On Wednesday (July 1, 2020), the public prosecutor and Police searched various Continental locations in Hanover, Frankfurt and Regensburg. The searches are related to investigations into the so-called defeat device used by Volkswagen in its diesel engine emissions management system.
With 2019 annual sales of 88.4 billion euros, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand’s figures were 4.5 per cent higher than the previous year. As a result, Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG described 2019 as “a very successful year for the Volkswagen Group”. However, he went on to describe 2020 as “a very difficult year”:
The short story is that internal OE demand is likely to be much harder hit than external exports. According to NBC, China could suffer the loss of 1 million vehicles worth of production due to the suspension of production for at least an extra week in the so-called “motor city” of Wuhan, which is located at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak and has a population of 11 million people.
Three Vredestein models have gained approval as original equipment tyres for the latest generation of Volkswagen’s perennially popular Golf. The Golf 8 will be available with the Vredestein Sportrac 5 in size 195/65R15. Buyers opting for winter tyres can receive their Golf equipped with the Vredestein Wintrac Pro in the same dimension or the Snowtrac 5 in size 205/55R16.
Continental tyres have been chosen as original equipment for the new Volkswagen ID.3. The electric hatchback will be fitted with the EcoContact 6 in 18- and 19-inch sizes. Buyers selecting winter tyres will receive the WinterContact TS 850 P. The summer and winter tyres supplied for the ID.3 will feature ContiSeal puncture protection technology.
Northvolt has raised US$1 billion of capital to build Europe’s first homegrown gigafactory for lithium-ion battery cells – Northvolt Ett, in Skellefteå, Sweden. At the same time, in cooperation with the Volkswagen Group, the company also announced plans to establish a second gigafactory with an intended location in Lower Saxony, Germany. The news of both factories was announced on 12 June 2019.
The Volkswagen Group and further European partners are joining forces to form the European Battery Union (EBU) with a view to forging ahead with battery research throughout Europe. The new consortium is to be led by the Volkswagen Group and the Swedish battery producer Northvolt. The joint research activities of the European Battery Union will cover the entire battery value stream – from raw materials through cell technology to recycling. The prime objective is to accumulate much broader know-how on battery cell production.
Giti Tire’s United States manufacturing facility in South Carolina has completed an audit by Volkswagen to supply two tyre sizes for the 2019 Volkswagen Passat. The plant can now officially begin producing the All-Season GitiComfort A1 as an original equipment fitment for the Passat in sizes 235/45R18 95H and 235/40R19 92H. Production commences in the first quarter of the year; these tyres are the US plant’s first original equipment supplied tyres.
Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company have will partner in the production of light commercial vehicles after announcing the first formal agreements in “a broad alliance”. The alliance does not involve cross-ownership between the two companies.
Bridgestone provided more than 120 new original equipment fitments in the EMEA region during 2018, an increase of more than 30 per cent. The fitments are spread across more than 40 different models from 15 different manufacturers. The tyre manufacturer, which is the largest in the world, says the commitment of such brands as Toyota, Mercedes, and Porsche, shows the original equipment manufacturers’ appreciation for its investment in research and development.
We heard in June that Goodyear was supplying original equipment tyres to the new Volkswagen Touareg, and Apollo Vredestein now shares that it will supply two 18-inch fitments to the latest version of VW’s flagship SUV. Buyers selecting an all-season fitment as standard can select the Vredestein Quatrac 5 in size 255/60 R18 108V, while those preferring summer rubber can plump for the Vredestein Ultrac Satin in size 255/60 R18 108W.
Nexen Tire’s supply of original equipment tyres to Volkswagen Group models has been extended. As of this year, three Nexen tyres are being delivered to the VW plant in Pamplona, Spain for fitment on the Polo as well as to the Seat plant in Martorell, Spain, where they are mounted on the Ibiza model produced there. The tyres in question are the Nexen the N’blue HD Plus in sizes 185/65R15 88H and 215/45 R17 91 W as well as the Nexen N’Fera SU1 in size 195/55R16 91V.
Last Sunday’s 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, USA saw Romain Dumas steer his ‘Unlimited’ class, all-electric Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak to victory on specifically-developed Michelin tyres.
A range of Goodyear summer, winter and all-season tyres have been approved as original equipment fitments on the new Volkswagen Touareg. Goodyear reports that it has met Volkswagen’s requirements for tyres for global applications and will supply a total of nine tyre dimensions for fitment on the SUV.