Volkswagen To Roll-Out 'Bumper-To-Bumper' Strategy For Alternative Powertrain Cars

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Volkswagen Group has outlined its global strategy for the launch of vehicles with alternative powertrains. The Group’s Commissioner for Electric Drive Systems, Dr. Rudolf Krebs, said at a sustainability workshop at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday, “We are going to electrify all segments. In plants equipped with our standardized assembly kits and modules, we are able to produce cars on the same assembly line, bumper-to-bumper, with conventional, electrified, and CNG powertrains. This flexible strategy enables us to react fast and cost-efficiently to actual demand and thus reduces risks.”

Dr. Krebs stressed that the Volkswagen Group aims to become a leader in e-mobility by 2018 by offering a full range of technologically refined, reliable, and affordable cars with alternative powertrains. By 2014, a total of 14 models from the Volkswagen Group brands will be available as Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Battery Electric Vehicles, or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, according to Dr. Krebs. A total of up to 40 models can be fitted with alternative drivetrains, including those running on CNG, as demand rises, he added.  

Dr. Krebs emphasized: “We start at exactly the right time. Volkswagen has placed e-mobility at the center of the Group and has invested heavily to build up core competencies for e-drive and battery manufacturing in-house.” The group has hired 400 experts and trained 70,000 employees in e-mobility development, production, and servicing.  

The Volkswagen brand now has a positive interim balance from its “Think Blue. Factory.” environmental program which was launched in 2011 and has since contributed to the carmaker’s considerable progress toward sustainable automobile production, said officials. The Volkswagen Head of Strategy, Processes and Organizational Structures, Peter Bosch, said: “The objective of the program is to continuously improve the environmental compatibility of the production process.” By 2018 (based on figures for 2010), waste, energy, and water consumption and solvent and carbon dioxide emissions are to be reduced by 25 percent. Bosch added: “Already, half of the 3,400 environmental measures planned at our manufacturing plants have been successfully implemented.” On balance, key performance indicators have been improved by more than 10 percent in the first two years of the program.  

“Think Blue. Factory.” is a part of the group’s overall ambition to become the world’s greenest car maker by 2018. Volkswagen integrates sustainability in all business units. The company is undertaking one of the most comprehensive ecological self-assessments ever and is making verifiable and comprehensible progress, said officials. At the same time, Volkswagen pushes renewable energies to supply production worldwide—from the large solar park at Chattanooga in the U.S. to hydroelectric power plants in Brazil, the use of geothermal energy in Emden, Germany, and a biomass thermal power plant in Pune, India. 

The “Think Blue.” sustainability strategy differs from similar projects in its holistic approach: It reaches beyond products and technologies, is inspiring and motivating for both customers and the interested public to participate in, and encompasses multi-faceted collaborative projects with a broad range of environmental organizations. Volkswagen, as an automaker, puts the focus on innovative, environmentally friendly products and engineering, officials said.  

Lars Menge, general manager of Product Strategy, Volkswagen of America, pointed out that Volkswagen has expanded its diesel leadership position in the U.S. market, selling 72 percent of all light-duty diesel vehicles in 2013. Currently, the TDI Clean Diesel installation rate is above 22 percent—an all-time high. Volkswagen now offers seven Clean Diesel models, more than any other brand, and six of those have an EPA estimated highway fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or better. In 2014, Volkswagen will launch the latest high-performing TDI Clean Diesel engine generation, codenamed  EA288. Menge also announced that Volkswagen of America will add Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles to its lineup in the near future.  



Clarity Appoints 3 Executives To Senior Leadership Team

Clarity, a division of Plantronics, announced Thursday that it has promoted three seasoned executives to senior leadership positions: ·         Karen Windham has been named director of sales and marketing; ·         Corina Sandulescu has been named director of engineering; and ·         Jonathan Gray has ... (click for more)

North Chattanooga Council Hosts Group Photo Aug. 4

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s North Chattanooga Council will host a group photo with all North Chattanooga Chamber member businesses on  Tuesday, Aug. 4 . Attendees should meet at Renaissance Park Pavilion at  11:30 a.m.  and proceed from there to the Renaissance Hill to take a group photo.   Networking and lunch will follow the photo at ... (click for more)

Zaxby's To Go In Across From Bass Pro Shop At New I-75 Exit 1 Development In East Ridge

A new Zaxby's will be built across from Bass Pro Shop at I-75's Exit 1 in East Ridge, developer John Healy said Thursday night. He said other restaurants and hotels are also coming to the Jordan Crossing site at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. Mr. Healy said he hopes to make a "significantly larger" announcement soon. The East Ridge City Council, at a special called meeting, ... (click for more)

Young Man Involved In Incident That Led To A Murder Gets Diversion, Praise For Testifying

A young man who was involved in an incident that led to a murder has been given diversion and praised for testifying against co-defendants. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman said a conviction for facilitation of an aggravated robbery can be expunged if Dustin Hayes gets in no further trouble for six years. The judge said, "We wouldn't be dealing with 40 shootings a year ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's Memorial Day

It is recorded in the Fourth Chapter of the Book of Joshua, that after the nation had crossed the River Jordan, Joshua would receive a divine commandment to choose 12 men from among the people and tell them to take 12 stones from the middle of the river.  Each man placed a stone on their shoulder which represented one of the tribes of Israel, and served as a memorial ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: They Still Love The ‘Lickers’

When Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) introduced the 2015 version of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” in Congress this week, he already had a bipartisan crowd of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats as co-sponsors. That’s hardly amazing. Today there are over 280 organizations, associations, veterinary and animal advocates who vehemently support the legislation, because it is well documented, ... (click for more)