOS
December 26, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Volkswagen Group of America will easily clear sales of 100,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. this year, marking a milestone for both the German carmaker and the auto industry. Although diesel engines date back to the dawn of the automotive age, it's a technology that American consumers have never taken to. Credit their memory of an older generation of smelly, smoky and hesitant diesel cars. But by building a generation of fuel-efficient, clean and quiet turbo diesels with lots of zip, and making a diesel an engine option in almost every vehicle VW and its luxury Audi brand sell here, the German company has become a pioneer for the technology.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Volkswagen Group of America has announced plans to add 800 jobs at its factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., to increase production of its hot-selling Passat sedan. The new positions will bring the total for new jobs at the plant this year to about 1,000 and will push overall employment to 3,700, including positions offered by the automaker's contractors. The expansion comes as the U.S. auto market continues to gain strength after nearly collapsing in 2008 and 2009. Auto information company Kelley Blue Book Co. is projecting that the annual rate of industrywide sales in the nation will hit 14.6 million this month, the best March since 2007.
AUTOS
January 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
In a move to get closer to its lofty goal of selling 1 million vehicles annually in the U.S. by 2018, Volkswagen will bring a seven-seat sport utility vehicle to the market in two years, the automaker's chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, said at the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Speaking to reporters Sunday night, Winterkorn said he believes the German automaker is on track to reach that sales figure.  It sold just about 570,000 autos in the U.S. in 2013 and replaced Jonathan Browning, its top executive in North America, at the end of the year.
BUSINESS
October 2, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Most of the import car brands had a roaring month in September but the biggest two U.S. automakers lagged behind. With the exception of Nissan, the major foreign nameplates had strong, double-digit sales gains, with Toyota and Honda rebounding from depleted inventory and sales levels caused by the earthquake in Japan a year ago. Toyota reported monthly U.S. sales of 171,910 vehicles, up 41.5% from a year earlier. Honda sales jumped 30.9% to 117,211 vehicles. Subaru had September sales of 27,683, a 32% increase.
AUTOS
December 26, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Volkswagen Group of America will easily clear sales of 100,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. this year, marking a milestone for both the German carmaker and the auto industry. Although diesel engines date back to the dawn of the automotive age, it's a technology that American consumers have never taken to. Credit their memory of an older generation of smelly, smoky and hesitant diesel cars. But by building a generation of fuel-efficient, clean and quiet turbo diesels with lots of zip, and making a diesel an engine option in almost every vehicle VW and its luxury Audi brand sell here, the German company has become a pioneer for the technology.
AUTOS
July 23, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Bentley, builder of some of the world's largest and most expensive luxury cars, is getting into the SUV business. The British automaker, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, confirmed Tuesday that it would build the yet-unnamed vehicle at its facility in Crewe, England. The vehicle will be the fourth in Bentley's lineup and will go on sale in 2016. "Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand's first SUV," said Martin Winterkorn, head of the Volkswagen Group.
BUSINESS
October 2, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Most of the import car brands had a roaring month in September but the biggest two U.S. automakers lagged behind. With the exception of Nissan, the major foreign nameplates had strong, double-digit sales gains, with Toyota and Honda rebounding from depleted inventory and sales levels caused by the earthquake in Japan a year ago. Toyota reported monthly U.S. sales of 171,910 vehicles, up 41.5% from a year earlier. Honda sales jumped 30.9% to 117,211 vehicles. Subaru had September sales of 27,683, a 32% increase.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Volkswagen Group of America has announced plans to add 800 jobs at its factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., to increase production of its hot-selling Passat sedan. The new positions will bring the total for new jobs at the plant this year to about 1,000 and will push overall employment to 3,700, including positions offered by the automaker's contractors. The expansion comes as the U.S. auto market continues to gain strength after nearly collapsing in 2008 and 2009. Auto information company Kelley Blue Book Co. is projecting that the annual rate of industrywide sales in the nation will hit 14.6 million this month, the best March since 2007.
BUSINESS
November 22, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Jonathan Browning, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, has tough marching orders from his German bosses back in Wolfsburg: Sell 1 million VWs and Audis annually in America by 2018. It'll be quite a challenge, even though the company is having a banner year. Bolstered by its redesigned Jetta compact sedan and a new Passat that's being built at the company's new factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., VW sales are up 24% so far this year, more than double the overall industry. Audi sales are up nearly 17%. In all, VW is looking at selling a little more than 400,000 vehicles in the United States this year, which means the automaker would have to more than double sales to reach the target in six years.
BUSINESS
May 28, 2011 | Jerry Hirsch
Volkswagen, whose cars have been known to have nagging reliability problems, is hoping Passat sedans rolling out of its new $1-billion factory here won't need a lift from the city's historical hallmark — tow trucks. Nearly a century after claiming its fame as the birthplace of the wrecker, Chattanooga is again in the automotive spotlight as VW looks to regain traction in the U.S. "We know what we have to do here, " said Hans-Herbert Jagla, who heads human resources at the factory.
BUSINESS
May 28, 2011 | Jerry Hirsch
Volkswagen, whose cars have been known to have nagging reliability problems, is hoping Passat sedans rolling out of its new $1-billion factory here won't need a lift from the city's historical hallmark — tow trucks. Nearly a century after claiming its fame as the birthplace of the wrecker, Chattanooga is again in the automotive spotlight as VW looks to regain traction in the U.S. "We know what we have to do here, " said Hans-Herbert Jagla, who heads human resources at the factory.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2011 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
Construction has begun on a $25-million laboratory in Oxnard that its owners hope will be one of the most advanced auto emissions testing and powertrain development facilities in the country. Engineers for Volkswagen Group of America Inc. will work there on the company's signature VWs as well as other brands it owns: Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. The 63,000-square-foot facility on four acres at 201 N. Del Norte Blvd. will also be a customer service support center for Bugatti dealers and customers in North and South America.
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