Volkswagen Looks Toward an Electric Future

VW-Electric-Bus

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal may have killed diesel-fueled cars in the U.S. forever.

Prior to September of 2015, cars with diesel engines were on the rise in the United States. Long popular in Europe, the fuel was on the verge of overcoming the stigma of its dirty past and even rivaled hybrid technology as a clean, efficient alternative to gasoline.

Volkswagen led that charge with its Clean Diesel marketing campaign and its promise of efficient, environmentally friendly sedans and SUVs.

Then it all came crashing down when the story broke that VW had cheated on emissions tests and the engines were, in fact, heavy polluters.

The fallout of the scandal is still ongoing and VW hasn’t sold a new diesel automobile in the States in over nine months. The company may not sell one here ever again.

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4 Reasons Why Volkswagen Should Leave the U.S. Market

2016_Volkswagen-Passat

Volkswagen is bleeding out.

The company once had grand hopes of becoming the largest automaker in the world but now finds itself struggling to dig out of a crippling emissions scandal that will likely cost tens of billions of dollars, not including pending litigation from consumer groups and the United States government.

Volkswagen’s marketing has turned toward promoting its turbo lineup and gas-powered SUVs and crossovers, but sales are in a spiral.

Recovering from this mess will take years, so maybe the time has come for VW to seriously consider abandoning the U.S. market. Here are some reasons why:

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The Fight Begins to Win Frustrated Volkswagen Customers

VW-Fiat

It was only a matter of time before automakers jumped on the opportunity to seize leery Volkswagen owners and convince them to jump from their sinking ship.

We already know that Volkswagen owners are among the most loyal in the auto industry, so getting them to trade-in their prized V-Dub on anything else is an exercise in futility. It just doesn’t happen.

Even in the midst of crisis and outright deception on VW’s part, many owners are staying true and standing behind the brand that lied and cheated its way into their hearts. Like a bad relationship, some owners feel hurt and vulnerable, while others defend their choice in automobiles.

We don’t know yet how Volkswagen will fix its dirty diesels, but we do know there’s a fight starting to capture the affected customers around the world. Will they turn their backs on VW?

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Now’s the Best Time to Buy… a Volkswagen?

VW logo diesel emissions

All automakers in September saw their average transaction price increase.

Well, all but one.

Volkswagen is the only major automaker to see its average transaction price drop in the month of September. This could be just the beginning of the fallout of its diesel scandal, but it could also mean good deals for savvy shoppers.

There’s no question that Volkswagen is now in a full-blown crisis situation. In fact, one prominent VW exec illustrated just how bad things are by saying he thinks his company could pay the ultimate price:

Volkswagen AG’s designated Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch warned managers that the diesel-emissions scandal could pose “an existence-threatening crisis for the company.”

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The Biggest Factor in Automotive Safety

Safety First sign

Can you remember a time when there has been more bad press for car companies?

The unintended acceleration debacles with Audi in 1986 and Toyota in 2009 were precursors to the multitude of problems that have reared their ugly heads this year. The General Motors ignition switch recall, Chrysler’s defiance of the NHTSA, and now, Volkswagen’s diesel issue all call into question the safety (and honesty) of the world’s automakers.

Yes, bad things can happen when building cars. Parts can be defective, engineering can be faulty, and tests can be cheated.

But let’s not forget the biggest factor in automotive safety:

You.

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Volkswagen: TDI or TD Lie?

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What if it was revealed that your gas/electric hybrid wasn’t really a hybrid? Or what if Ford fans discovered their prized 5.0 V8 was actually only 4.3 liters? What if a Chevrolet claimed a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds but was only capable of 5.2?

Automakers sell their cars with the promise that they will achieve a certain performance benchmark. Sometimes that benchmark is speed, sometimes it’s fuel economy, and sometimes it’s something a little less noticeable: emissions numbers.

As you’ve probably heard by now, Volkswagen is being accused of deliberately deceiving its customers, and the U.S. government, with cars that emit much more pollution than claimed. This is bad for a number of reasons, but the worst might be the loss of trust in its vaunted TDI brand.

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Diesels in America: 4 Makes, 15 Models

The diesel-versus-hybrid game in America continues as a no-contest landslide victory for the gas/electric hybrid. Since the Prius came to town and blew the doors down by promising, and delivering, 40+ mpg while using regular gas, deisel-powered cars have fallen behind in a game they never had a shot of winning.

Could a comeback victory be in the works?

Not anytime soon, unfortunately. For the 2012 model year, only four automakers will offer diesel engines. (I’m not including American heavy duty pickups here, since those workhorses use diesels for their massive towing power rather than fuel efficiency.)

No less than 18 automakers will offer around 37 hybrid models in the U.S. for 2012. Always one to root for the underdog, I’m hoping diesel can gain some steam as people realize the technology is clean and has years of proven reliability and longevity without requiring expensive battery changes down the road. Toyota, Subaru, Honda and Nissan all offer oil-burners in other countries, and would here, too, if the market demanded.

For now, though, here are the 2012 U.S. diesel options:

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