Volkswagen has lifted the veil off of the latest iteration of the company’s ever-growing lineup of Up! city cars, the 2014 e-Up!, which made its debut earlier this week at the Annual Press and Investors Conference in the company’s hometown of Wolfsburg Germany.
As expected, Japan’s new prime minister Shinzo Abe announced today that his country will be joining the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks. The objective of the talks is to eliminate trade barriers (specifically, tariffs). The Japanese government estimates that if all tariffs were scrapped, ¥3.2 trillion ($33.3 billion) could be added to Japan’s economy, which would equate to about 0.8 percent of the country’s current GDP. That’s a pretty big chunk.
French automaker Renault has come up with an interesting way of dealing with its overcapacity in Europe. It will boost output and produce more cars there. While the idea may sound crazy, particularly knowing that 1) Europe has plenty of excess auto production capacity, and 2) Europe is, to say the least, a high-cost place to build a car, Carlos Ghosn has an ace up his sleeve.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the insurance industry-funded research organization (which, due to its nature, has an obvious interest in reducing injuries and vehicle damage in crashes and/or preventing crashes in the first place) puts out some interesting research-related press releases from time to time. shows that there is a substantial risk of decapitation if a motorist in a normal car has a rear-end collision with a tractor trailer.
Volkswagen plans to be the world’s largest automaker – a title that has been surprisingly in flux for the past several years, after three quarters of a century of GM occupying that spot – by 2018. Today the company announced another angle of how it plans to get there: expanding global production capacity in a big way. And make no mistake, at this point, it sounds extremely likely that VW will meet its 2018 goal.