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VW T6 Multivan sales are halted in Germany due to high nitrogen oxide emissions

It has only been a few days since Oliver Schmidt, former Volkswagen executive, was handed a maximum possible sentence by US District Judge Sean Cox. He will have to spend seven years in prison and pay a fine of $400,000. And on December 8, Volkswagen has again been put on the spot. The German automaker urgently had to stop their sales of the T6 Multivan in Germany because it was discovered that the van emits way more nitrogen oxide than what is allowed by local emissions limits.

Der Spiegel magazine said that the findings have already been reported to the KBA, Germany’s motor transport authority. This had been quoted by Automotive News.

What happened is that Volkswagen set the “adjustment factor” too low when they submitted documents to the KBA to have the T6 Multivan’s sales approved, says the German publication. To defend their name, a Volkswagen spokesperson from the commercial vehicle division said that incorrect engine management software is ruled out as a possible reason for these uncertainties.

Read the entire article VW T6 Multivan sales are halted in Germany due to high nitrogen oxide emissions

Kia expects minivan sales to increase with departure of rivals

Kia plans to take advantage of the exit of other car manufacturers in the minivan segment and to increase its US sales in the sector by more than 25% by 2016. US sales in the minivan segment have dropped to 472,398 units in 2011, about a third of the 1,371,234 vehicles sold in 2000, when the sector was at its peak.

Despite the decline, Kia saw the opportunities.Michael Sprague, Kia Motors America marketing chief, expects the company’s minivan sales to increase over 25% by 2016, at it plans to increase its market share by simply not leaving the segment.

"We are seeing so many exit," said Sprague, referring to recent announcements of some minivan models leaving the segment, according to Autonews. One model is the Dodge Grand Caravan, which will be replaced with a crossover to end duplication with the Chrysler Town & Country, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced. Dodge sold 110,862 Grand Caravans in 2011. 

Read the entire article Kia expects minivan sales to increase with departure of rivals

Toyota Sienna continues to maintain its lead in U.S. minivan sales

There’s a lot to be said about the U.S. automotive sales of several models and brands for the month of November. The lead of the Minivan king, the Toyota Sienna, is shrinking. From the start of the year through November, 99,865 Siennas were sold. Meanwhile, the Dodge Caravan’s sales were lower by just 882 units.

At the end of October, Sienna had a 975-unit lead over the Caravan. As of the end of November, Honda had sold 95,579 Odysseys while 84,701 units of the Chrysler Town & Country were sold. Apparently, no car model could pose as a major threat to Camaro. From January to November, 81,495 Camaros were sold.

In comparison, 65,381 Ford Mustangs and 36,250 Dodge Challengers were sold. It’s likely that Camaro had stayed superior in its turf as it added a convertible this year. It’s difficult to gauge Saab’s future but even so, it was still able to sell 356 vehicles in November 2011. This is not a huge drop at all from sales of 397 vehicles in November 2010.

Read the entire article Toyota Sienna continues to maintain its lead in U.S. minivan sales

Chrysler Town & Country expected to top minivan segment sales in 2010

The Chrysler Town & Country may be able to wrestle the top sales crown away from the Honda Odyssey as it is on pace to hit sales of 102,495 units in the final month of the 2010. Since 1983 when its first magic wagon was built, Chrysler has dominated the minivan segment so it would be a source of pride for the company to reclaim the top spot.

In December 2010, sales of the Honda Odyssey totaled 98,035 units. This model had led the field during the last two years. Other rivals include the Toyota Sienna (89,509 sales year-to-date) and the Dodge Grand Caravan at 89,057. Minivans were prioritized by Chrysler throughout its history.

When Daimler AG acquired Chrysler in 1998, it scrapped plans to produce a Mercedes minivan. When CEO Sergio Marchionne was appointed to the position, he sought to restore a third shift of minivan production at the Windsor plan in anticipation of rising sales. Olivier Francois, head of the Chrysler brand, said that its goal is to become the leader once again.

Read the entire article Chrysler Town & Country expected to top minivan segment sales in 2010

Mazda Motor Corp. estimates that its redesigned Mazda5 minivans will sell 20,000 to 30,000 units annually in the US. The redesigned minivans will arrive in the market this January. Last year, Mazda's sales were up 16% from 2008 with 18,488 Mazda5s sold.

According to Thomas Pixton, Mazda's senior managing executive officer, sales are expected to increase due to the Mazda5's improved fuel economy and an interior that's more functional.

Pixton said that minivans have received bad press in the US lately but he asserts that the upcoming generation is composed of stylish minivans with dynamics that are close to that of sedans. He added that the new series features Mazda's smile-shaped grill and wave-inspired side styling.

Read the entire article Report: Mazda5 minivan targets U.S. sales of 30,000 units a year

The latest set of new commercials for the Dodge Grand Caravan that show spoofs of spy movies was created by new agency, Wieden+ Kennedy. This Portland, Ore.-based agency is best known for Nike commercials.

The spots aim to throw out cliche of moms driving their minivans to bring their kids to and from school. Instead, these edgy commercials are part of Dodge's campaign to reposition itself as a youthful, sporty brand.

This new strategy follows Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's decision to separate the brand from the Ram truck brand. The spots display Grand Caravans filled with restless adults conducting some unspecified but risky activities to thrilling music.

Read the entire article Dodge minivan ads set to improve sales by avoiding cliches

It is an open secret that many of Lexus’ vehicle offering are or were derived from an existing Toyota product. This isn't really surprising considering that Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota. This means that an existing model from Toyota could have a Lexus version in the future. Would that hold true for the Toyota Alphard luxury minivan?

While Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota, the latter also builds its own luxury vehicles. The Toyota Alphard -- named after the brightest star in the constellation Hydra -- is one of these luxury vehicles. Also known as the Toyota Vellfire, the Alphard luxury minivan is available either as a seven-seater or an eight-seater. Aside from the usual gasoline version, the Alphard is also available as a hybrid, employing Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology.

The Alphard could be a viable candidate for “adoption” at Lexus. After all, a number of Toyota models had been adopted Lexus. For instance, the Lexus RX and IS were originally derived from the Toyota Harrier and Altezza, respectively. Likewise, the Lexus GX and LX were originally derived from the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Land Cruiser. In addition, the Lexus ES was derived initially from the Toyota Camry, and then from the Avalon.

Read the entire article Possibility of a Lexus version of the Toyota Alphard minivan floated

It was just several months ago when European commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska called diesel-powered cars as the technology of the past, even giving a prediction that these vehicles will completely disappear in the near future. While it is still too early to say whether her statement will come a true or not, but carmakers are facing a harsh reality for now – public demand for diesel cars are dropping in a fast pace in Europe.

Public sentiment towards diesel cars in Europe has been dropping for the past years, with more and more consumers in the region looking to purchase cleaner, more environment-friendly vehicles. While Europe has been considered as the largest market for diesel cars since the 1980s, but the hunger for such vehicles has been waning lately. It was really evident from how carmakers across Europe has been shying away from diesel cars and pursuing electrification. Nonetheless, the latest available figures on sales of diesel cars are a better proof.

According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), there is really a huge decline in the demand for diesel cars. Since its statement is backed by numbers, it is really quite hard to deny the fact. As per IEA, diesel cars hold a large chunk of the automotive market in Europe, accounting for 42.5 percent of all sales as of start of 2017. But a year after at the start of 2018, the market share of diesel cars in Europe had shrunk to 36.5 percent. Overall during the period, carmakers manage to just move 3.12 million diesel cars to customers in Europe, for a huge decline of 16 percent, according to IEA.

Read the entire article Sales of diesel cars continue to drop in Europe, as per International Energy Agency

If you’re planning to buy a new Porsche unit powered by a diesel engine, better do it as soon as possible. This is because the German sports car maker has decided it has nothing to do with diesel engines anymore, no thanks to ever decreasing demand for such mills. Yes, Porsche won't be offering diesel-powered vehicles anymore.

Seemingly, gone were the days when diesel engines go toe-to-toe against gasoline mills for supremacy. Now, more and more carmakers are trying to shy away from diesel engines, but not because of gasoline powerplants. In the past few years, there has been a growing trend and increasing demand for electrified and all-electric products. On the other hand, the demand for diesel engines has been dropping.

Porsche’s decision to drop its diesel lineup could be traced back to the so-called Dieselgate scandal. This scandal involved the emissions of diesel engines employed by brands of the Volkswagen Group. This forced the group to re-focus its strategy and plan for a lineup laden with electrified – including all-electric – vehicles. Interestingly, Porsche is part of the VW Group.

Read the entire article Porsche officially drops diesel engines from its lineup

A little less than a year ago, Richard Hammond was able to escape death during a hillclimb event that took place in Hemberg, Switzerlnad. Here, he flipped the Rimac Concept One, and it rolled over several times. Hammond was able to get out of the car before burst into flames, suffering some injuries. Today, the guy is is perfect shape.

It might have been a stressful couple of months for The Hamster and the guys from The Grand Tour. But in contrary, Croatian electric hypercar vehicle, Rimac, was able to sell three cars that exact same day, according to Kreso Coric, their head of sales. He added that it was actually the “best marketing ever”.

Despite saying that, Coric admitted that he was concerned about the aftermath of the horrible crash. He stated that he was scared because the accident was a pretty serious one, and that it could have ended in a different way, and that would affect more people, and their brand.

Read the entire article Rimac sold 3 cars the day Richard Hammond flipped the Concept One

Working in the automotive industry can be such a great thing especially if you’re under the right company. We have heard of bonuses that brands like Audi, Daimler, and General Motors give, and they are pretty massive. This time, Porsche is giving away their fare share to their employees after a successful financial year in 2017. The automaker is giving away bonuses to around 23,000 workers.

The Porsche Executive Board and Group works council made an agreement to give a bonus of €8,600 plus the €700 that will be directed to company’s own pension scheme, or to individual ones. Aside from that, after 70 years of being in the industry, with their very first model, the 356 that dates back to 1948, the automaker will give employees an additional €356 to celebrate this model. Similar to last year, the automaker then gave their employees a yearly bonus of €9,111 to celebrate the 911.

To be fair to everyone, the company is not giving the same amount of bonus to every person in the company. The amount each person will be getting is based on their working hours as well as the amount of time they had been working in Porsche.

Read the entire article Porsche gives out fat checks for annual bonuses after a successful 2017

To jump onto the next step of going greener, Porsche announced that they will be getting rid of the last few vehicles that have diesel-fueled engines in their lineup, so that they could focus on electrifying their vehicles. In fact, European countries will no longer offer the Panamera and Macan with the oil burning mills. The first Macan S Diesel and Panamera 4S Diesel initially came out nine years ago.

In an interview between Autocar and Porsche, the automaker cited a cultural shift as the reason for the decision. There was also a regulatory reason behind the choice as there has been a software update that has recently been involved in an “ongoing consultation with the authorities”.

This was decided after the automaker chose not to launch the new version of its Cayenne SUV with a diesel engine. In fact, the Cayenne was actually the very first Porsche to offer diesel power back in 2009.

Read the entire article Porsche purges last diesel engines in lineup amid cultural shift to electrification

2017 was definitely a great year for Porsche as the automaker was able to break their sales record in the United States. Overall, they delivered a total of 55,420 vehicles, which stands for a 2.1 percent increase over the previous year.

Of course, you are probably wondering which model contributed the most to the total. And to answer your question, that would be the Macan. In fact, that nameplate alone sold 21,429 units, which is a huge improvement over 2016, which posted a total of 19,332 units delivered. Next in line is the Cayenne, which had 13,203 deliveries. The third most popular car would be the 911, which sold 6,731 units.

Just like the 911, 6,731 units of the Panamera premium sedan were sold as well. The Cayman and Boxster duo, on the other hand, reported 5,087 units in combined deliveries.

Read the entire article Porsche surpasses US annual sales record in 2017 with 55,420 deliveries

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), revealed that in the U.S. market, a total of 3,913 units were sold in December 2017. These are for the model lines that include the 718 Boxster, 911, Cayenne, Cayman, Macan, and Panamera. With this, total U.S. vehicle sales of the Porsche for 2017 are 55,420 units. This is higher by 2.1% when compared to sales in 2016, at 54,280 units.

Meanwhile, sales of the Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned vehicles amounted to 2,153 units. This represents an increase of 24.6% compared to sales in December 2016. In terms of total annual sales, the figure stands at 19,104 deliveries, an increase of 12.5%.

For December 2017, the Porsche Macan represented almost 37% of the total sales with 1,444 units sold. This was followed by the Cayenne at 24% with 940 units and at third is the 911 at around 20% for 773 units sold. However, it is worth noting that compared to the previous year, the Cayenne was down around 20% with the 911 experiencing a slight increase at 9%.

Read the entire article 2017 marks Porsche Macan’s best sales yet with 97,000 units sold, beats 911 by huge margin

As the year 2017 comes to an end, the race for luxury sales has also reached a remarkable finish. This has always been a highly contended segment in the United States with each automaker making various daring attempts to elbow each other out. Well, we’re here to report that it seems like Mercedes-Benz will be taking the crown home for the second year in a row.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that Mercedes-Benz has delivered a total number of 302,043 units in 2017. And that number is mostly comprised of their strong sellers including the C-Class, GLC, and the GLE. That’s not all, because the Mercedes-AMG alone was doing so well too. In fact, sales were up by 49.6% in 2017, adding up to a total of 30,116 units. There is also the entry-level 43 lineup that is a lot cheaper than the pure AMG models.

According to reports, Mercedes-Benz has been doing very well with their SUVs. This could be because their offerings have become more practical.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz keeps crown as top luxury brand in the US in 2017

There’s no stopping the increasing popularity of electric vehicles across the globe. Nevertheless, a lot of people are still into internal combustion and do not want that to become extinct. However, if Porsche is right, the future of performance could possibly be more silent. Klaus Zellner, Porsche’s President and CEO of North America spoke to Green Car Reports in Los Angeles and he said that hybrid technologies have brought more new buyers to Porsche showrooms more than any other models they have sold.

In the same interview, he said that the automaker expects half of its global sales volume to come from plug-in hybrids by 2025. In fact, this figure seems a lot more than what people might expect. It is also more aggressive than estimates from Porsche’s cousins at Audi, where 25 percent of global sales are expected to be of the hybrid variety for 2025 as well.

But for this to actually happen, Porsche will have to develop and offer more plug-in hybrid models. As of today, it is just the Panamera and the Cayenne that have such technology. In the near future, the Mission E will be part of the lineup, but this will instead rely solely on the electric power to provide its punch. And for other hybrid offerings, Zellner did not further expound on this matter, though he did talk about the other requirement for stronger plug-in hybrid and electric sales, and this is the car’s ability to recharge.

Read the entire article Plug-in hybrids will comprise half of Porsche sales by 2025, fast-charging system in the works

Automotive industry veteran Bob Lutz has once again spoken out against Tesla. Known as one of Tesla Motors’ greatest skeptics, Lutz had stated two years ago that the Silicon Valley carmaker is doomed. Now, Lutz is saying flat out that Tesla is going out of business and won’t even get to 2019 at this rate.

In an interview with the show “Power Lunch” at CNBC, Lutz cited a number of issues or reasons why Tesla would not be able to last long in the automotive industry. The electric carmaker has been facing these issues for quite some time, and some of these have been known to the public.

According to Lutz, Tesla is burning its cash fast, no thanks to fixed costs that are now out of control. In fact, Tesla is also spending around $1 billion a quarter, which is at par with what GM spends. However, there is a big difference in the number of vehicles and models that the two carmakers are selling. For instance, Tesla is effectively selling just three models while GM has dozens on its lineup. While GM is raking profits, Tesla posted $619 million in losses in the third quarter of 2017 while managing to build just 260 examples of the Model 3.

Read the entire article Former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz says Tesla will go out of business by 2019

Demand for the Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar is so high that people had been lining up to get a piece of this 1,000-hp-plus road machine even before Mercedes has commenced its production. Mercedes has placed the production cap at just 275 examples. In fact, the AMG Project One is practically sold out. Thus, those included in the shortlist of customers for the new AMG Project One could be considered as having a great amount of luck.

It turns out that one of those in the shortlist is trying to transform such luck into fortunes. Of course, with a price tag of around $2.7 million, the AMG Project One is reserved for the rich and affluent. Aside from taking into possession a one-of-a-kind hypercar laden with Formula One technologies, future owners would be getting their hands on one of the most exclusive and limited supercars in the market. This person in question doesn’t seem to like the prestige that comes with owning an example of the AMG Project One. But instead of just giving it away, he or she is selling his/her spot on the shortlist, as advertised on the German marketplace Mobile.de

It goes without saying that there would be people willing to take up this person’s offer. Getting into the shortlist of buyers for the new AMG Project One would be like hitting the jackpot. Even if this person is offering to sell his or her build slot for $5.22 million (€4.51 million) –– or nearly twice the price of an actual AMG Project One -- there would still be people who would ink a deal.

Read the entire article Shortlisted customer for Mercedes-AMG Project One is selling build spot for $5.22 million

Nissan’s Serena minivan will be getting some hybrid assistance after Nissan introduced us to the E-Power system, and it will be called the Nissan Serena E-Power. This hybrid minivan will make its way to the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, following its release in spring 2018.

First of all, the Serena will still get the same E-Power drivetrain just like that in the Note that is available in other markets. With the new setup, the internal combustion engine will act as a range extender for the batteries that give power to the electric motor. Thanks to this setup, the Serena E-Power does not need to be charged externally since the ICE does it for the electric motors. If you are familiar with the Leaf, the components in the Serena E-Power’s drivetrain are similar to that one.

As of today, Nissan has not shared information when it comes to the Serena E-Power’s system specifications - from the output, efficiency, and the range. But at the same time, the automaker also promises that the minivan will offer powerful, responsive acceleration of an electric-drive vehicle, together with a silent car and excellent fuel efficiency.

Read the entire article Nissan Serena minivan gets new E-Power variant at 2017 Tokyo Motor Show

With three more months to go before the year ends, three premium auto companies are jousting their way up to see which of them could claim the crown as the best-selling luxury carmaker in the United States for 2017 – Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.

Mercedes-Benz managed to hold on to the US No. 1 spot after nine months of sales. From January to September, Mercedes delivered 242,250 luxury vehicles, excluding its vans and smart-branded models. This figure represents a 2.8-percent year-on-year drop in sales compared to the first nine months of 2016, when Mercedes delivered 249,204 premium units in the US.

Mercedes-Benz continued to lead the US luxury race even after posting dismal sales in September 2017. The carmaker suffered a sales decline in the month – by 1.7 percent – making it the only luxury brand that didn’t registered a surge in September 2017. Figure-wise, Mercedes delivered 29,008 units in September 2017 in the US, compared to 29,500 luxury vehicles sold in the same month in 2016.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz stays on top of US luxury car sales in the first nine months of 2017