This week’s most impactful OEM headlines, including:
- Porsche to create more than 1,400 jobs for electric cars : Porsche will boost the number of jobs for its first all-electric model by more than half from previous targets as part of parent Volkswagen’s (VW) push to overcome its emissions scandal by embracing zero-emission cars and digital services.Porsche, the No. 2 contributor to VW group profit, plans to create at least 1,400 jobs to develop, build and sell the battery-powered Mission E, a rival to Tesla’s Model S, that is due to roll off the assembly line at its Zuffenhausen base in 2019, it said on Tuesday. Another 350 digital experts are to be hired at a Porsche unit specifically set up to develop mobility concepts and uncover new business areas, it said, reflecting a transformation also underway at VW’s luxury brand Audi. Porsche previously targeted more than 1,000 new jobs for the Mission E at Zuffenhausen, where it is building a new paint shop and assembly line. The sports-car brand is spending about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) on the zero-emission model.
Despite Dieselgate, VW Bests Toyota as Top-Selling Carmaker : Toyota Motor TM -1.04% reported a drop in first-half vehicle sales on Thursday following a series of production stoppages, falling behind Volkswagen VLKAY -2.18% , which became the world’s top-selling carmaker in the first six months of 2016 despite its emissions scandal. The Japanese company, which manufactures the Toyota, Lexus and Daihatsu brands, said its global sales slid 0.6% in January-June to 4.992 million vehicles worldwide, down from 5.021 million in the same period last year. Volkswagen said on Wednesday it delivered 5.116 million vehicles in the same period, a 1.5% rise. Having been the world’s best-selling automaker for four consecutive years through 2015, Toyota has suffered this year from a hit to Japanese production after an earthquake in April damaged a plant operated by a key supplier, halting production at many of its lines across the country for weeks.
- Aiming at Tesla, Audi Planning Three Battery-Cars by 2020, CEO Says : As the brand shifts attention away from its diesel line-up to new, greener technologies, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler wants to have three pure battery-electric models in the line-up by 2020, even if that means dropping some conventional models to come up with the necessary R&D dollars. Audi has already confirmed plans to launch a battery-electric SUV by 2018 and, in a new interview with German newspaper the Heilbronner Stimme, Stadler confirmed the maker wants 25 to 30% of its total sales to come from electrified models by 2025.
Battered by recalls, fines, auto industry still thrives : The U.S. automotive industry has been through a rough couple years filled with massive recalls, congressional hearings, record fines, and allegations, at times, of a careless, shoddy approach to safety. And yet, for the most part, consumers seem unfazed as they continue to buy cars and trucks at record levels and at record prices. “The fact of the matter is, there is a plethora of recalls, and after a certain point in time people become numb to them,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of J.D. Power’s global automotive practice. “We have more recalls now than we have ever had and yet the industry is selling more cars than ever.”