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China has reversed a policy that would have nixed incentives for investments from foreign automakers, paving the way for further expansion by General Motors, Volkswagen and others. Legislators had removed automotive manufacturing from the list of industries that would receive government support in the future, but foreign investment fell off significantly in April. The country's National Development and Reform Commission responded by not only reinstating foreign automotive investment but by giving the business "preferential treatment," according to Automotive News. Last year, China's central and western regions attracted $19.2 billion in foreign investment across the board.
With China serving as the world's largest automotive market, manufacturers are keen to make inroads in the region. The local government incentivised foreign-owned manufacturing plants for some seven years before the National Development and Reform Commission removed the industry from its approved list in an attempt to stave off overcapacity. Automotive News reports GM and VW have both invested heavily in the region, with the latter set to begin construction on an all-new facility. The new plant is part of a $13 billion investment in China and will join Volkswagen's 12 other car and component facilities in the region.Permalink | Email this | Comments
According to a report from Autoweek, Volkswagen has plans in place to retrofit a quarter of a million 2009-2012 model-year TDI-engined cars with a system that will prevent misfueling with gasoline instead of diesel. In a notice sent out to VW dealers, the company specified that affected models will include the 2009-2012 Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen TDI, as well as 2010-2012 Golf TDI models.
Volkswagen claims that the increased popularity of TDI diesel models has resulted in more incidents of damaging and potentially very costly misfueling mishaps. To address the issue, the company will front the cash for dealers to retrofit a fuel filler neck cap that can recognize the smaller nozzle of a gasoline pump and keep the fuel tank gate closed.
Autoweek also reports that the move might be slightly defensive in nature; VW has blamed misfueling on the wave of high-pressure fuel pump failures that has recently been the subject of an investigation by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The upcoming version of the Volkswagen Golf R is nearly ready for prime time, if this video of the car flying around the Nürburgring is any indication. The all-wheel-drive R seems to make quick, neat work of the corners we see here, and sounds pretty devilish in the process.
Expectations are that the new Golf R will run a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (what else?), tuned to produce even more than the current car's 256 horsepower. (Some sources have indicated outputs as high as 286 horsepower, with 280 pound-feet of torque. It's still not clear if Volkswagen will bring the six-speed dual-clutch transmission to the US-spec Golf R in this next go-round or if we'll stick to having only... eh... the stick.
In either case - watching the video below will only whet your appetite for the new, highest performing member of the Golf family.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Volkswagen has a problem with their diesel engines: You. You people keep ruining them by filling them with gasoline instead of diesel fuel.
Employing complex scientific formulas and methodologies probably best described as "Whatever we felt like choosing," Automobile has named its All-Stars for the 2013 model year. The 11 vehicles earned their trophies for being "the best and most significant" offerings to the mag's staff and contributors, and while we were surprised to see a couple of them on the list, none of them were shocking. In no particular order, they are:
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (seen above)
- Porsche Boxster
- Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S
- Audi A7
- Ram 1500
- Honda Accord
- Mazda CX-5
- Ford Focus
- BMW 3 Series
- Volkswagen GTI
There you have it. Head on over to Automobile for the full story and the adventures they created to test each winner.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Today in 1873 Levi Strauss patented copper-riveted canvas pants. Eventually switching to blue denim, those tough pants became the jeans we all wear all the damn time. Jeans have also been oddly influential for cars