Volkswagen’s first supplier conference tackles partnership in India

In Volkswagen’s first supplier conference held in Mumbai, the topic was the German car company’s partnership with India. It was back in 2006 when Volkswagen signed an agreement with the Maharashtra government stating that a plant will be built at Chakan near Pune. The new plant reportedly has a capacity 110,000 vehicles annually and will begin production by the end of 2009.

In a company release, the plant will be including a a press shop, body shop, paint shop and assembly lines. It also said that setting up the plant will generate 2,500 new jobs.

Mr Joerg Mueller, President of Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd said, “Our objective is to establish Volkswagen as a local manufacturer and long-term business partner in India.”

Mr Pierre Bruedgam, the Executive Director, Procurement, VWIPL, explained, “We will start our sourcing activities soon to find potential partners for Volkswagen in India with local as well as global perspective.”

The conference was attended by 250 suppliers from India and abroad last Wednesday.

Volkswagen gain interests in Malaysian Car Company

Proton shares may be on the way to their biggest one-day gain in more than five years due to a report that Volkswagen may buy a controlling stake in the Malaysian car maker’s assets.

It was earlier today when reports came out that Volkswagen may buy a 51 percent stake in a newly formed unit that will own Proton’s manufacturing, research and development and engineering divisions. It was after Edge Financial Daily reported this matter when Proton stock supposedly rose as much as 21 percent

The same news report also said that Sime Darby will buy a 43 percent stake in Proton Holdings from a Malaysian state investment company, Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

The Malaysian car maker has lost half its market share after selling six out of 10 cars in the local scene 10 years ago. Right now they need a partner to develop new car technology and new models. There is an agreement with Kuala Lumpur-based Sime Darby, that they would help the government to keep Proton under local control.

“It’s positive with Volkswagen coming in,” said Jason Yap, a Kuala Lumpur-based analyst. “It’s taking over the platform, the R&D, basically controlling the whole manufacturing of Proton.”

The shares of Malaysia-based Proton went up as much as 1.2 ringgit to 7.05 ringgit and traded at 6.8 ringgit at 12:09 p.m. The stock is set for the biggest daily percentage increase since Feb. 19, 2002.

The shares of Sime Darby fell as much as 2 percent to 10 ringgit and traded at 10.1 ringgit after the Edge report said the company may pay 9.5 ringgit for each Proton share. The company also has other assets in palm oil plantations and car sales.

Ahmad Zubir Murshid, chief executive officer of Sime Darby, said he was in a board meeting and was unable to talk when contacted on his mobile phone today. While, Faridah Idris, a spokeswoman at Proton, declined to comment. Ahmad Shahizam Shariff, a spokesman for Khazanah, didn’t answer a call to his mobile phone. Andreas Meurer, a spokesman for Volkswagen, didn’t answer a call to his office outside business hours.

Malaysia’s government controls Proton through a 43 percent stake held by state investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd. The government has also been looking for a partner for the car maker since an alliance with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. ended in 2004. But they were not successful in reaching the self-imposed March deadline to find an alliance for Proton.

Proton was set up in 1983 by then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to promote Malaysian manufacturing. The government hasn’t explained why it missed the deadline to find a partner.

The Edge said representatives from Volkswagen, Khazanah, Sime Darby and the office of Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi are currently meeting in New York to complete the details of the agreement.

Proton reported last a month a loss of 591.4 million ringgit ($172 million) for the 12 months ended March 31, its first annual loss since at least 1991.

An improved Volkswagen Phaeton

Volkswagen Phaeton
Volkswagen has upgraded the specification of the Phaeton with a new TDI engine and a range of technical innovations. The luxury saloon now features a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel, making it one of the few car engines worldwide to fulfill the Euro 5 emission standards that will take effect from 2009.

It now has an acceleration to 100 km/h or 62 mph in 8.4 seconds, with a top speed of 236 km/h. Production began in May and the car is will be available in the European market this summer.

Other new features Phaeton have are chrome accent strips in the front apron area, LED daytime running lights and bi-xenon headlights. New-style 19 inch alloy wheels are also fitted and the navigation system is equipped with DVD support.

The car’s Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system has also been upgraded with a front and back scanning system, monitoring the distance between vehicles in front and behind, at the same time warns the driver if needed. This system also prepares the car for possible hard or emergency braking.

Volkswagen Tiguan set for its final test

Volkswagen is set to do its final trial test for the new Tiguan in Namibia. This last test is said to complete the development phase of the vehicle.

Testers would be focusing on the electronic components and chassis of the new SUV during its final acceptance drive through the African continent. They would likely gain some interest in the technical highlight of the Tiguan like the completely new generation radio and navigation system, which were developed in close cooperation with the most important local Volkswagen operations in Europe, Asia and America.

Worldwide development collaboration also made it possible for a wider specialized know-how and the requirements of all markets, to influence the devices. The top system of the new line, with the designation RNS 510, has a 30 GB hard disk and is controlled with a touch screen. Add to that a rear-view camera enables a view behind in this case.

A new electronic system also helped simplify offroad driving in the Tiguan. The SUV uses an innovative network of assistance systems with the name of “Offroad Mode”. With just a touch of a switch activates a whole set of safety features, supporting the driver in a multitude of situations.

The Tiguan will be offered in two body variants which differ in their front ends. The “Trend & Fun” and “Sport & Style” versions are designed for a maximum entry angle of 18 degrees in front. The “Track & Field” Tiguan that is suited for offroad duty can assume entry angles of up to 28 degrees with its front end.

Long before the first prototype was built, Volkswagen had decided that the new Tiguan would be an extremely actively driving and safe SUV. The Tiguan now has to demonstrate in Africa that it achieves neutral to lightly understeering handling and an unusually low roll angle. The terrain of the Namib Desert is a ideal place to test how well the highly dynamic driving characteristics and excellent ride comfort interact under the hardest conditions. The goals set for the chassis development were agile driving behavior, very good vibration behavior and ride comfort, low roll angle with harmonic roll dynamics, high driving dynamic stability and lastly good offroad handling. These demands are achieved by enhancing the chassis layout by equipping the front end with a McPherson axle specially optimized for the SUV. The four-link rear axle has also been adapted to best suit the chassis layout

Tiguan also has a newly constructed steering gear that will be responsible for not transmitting any jolts to the steering wheel even in offroad operation.

To provide a better driving experience the Tiguan will have 16-inch wheels with 215/65 R16 tires. The “Sport & Style” Tiguan also has standard 17-inch alloy wheels and 235/55 R17 tires. While 18-inch wheels with tires in 235/50 R18 format will be available as special equipment.

As to set new standards in the compact SUV class, the Tiguan has anewly designed radio and navigation system generation. The software and hardware of this new system fulfill the highest demands for operation, sound and the multitude of functions offered. The radio navigation system has a RNS 510, that is controlled using fixed menu buttons, two knobs and a touch screen for the numerous information, entertainment and system functions. In this case a rear-view camera eases the view behind, a standard fitting. A very helpful innovation of the RNS 510 is a specially developed offroad navigation system, which makes it possible to record up to 500 route points during a journey, even in non-digitized areas. This allows the driver to find his way back from offroad adventures into any desert or steppe. The system also has an edit mode, where the driver can modify the route as desired.

Another technology incorporated in the Tiguan is park steering assistant called Park Assist, the first in the world to be installed in a SUV.

Volkswagen rejects takeover bid from Porsche

Volkswagen is still in full control after sports car maker, Porsche, failed in the public takeover bid of the German car company. Porsche AG said that its offer to buy the shares it does not already own in Volkswagen AG expired with less than 1 percent of the stock offered for sale by investors.

Porsche earlier said that it has no plans to acquire Europe’s biggest automaker outright and has maintained this statement throughout the bidding process. The company offered 65.54 Euros (US$89.42) for each preferred share and 100.92 Euros (US$137.69) per ordinary share. On the other hand, Volkswagen shares rose 1.9 percent to 115.80 Euros (US$155.82), while Porsche shares gained 1 percent to 1,352.53 Euros (US$1,819.92).

“Given that the current stock exchange price is higher than the offer price, the result was as expected,” said Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking. “The completion of the mandatory offer is, amongst others, subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities and is not expected to occur prior to the end of June.”

Porsche lifted its stake in Volkswagen last March to help the company from possible foreign takeovers. The company’s other major shareholder is the German state of Lower Saxony, which holds a 21 percent stake.

Analysts saw the move as a clever strategy for Porsche to increase its decisive power in Volkswagen without being forced to pay over the odds for any additional shares. Experts also suggested that Porsche could be considering that Volkswagen share price would fall in the wake of the announcement, which will let them to buy additional shares at cheaper amounts.

Now that the takeover bid has failed, Porsche is legally free to acquire further shares in Volkswagen until it reaches 50 percent at which point it would have to make another takeover offer.

It was actually earlier this year when Porsche first decided to purchase more Volkswagen stock, with its stake raised to over 30 percent. Under a German law, it was mandatory for the low-volume luxury automaker to launch a bid for all outstanding public shares of Europe’s largest automaker. Usually when one company wants to take over another, they offer a stock buyout price that is equal to or greater than the actual market value. But in Porsche’s case, it only offered 101 Euros even though the stock is trading at about 112 Euros. Volkswagen shareholders then rejected Porsche’s offer because of the low offer price.

Porsche unexpectedly bought shares in Volkswagen back in September 2005, becoming its biggest investor and protecting it from a possible takeover.

It is not surprising that Porsche would gain interests in Volkswagen, for the two automotive company have close relationships even in the past. In fact, Porsche founder, Ferdinand Porsche, was the original Volkswagen designer. The first Porsche cars, like the 1948 Porsche 356, used many Volkswagen components including a tuned engine, gearbox and suspension. Other collaborations were the 1969 and 1970 VW-Porsche 914, the 1976 Porsche 924 and the 2002 Porsche Cayenne.

So how does the TSI Engine work?

TSi Engine

For their twincharger concept for engine, Volkswagen selected the direct-injection FSI from its EA 111 engine, like that found in the Golf. Then they had to make a new, highly-resilient gray cast-iron cylinder crankcase, which should be able to withstand the higher pressure, a coolant pump with an integrated magnetic clutch and supercharging technology.

From there, they also changed the injection system, with a multiple-hole, high-pressure injection valve with six fuel outlet elements. It was actually the first introduction for this multiple-hole kind. The injector is arranged on the intake side just between the intake port and cylinder head head seal level.

They needed to support the wider variability in the quantity of fuel needed across the range of operation to optimize the twincharging. This may have posed a problem at that time but to remedy this, VW increased the maximum injection pressure to 150 bar.

For the type of compressor to be used in this engine, they selected the Roots-type supercharger. This type of compressor doesn’t actually compress air within the device. It moves a fixed volume of air per rotation with the use of two counter-rotating lobes. Compression then happens in the intake manifold.

The good thing about superchargers is that it can provide a large amount of boost even if at low engine speed. The downside with this is that it generates a lot of heat.

The turbocharger and the compressor is connected like a series. A fresh air required for a given operating state needs to get through either to the exhaust turbocharger or in the compressor. It is the control valve which ensures that the passing of the fresh air happens.

When the exhaust turbocharger operates alone, the control valve is open. During this, the air follows a normal path like those in conventional turbo engines(front charge-air cooler, and the throttle valve into the induction manifold).

The compressor is run by a magnetic clutch incorporated in a module inside the water pump. The clutch disengages the compressor in turbocharging conditions. The twincharger’s maximum boost pressure is at approximately 2.5 bar at 1,500 rpm, with the mechanical supercharger and the exhaust turbocharger operated at about the same pressure ratio. The compressor can deliver a boost pressure of 1.8 bar even just above idling speed.

The traditional exhaust turbocharged engine could only deliver a pressure ratio of about 1.3 bar, and this is also without the assistance of a compressor. The faster response of the turbocharger allows the compressor to be depressurized earlier by the continuous opening of the bypass valve. The compressor activity is limited to a constricting engine map area with a preponderantly low pressure ratios and so there is low power consumption.

This would mean that the compressor is only needed for generating the required boost pressure in the engine speed ranging up to 2,400 rpm. For optimum efficiency in the upper power range, the exhaust turbocharger is used, ad this provides also the adequate boost pressure even in the medium speed range.

For acceleration, an automatic boost pressure control decides if the compressor needs to be switched on to deliver the tractive power required, or if the turbocharger alone can handle the situation. The compressor is switched on again if the speed drops to the lower range and then power is demanded again. The turbocharger alone delivers adequate boost pressure above 3,500 rpm.

And that is how Volkswagen’s TSI engine works, and the very reason it was voted to be the International Engine of the Year award this 2007.

A Concept of the Future

This year’s Frankfurt Auto Show will finally debut the highly anticipated Volkswagen “Concept A” mini SUV. It’s production is scheduled for a 2008 rollout competing against the BMW X3.

The Concept A is motivated by the 1.4 liter direct injection Twin Charger engine from the Golf GT. Among its dynamic features are opposing opening wind doors, 20-inch wheels, 4Motion all-drive system coupled with VW’s DSG transmission and of course the VW braking system. One of the central aspects of its ingenious design is the combination of a sports car aesthetics with SUV elements. Certainly this a brainchild of a new era in Volkswagen. A glimpse into the future.

How Important is a Volkswagen Car Cover?

I guess as what this picture suggest quite bluntly, it is very important. Since nature is way beyond our control, it all up to us how to protect our beloved Volkswagen automobiles. Functioning much like a shield against debris, dust, heat and other atrocious elements, the Volkswagen car cover is definitely an accessory that we should consider as an investment.

By the way, thats a Volkswagen Passat under that car cover.

Volkswagen Rabbit — best $18,000 car

What car make gives the performance, safety, environmental impact, fuel economy, styling and comfort at just under $18,000. Apparently, it’s the Volkswagen Rabbit, as bared by a top-rated web site providing vehicle pricing and information.

According to Kelly Blue Book, the Rabbit ranked as one of the “Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000″ because it provides “the consumer with results that are needed in today’s economy.” A Rabbit’s SRP starts at $14,990.

Know more about the Rabbit. See also how it fared well in KBB’s rankings.

2007 Volkswagen Touareg to redeem its glory

The Volkswagen Touareg became a huge success in executing its role as a mid-sized SUV performing highly satisfactorily along rugged roads in perfect style and comfort. However, the 2007 Touareg came along with a lot of much more interesting upgrades for the off-road enthusiast. With its Off-road German Technology, the 2007 Touareg is as promising as its 45-degree hill climb capacity.
The new Touareg features three different engines for the Touareg. First up is a 3.6 liter, V-6 engine that produces 276 horsepowers and 266 pound-feet of torque. On V8 models, a 4.2 liter V8 delivers 350 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque. The range-topping Touareg V10 TDI has a diesel-fueled, turbocharged V10 displacing 5.0 liters. It is rated at 310 hp and a stout 553 lb-ft of torque. Each engine is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. It is 11.8 inches high above the ground and it can go through 22.8 inches of water. It can tow up to 7,716lbs. and it comes with the Hill Descend Assist and Hill Climb Assist which ensures a smooth mountain ride without rolling down unexpectedly.

Volkswagen packs a rabbit punch

A new Volkswagen has finally come out of its shell. It is poised to sweep the roads, and make its competition eat the dust. The German maker of the highly-popular Beetle and American tuning giant Neuspeed have yet again, forged hands to come up with perhaps the ultimate sports compact hatchback in the business – the 2007 Volkswagen Thunder Bunny II.

Click here for the Rabbit’s story. Read how an auto junkie perceives how the Bunny would perform.

The Volkswagen GTI W12 Concept

Volkswagen unveiled its latest design study that is bound to revolutionize speed—the GTI W12 Concept. This is the “ultra-high performance” version of the popular GTI hatchback. It boasts of a 12-cylinder, 6.0 liter motor, which makes the GTI W12 hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds! It produces 650 horsepowers and 553 pound feet of torque. The engine is based on two narrow-angle VR6 engines joined at the crank.

The car features extensive body modifications for increased aerodynamics and rides on 19-inch wheels. Volkswagen says the GTI W12 can hit a top speed of 202 mph. Although the purpose of this study design is yet unknown, and production is most unlikely, Volkswagen fans surely wanted to give this ride a try. This daring ride is a bit out of the friendly line of comfortable rides that Volkswagen makes, but it could be a sign of maturity as well.