Golf (VW)

Sep 14, 2019

On September 12, a federal crime case was filed identifying four current and former senior United Auto Workers (UAW) officials as complicit in a years-long conspiracy that involved embezzling member dues and spending the money on personal luxuries.
The government did not use names but rather labels to identify the union leaders, including “UAW Official A” and “UAW Official B,” and detailed numerous instances of misspending on golf equipment, cigars, champagne, months-long rentals at private villas and falsified expense reports.
A source with knowledge of the case said that "UAW Official A" was, in fact, UAW President Gary Jones in the criminal complaint charging UAW Region 5 Director Vance Pearson with wrongdoing.
Pearson, who succeeded Jones as head of a 17-state region stretching from Missouri to California, was arrested on September 12 in Missouri and faces six charges ranging from embezzlement of union money to money laundering.
Agents seized USD 30,000 from Jones' home during nationwide raids last month of UAW-affiliated individuals, according to the Pearson complaint.
The corruption probe initially focused on the misuse of worker training funds by union and FCA officials, but it has now spread.
Nine people have been convicted to date in a series of cases that have implicated senior UAW leaders and ensnared both FCA and GM.
The charges loom over UAW talks regarding their contract, which expires at midnight on September 14 for GM.

(Detroit News on Sept. 12, 2019) (Detroit Free Press on Sept. 13, 2019) (U.S. Justice Dept. on Sept. 13, 2019)

Sep 09, 2019

On September 6, 2019, BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand, along with its supplier, Draexlmaier Group Thailand officially inaugurated high-voltage battery production, located at WHA Chonburi Industrial Estate 2.
Draexlmaier said the assembly line at this plant has started since July 2019, adding that the plant is the only high-voltage battery production site in Southeast Asia for module production and pack assembly, as most EV battery facilities in Thailand are involved with just the final stage, packing battery modules, while the first two processes for EV batteries, component and cell production, cannot be done at the plant.
Managing director of BMW's local production said the local supplier can increase BMW's local content proportion in its car assembly as well as lower its car assembly cost for PHEVs sold in Thailand.
In the past, BMW imported high-voltage batteries from Dingolfing, Germany for use in PHEVs assembled and sold locally.
Draexlmaier's plant director said the EV battery plant produces two variants, 11.5 kilowatt-hour and 23kWh, representing the fourth generation of BMW's high-voltage batteries, both are equipped for PHEVs. The battery output supplies the BMW 530e and BMW 740Le.
According to the company, the current production can serve only PHEVs, but the plant must enlarge production for BEVs in the future because BMW plans to assemble the top EV version.
(From Thailand DIW press release and an article of Autoinfo on September 6 and an article of Bangkok Post on September 7, 2019)

Sep 06, 2019

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) on September 5, UK passenger car sales decreased 1.6% to 92,573 units in August 2019.
Year-to-date sales decreased 3.4%, with 1,519,016 cars registered in the first eight months of 2019.
August sales for Volkswagen increased 0.7% to 11,334 units (12.2% market share), Ford sales decreased 4.0% to 10,764 units (11.6% share), while Audi sales increased 19.5% to 9,062 units (9.8% share).
Mercedes-Benz sales in August increased 3.5% to 5,040 units (5.4% share) and Vauxhall sales decreased 4.2% to 4,864 units (5.3% share).
Of the five most popular vehicles in August, 3,978 Ford Fiestas; 3,439 Volkswagen Golfs; 1,886 Ford Focuses; 1,880 Mercedes-Benz A-Classes; and 1,770 Ford Kugas were sold.
Compared to last August, gasoline-engine car sales increased 1.0% to 59,019 units (63.8% share), diesel-engine car sales decreased by 12.2% to 24,484 units (26.4% share), and alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) sales increased 16.4% to 9,070 units (9.8% share).
In August, fleet sales decreased 3.5% to 48,583 units (52.5% share), private car sales decreased 1.7% to 40,538 units (43.8% share), and sales to businesses increased 38.6% to 3,452 units (3.7% share).
Sales of all vans to 3.5 tons increased 41.0% this August to 23,120 units.
Sales of trucks between 3.5 and 6.0 tons decreased 27.2% to 449 units in August.
Sales of taxis increased 93.4% to 147 units in August.
Mike Hawes, CEO of SMMT said "August is typically the new car market’s quietest month so the huge increase in EV registrations is very visible but especially welcome. It’s great to see consumers respond to the massive industry investment made over many years. While this is encouraging, these figures also show the scale of the challenge ahead. It’s a long road to zero and while manufacturers can deliver the technology, they can’t dictate the pace of uptake. To support a smooth transition and deliver environmental gains now, we need a long-term government commitment to measures that give consumers confidence to invest in the latest technologies that best suit their needs."
(SMMT press releases from September 5, 2019) 1 / 2

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