Volkswagen’s Punishment Will Electrify America

As part of a settlement with the federal government over its diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen will help electrify the United States of America by building charging stations and investing $2 billion in electric transportation over the next decade.

And you thought the company would get off with a slap on the wrist.

The federal government saw an opportunity to turn the scandal into something positive and ordered VW to contribute to the next generation of transportation. This could be exactly the kind of jumpstart that electric cars need, because it could conceivably allow EVs to embark on cross-country road trips without fear of running out of electrons somewhere in the middle of Wyoming.

Not that Wyoming will get a lot of attention in the project. California, not surprisingly, will benefit from some pretty major investment. The Golden State currently has more EV drivers than any other, which explains the high concentration of investment there.

In response to the court order, Volkswagen created a subsidiary called Electrify America, which will make four $500 million investments separated by 30-month periods over the next 10 years. Continue reading >>>

Volkswagen Says It’s “Back on Track”—Would You Agree?

A scandal the size of the one Volkswagen is coming out of would be enough to topple many automotive companies in existence today. With billions of dollars in fines, recall, and repair costs, in addition to criminal charges from the U.S. government, the company took a direct shot to the heart of its brand that left appalled customers clamoring for answers.

Volkswagen could very well have dropped to its knees and succumbed to its injuries. Being the largest automaker in the world, though, has certain perks, and surviving catastrophe is apparently one of them.

The story of VW’s emissions cheating broke in September 2015. Just three months into 2017, the company’s chairman has declared that the automaker is “back on track.”

That statement came just days after VW pleaded guilty to three felonies in a U.S. District Court. How is that “back on track,” exactly? Continue reading >>>

Lyft Expands While Uber Reels

Put aside Chance the Rapper’s Grammy win and in-song references to the name-brand ride-hailing app, and the past 30 days haven’t been a great for Uber. This past month, the San Francisco-based tech giant suffered one publicist’s worst nightmare after another, and its competitors are taking notice. While the company nearly synonymous with ride-hailing spends more and more time improving its image, cross-town rival Lyft announced yet another expansion, setting up operations in 94 additional cities since the start of 2017. Continue reading >>>

Paris Joins Three Major Cities to Ban Diesel by 2025

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At the C40 meeting in Mexico City last week, Paris’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, met with the mayors of Mexico City, Madrid, and Athens, where they agreed to ban diesel cars and trucks from their cities by the year 2025. Although cities like Tokyo have implemented bans in the past, seeing this mandate implemented in traditionally diesel-friendly countries may come as a surprise to automakers that have invested heavily in diesel technology.

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Pleading Guilty: Criminal Charges in Volkswagen Scandal Begin

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Here’s a charge most people hope they never have to face in federal court: Conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.

The first Volkswagen engineer to be formally charged entered a guilty plea Friday for his role in the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal. His plea has uncovered new information regarding ten years of deceit and coverups by the German automaker.

We now know that, since the very beginning of Volkswagen’s “clean diesel” program, the company intentionally developed and installed a “defeat device” on roughly 500,000 cars in the United States so that they could appear to pass U.S. emissions tests. We also know that engineers lied in attempts to cover up the existence of the device once U.S. investigators became suspicious.

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Audi Boosts Investment in Formula E

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To touch on a subject not normally covered by CarGurus, Audi has announced its expanded involvement in the all-electric Formula E racing series, furthering its support of Team ABT Schaeffler before fielding a full-works team in 2017. Motor racing is an exceptionally expensive business, and with perhaps the exception of Ferrari’s involvement in Formula 1, no manufacturer can simply dabble in the game—there has to be some sort of return on the investment.

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VW Makes Amends with Diesel Owners, But Isn’t It Forgetting Someone?

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever responded to a friend’s complaint by saying, “Doesn’t this seem like a first-world problem?” Are you reading this in your cubicle, hand raised, feeling slightly foolish? All right—put your hand down. Here’s the thing with so-called “first-world problems”: despite their overall insignificance, they’re still real problems. Sure, we wouldn’t rank problems like “the only grocery store in my neighborhood is Whole Foods” alongside “educational inequality is a national epidemic” or “the extreme partisanship infecting the American political process is stunting the possibility of effective change,” but if the only grocery store in your neighborhood is Whole Foods, then the inevitability of spending half your paycheck on (amazing) bananas and homemade hummus could, in fact, very well be a serious personal inconvenience.

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Volkswagen’s Worldwide Sales Up, But Criminal Charges Could Loom

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It’s been almost one year since news broke of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. At the time, we wondered how deep this scandal would go and if VW’s TDI plans were irreparable.

So far, Volkswagen has shown no interest in bringing its TDI line back to the U.S., but seems to have been doing just fine without it. Last month CNN said,

Global sales of Volkswagen cars and trucks have eked out about a 1% gain in the first five months of the year, despite the scandal. May sales gains were even stronger, a sign that the automaker is starting to put the diesel scandal behind it. Its U.S. sales have been down 7% in the first half of the year, although the United States accounts for only about 5% of its global sales.

Volkswagen’s outlook isn’t all rosy, though. This week investigators with the U.S. Department of Justice have found evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the case.

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Can Mazda Become the Next Volkswagen?

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Volkswagen has left a gaping hole in the U.S. auto market.

The German automaker’s line of affordable turbodiesel vehicles is mostly non-existent as the fallout from last year’s emission scandal continues to unfold.

Volkswagen’s small and midsize vehicles are no longer certified for sale in the United States, and the company has, thus far, made no effort to attempt recertification. That means buyers will be hard-pressed to find a VW with a diesel engine on dealer lots across the country.

That’s in stark contrast to earlier in 2015, when Volkswagen diesels accounted for about 20 percent of the company’s sales.

Volkswagen proved that a demand for diesel exists in this country and has left an opportunity for another automaker to take the reins and attempt to satisfy whatever hunger might be left for fuel-efficient diesels.

Mazda appears ready to try its hand at becoming that automaker.

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What the Volkswagen TDI Settlement Means for Owners

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Volkswagen has agreed to pay a massive $14.7 billion fine to the U.S. government and other entities to settle allegations of cheating on emissions tests and deceiving customers about its 2.0-liter TDI engines. That’s a big number, but what does it mean for the average Volkswagen owner?

You stand to lose a lot of value on your used Volkswagen, according to extensive CarGurus research. (Settlement details have yet to be announced for the 3.0-liter diesel engines.) CarGurus’ data team analyzed a sample of the VW models impacted by the emissions scandal in order to determine what the scandal has cost owners since news of the “defeat device” first broke in September (right before a really awkward 2016 Jetta launch in New York City). The calculations were based on CarGurus’ Instant Market Value (IMV) analysis, which is run daily on millions of used-car listings.

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