AD #3047 – VW of America Changes Its Name; Lexus’ Wild LF-Z Concept; Battery Maker Threatens to Leave the U.S.

March 30th, 2021 at 11:50am

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Listen to “AD #3047 – VW of America Changes Its Name; Lexus' Wild LF-Z Concept; Battery Maker Threatens to Leave the U.S.” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 11:11

0:07 VW of America Changes Name to Voltswagen of America
0:50 Volvo Gives Employees Paid Parental Leave
1:28 Autoline Stock Index Falls Slightly
1:52 Dealers Jack Price with Corvette Inventory Low
3:02 Key Details for Kia’s EV6
4:16 Wild Lexus Concept Hints at Future EV Design
5:11 SK Innovation Threatens to Leave the U.S.
6:00 U.S. Auto Groups Urge New EV Plan
7:28 BMW Secures 2nd Lithium Supplier for EV Ramp Up
8:44 How ZF Made Its Level 2 ADAS System Affordable

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46 Comments to “AD #3047 – VW of America Changes Its Name; Lexus’ Wild LF-Z Concept; Battery Maker Threatens to Leave the U.S.”

  1. GM Veteran Says:

    I think Voltswagen is a cheesy and insulting marketing concept. Like us Americans are too dumb to recognize VW’s shift to EV technology, so they will hit us over the head with it by changing their brand in the American market.

    That’s right folks, it will only change here in America. I guess because those much smarter European and Chinese folks will pick up on VW’s widely reported and much hyped transition to electrical motivation. And by changing one letter, their brand goes from the people’s car to the electrical car.

    I predict this will be viewed in future marketing classes as one of the most boneheaded marketing decisions of the century.

  2. Buzzerd Says:

    Pretty classy move on Volvo’s side. In Canada we get a lot more maternity leave than that but not at full wage so that’s a very nice benefit.

  3. Buzzerd Says:

    Voltswagen – dumb or not? I guess we sill see but seems kind of dumb to me.

  4. George Ricci Says:

    Volkswagen of America to Voltswagen of America – Does that mean it’s no longer the “People’s Car”?

  5. GM Veteran Says:

    Interestingly, this is one name change where their logo doesn’t need to change, and the dealership logo signage doesn’t need to change. But, it appears that they are going to make some changes to the logo and will still force the dealers to buy new signage just for this silly marketing maneuver.

    Also, this move seems a bit premature. VW currently has 11 models for sale in the US market. Only one, the new ID4 is an EV. All of the others are ICE vehicles. Maybe they should have waited until a few more EV models were ready for sale before changing their name.

  6. GM Veteran Says:

    Its interesting how people complain whenever a hot vehicle is in short supply and dealers ask for a premium on the few they will get. But, no one refuses the very generous rebates given on models that are in high supply and selling more slowly than anticipated.

    Its simply the effect of supply and demand in a free market economy. And, I dare say that if any of the complainers owned a dealership and saw how many vehicles they sell with razor thin margins or even at a loss, they would readily agree to ask for a premium on the few hot sellers they are allocated.

  7. Ron Paris Says:

    And we wonder why Volvos always seem overpriced!

  8. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Price gouging on the C8 is nothing new; ever since the stellar introduction of this truly great sports car, any purchaser would have been warry of a dealer mark-up. Bridled with a strike on GM, the pandemic and now the parts shortage, availability of Corvette has been tenuous. While orders for new Corvettes has been suspended, this is to be able to fill the already full production orders for ’21 to be completed so that ’22 orders can then be resumed. Look for this to be sometime in July (for 2022′s). Most ordered C8′s were customer order, and depending on the dealer that was used to order, would or would not incur the mark-up; but certainly the rest were at MSRP; this will continue probably through ’22.

  9. Drew Says:

    The “Voltswagen” play on words reminds me of the the post-bankruptcy nickname for GM – “Government Motors.” It is sophomoric.

    Regarding BMW’s 50% EV increase between now and 2025, what are the absolute numbers? A compounded 50% growth of nothing is still nothing. More politely, it sells less than 30k i models annually. If it sells 30k this year, then 45k in 2022, 67.5k in 2023, 101.3 in 2024, and 152k in 2025. That is nice growth, but still not very large numbers.

  10. Rey Says:

    They don’t call dealers “STEALERSHIPS” for nothing , they are licensed to gouge,is that why they are against Tesla?

  11. Ken Says:

    There needs to be laws in place to prevent dealers from pricing vehicles above M.S.R.P.

    That is no way for a dealer to start a relationship with a customer by screwing them over. I would never buy anything from a dealer that treated customers that way. I support dealers with my buying dollars that act professionally and want a long term relationship.

  12. Rey Says:

    Lucid and Rivian are being sued right now by the Illinois dealer groups to try to stop them from selling direct to customers, the Chinese automakers will also forego the Stealersip model of sales, it is said> Michael Dunne ( a
    Guest) said in an interview years ago in Autolinedaily.

  13. DanaPointJohn Says:

    Remember back several years when someone at General Motors said no one was to use the word “Chevy” ever again? I can’t recall the reason, but obviously it was not well thought out and not a good move. My guess is that people over the age of twenty-five will call VW “Volkswagen” and those younger, “Voltswagen”. It is confusing to say the least. As an automotive journalist, I will rely on VW press releases as my guide for what to call their company.

  14. Roger Blose Says:

    Dopeswagon is the more appropriate name for EV VW. And the dealer markups continue by all brands not just Chevy. Ram TRX, Shelby GT500 / 350s, Broncos, and some Mach Es. You never recover these rip off prices and you have to pay state sales tax on the full amount. Not me!

  15. Lew Says:

    Anyone else thinks the front of the Wild Lexus Concept is Butt ugly?

  16. Drew Says:

    @10&11 – There is a reason it’s called MSRP. The “S” stands for “suggested”. If you don’t like the idea that dealers have latitude in pricing, look no further than most state franchise laws that remove the manufacturer from equation.

    Markups don’t bother me as they are very transparent. The hidden fees are most bothersome, particularly doc fees. Here in Florida, doc fees of $595 are common, but some dealers charge as high as $1000. Sorry, I won’t buy from any dealer with a doc fee over $195.

  17. GM Veteran Says:

    10 – Larry, the concept of supply and demand apply to any product, Tesla included. You think just because they don’t have dealerships that they don’t play games with pricing? How about when Elon lowered the price of the Model S TWICE in one week, after Lucid announced their pricing for the Air? And how he has dramatically lowered prices on all models that are built in China to better compete with the Chinese EV brands?

    Yes, supply and demand apply universally. Just watch the price of coffee this year. Crops have not fared well and big price increases are forecast. Low supply + high demand = higher prices.

  18. GM Veteran Says:

    13 – John, from the stories I have seen today, VW will use both names until all of their ICE models are discontinued. They will slap Voltswagen on the back of the EVs and Volkswagen on the ICE models. Good thing the names are so similar. Most people probably won’t pick up on the difference in everyday conversation.

    Reminds me of the Volt and Bolt stupidity. What is up with these legacy automakers?

    I am surprised that VW didn’t put Voldswagen on their diesel models!

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8 My car, ordered in September, will be MSRP plus what it actually costs to do the Florida registration. No employee/retiree discount, probably for two or three years on C8s. I’ll have to pay the then-current MSRP when the car arrives, but if it’s higher than when I placed the order, as it will be, I can get my $1000 deposit back if I don’t want to take the car. Yeah, many dealers are doing “added dealer profit,” even to sold orders that won’t be built for a year.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The VW name change is stupid, but I never cared much for VW of America for various other reasons, like not selling the cars I like, such as Passat Wagon, and not having much of a dealer network.

    Unrelated, but while Honda Ridgeline is not selling too well, overall, it seems to have a following at my condo. There are two of them for the 35 units in my building.

  21. XA351GT Says:

    Simple solution to those pissed off by gouging is not to pay it. If you have the personality that means you have to have something all things be damned then don’t be surprised when they hose you. By refusing to pay those prices they will either drop the prices or you just give it a pass. This is where manufacturers should step in , because when people blast about how they were screwed it will be the Brand not the individual dealer that will take the worse hit,

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Tesla is not as transparent as they would like you to believe. For a start, the default “price” on their web site has a few thousand dollars knock off of the actual price for
    “potential savings.” That is $4300 for the base “Standard Range Plus” Model 3. Then, they have a $1125 destination charge. That is in line with other car companies, but is hard to even find from the web site. Then, there is document fee that is well hidden on the web site.

    Also, apparently some things are more “negotiable” than we are led to believe. My friend who bought a Model S a while back was able to negotiate some free charging which had been included with Model S at one time, but had been discontinued before he bought the car.

  23. Sam Fiorani Says:

    Anyone else think of “International House of Burgers/IHOB” when they heard this?

  24. Dale Leonard Says:

    “VOLTSWAGEN”???? Cheap Marketing Ploy.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 People seem to have different opinions on whether to blame the manufacturer, or just blame the dealer for above-MSRP prices for C8s and GT500s. With new to market cars that turn out to be popular, this stuff has happened for years. New Beetles and PT Cruisers, and also Miatas were sold at over MSRP by some dealers when they first hit the market.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Interestingly, Volkswagen of America runs sales of VW, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti, but not Porsche. I suppose the “Voltswagen” name might show up on some internal documents at the divisions other than VW, but shouldn’t be seen on the cars.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 It’s still IHOP to me, and the Chrysler pickup trucks are still Dodge.

  28. Warwick Dundas Says:

    Voltswagen!!! Tacky PR stunt. It must have been quite a brew the marketing types stuffed in their bong during that meeting.

  29. Warwick Dundas Says:

    15 I own a pre-spindle grill Lexus GS. I would not buy a Lexus these days unless they radically change their styling. I agree butt ugly.

  30. Drew Says:

    @25 – I recall nearly every Honda in the late 70s and early 80s was sold at prices above MSRP. Some dealers circumvented OEM scrutiny by charging full MSRP plus over $1000 of “rust & dust”… trivial add-ons that had grotesque margins.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 My sister ran into that with an early CVCC Civic 2 door hatch, I think 1976. It had drivabity problems, and she didn’t keep it very long. I don’t know if the problems she had were common.

  32. JWH Says:

    MSRP = It is Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price – Find it interesting that many whine when dealers charge more than MSRP when demand exceeds supply while many of the same people probably tell the world when they pay under MSRP when supply is exceeding demand.

    As #21 stated “You don’t have to pay over MSRP – You can even save more cash by not purchasing.

    #19 – Interesting although not totally surprising that retire purchase price is not available on C8 – Given time it will be. As you advised, your choice.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 Employee pricing is not available on any new generation Corvette, or any other GM car that is in demand. I tbink it was first available for 2016 C7s, and is not available for CT4 and CT5 Blackwings. There may be others.

  34. DanChester Says:

    The Voltswagen rebranding is a head scratcher. I wonder what GM thinks of them using Volt as part of the name of their electric range, not to mention as the name of the U.S. arm of the company. Ironically, I have heard many people mispronounce Volkswagen as Voltswagen over my lifetime. Those people may feel vindicated! Even so, I doubt it will change their opinion of VW.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Isn’t Volkswagen pronounced “folks’-vogg-un”?

  36. Bobby T Says:

    35, that would be the correct German pronunciation, but everyone I know uses the Anglicized pronunciation.

  37. Drew Says:

    Voltswagen = Early April Fool’s and free publicity (ala IHOP).

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 When my father bought a ’65 Beetle, the dealer people liked to use the German pronunciation. Now, with their abandoning their traditional buyers and emphasizing trucks called Atlas, I suppose the Anglicized pronunciation is a better fit.

  39. Scott-in-Cleveland Says:

    As of 11:00pm news I heard on the radio, Voltswagen is an April fools joke.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 I’m glad. There is a lot of silliness, but that would be too, too much.

  41. Ron Says:

    A bad April fools joke?


    21) Completely agree. Simply walk away from the Corvette and the prices will fall. It is as simple as that. If they don’t fall, so what? If you need a sports car in that price range, simply buy a Porsche 911 and never look at another Corvette again for the rest of your life. The consumer will be equally happy in their Porsche.

    It is a major problem for gm to solve as you don’t want your customer base driven to the competition by your dealers due to add on pricing. The consumer though, they will be just fine.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41 The cheapest new 911 in over $100K base. The Porsche sports car priced comparably to the Corvette is Cayman/Boxter.

    The “solution” to all this for a customer wanting a C8, or GT500 if they don’t discontinue it after a short run, is to wait a couple years, or find a dealer that will order your car and sell it for MSRP. The Corvette can probably be bought for a little less than MSRP a couple years from now. I don’t really blame GM or Ford, that some dealers will take advantage of the current supply/demand situation with certain cars.

  44. veh Says:

    Voltswagen seems like one of those “humor doesn’t translate” things. I assume the idea came from a US team, but it’s awkward enough to think that a German had a hand in it.

  45. XA351GT Says:

    We used to call them Boltswagons back when I was a kid . Everytime a aircooled VW went by it sounded like a coffee can of bolts hooked up on a paint can shaker.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 The timing gears made a really distintive sound after they got some miles on them.