+++ A new Vantage Roadster is coming our way, and it seems that it won’t be long before ASTON MARTIN introduces it to the world. Chief creative officer Marek Reichman said that work on the drop-top Vantage is complete. “It’s ready and waiting. We’ll show it towards the end of this year. They’re going through some of the final testing, but the car’s all done”, he said. It comes as no surprise that a Vantage Roadster is coming as the British car manufacturer consistently follows up its new coupe models with convertible variations. The previous-generation Aston Martin Vantage Roadster had a soft-stop and its successor is expected to retain this solution despite the popularity of folding hard-tops. When the new Vantage Roadster does launch, it will be powered by the same (Mercedes-AMG-sourced) twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 as the coupe, which puts out 510 hp and 685 Nm and is coupled to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. That’s enough to send the Vantage coupe to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, but given the added weight of the Vantage Roadster it will probably be a couple tenths slower off the line. +++ 

+++ The next-generation BMW M3 and M4 due in 2020 will receive a significantly upgraded 6-cylinder engine capable of more than 500 hp in its top form. The flagship model to use this new engine will be a new M4 Gran Coupé, the first time the 5-door coupé has featured a full-fat M variant. It will be joined once again by 2-door coupé and cabriolet variants, beside the M3 saloon. The 3.0-litre powerplant, which carries the internal codename S58, is a development of the firm’s standard B58 unit, as used in the existing 440i and other BMW models. But as M division officials have revealed, “it is for all intents and purposes an all-new drivetrain with significant changes to the base engine that allow it to rev beyond 7.000 rpm and deliver a much higher specific output” than today’s S55 engine. As well as being earmarked for the next M4 Coupé and the first-ever M4 Gran Coupé, the new twin-turbocharged straight-6 is also planned to propel a new M4 Convertible, the upcoming 6th-generation M3 and, in a lesser-powered form, the second-generation M2. It will be launched in the new X3 M and X4 M. An increase in power provides the new S58 engine with a higher specific output in Competition guise than the old S55 with water injection, a set-up used by the 500 hp M4 GTS. That unit provides the outgoing M4 Coupé with 431 hp in standard guise and 450 hp in Competition form. BMW’s M division engineers have managed to raise power by more than 11 % in the standard M4 and 13 % in the M4 Coupé Competition, with claimed outputs of 480 hp and 510 hp respectively. These figures appear set to place the new model in direct competition with the 450 hp Audi RS5 and 510 hp Mercedes-Benz C63S Coupé. Torque is also increased by 50 Nm, with the new S58 engine delivering 600 Nm on a band of revs between 2600 rpm and 5600 rpm. Despite the increase in performance, the S58 engine has been developed to meet strict new emission regulations to potentially provide the standard M4 with a CO2 figure of less than 200 g/km, thanks in part to the adoption of twin Otto particulate filters. Key among the changes over the S55 engine is the adoption of a longer stroke, at 90mm. The bore measurement remains 84mm, but BMW M claims the altered internal measurements help to boost torque potential. Also included are 2 mono-scroll turbochargers in place of the single twin-scroll unit used on the B58 engine, as well as BMW M’s latest Valvetronic variable valve timing and ‘Double Vanos’ variable camshaft profile. The compression ratio has also been reduced, from 10.2:1 for the S55 to 9.3:1. Although the new engine goes without water injection, officials say it may appear on a further-developed version of the S58 unit likely to appear in a successor to today’s 460 hp M4 CS. Secrecy surrounds the rest of the M4’s mechanical makeup. However, insiders suggest it is in line to abandon tradition by adopting an 8-speed torque converter-equipped automatic transmission and a similar xDrive 4-wheeldrive system to the latest M5 (with an M-Dynamic mode apportioning power to the rear wheels) in at least one version. It is also suggested a cheaper and lower-powered entry-level model could potentially be offered, with a manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. +++ 

+++ BUGATTI recently hinted it’s open to the idea of releasing a more affordable model that runs on electricity. While it didn’t provide additional details, a report from England claims the French firm is preparing a super-sedan built on Porsche bones. The model will resurrect the Royale nameplate used from 1927 to 1933. It will ride on a longer evolution of the J1 platform developed to underpin the upcoming Porsche Taycan as well as the production version of Audi’s E-Tron GT concept. Carbon fiber will help keep weight in check. The Royale won’t arrive until 2023, nearly a century after the original, so Bugatti engineers hope they will be able to use solid-state batteries to power it. The technology is in its infancy, and it will still be expensive in the early 2020s, but Bugatti believes it will have an easier time passing the higher costs to customers than, say, Volkswagen. The battery pack will zap 3 electric motors to unleash about 900 hp. Through-the-road all-wheel drive will come standard. Customers who don’t want to experience 900 hp themselves will have the option of getting driven thanks to level four autonomous technology. They’ll be able to work hand-in-hand with the company to design a completely one-of-a-kind interior that suits their taste. Pricing for the 2023 Bugatti Royale will start in the vicinity of 700,000 euros. It will be a bargain compared to the Chiron. The Royale will signal a dramatic change of direction for a company known primarily as a purveyor of fast, high-horsepower exotic machines like the Veyron and the aforementioned Chiron. Bugatti hasn’t confirmed it’s working on an electric sedan, but its chief executive hinted the brand’s image will evolve significantly during the 2020s. “In Bugatti’s future, maximum speed does not play the leading role any more. From now on, we are going to put an emphasis on ultimate overall vehicle dynamics, light weight and modern sustainable luxury”, Bugatti boss Stephan Winkelmann told. +++ 

+++ CITROEN is counting on design and lower-cost models to break into the tough market of India. The French brand plans to launch sales in India no later than the end of 2021. Citroen’s move into India is part of a strategy by parent PSA Group to reduce its dependence on sales in Europe, with Peugeot returning to North America and Opel making a push into Russia. As part of that strategy, PSA is creating a range of lower-cost vehicles for international markets, similar to Renault’s Global Access program for affordable cars such as the Logan, sold under the Dacia or Renault brand depending on the market. Citroen’s models for India will be the first in the lower-cost range, CEO Linda Jackson told. Jackson declined to give further details, except to say that they would be “appropriate and relevant for the Indian customers”. Small SUVs such as the Renault Kwid have been successful in India, whose buyers prefer hatchbacks and crossovers to sedans. Citroen’s cars for India will be built as part of 2 joint ventures that PSA set up in 2017 with CK Birla Group, one of which is a manufacturing partnership with Hindustan Motor Financing Corporation for the assembly and distribution of PSA vehicles in India. At the time of the announcement, PSA said it would produce up to 100,000 vehicles annually. The other, PSA Avtec Powertrain, has just started production of engines and gearboxes at a factory near Bangalore, with a capacity of 300,000 engines and 200,000 gearboxes annually. PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said the Avtec plant had just started exporting transmissions, and was “extremely, extremely profitable”. Tavares said the savings from producing in India had already made that joint venture self-sustaining, Tavares said at the Geneva auto show earlier this month. PSA has tried in recent years to break into India. A joint venture with Premier to build Peugeot 309s from kits foundered in the late 1990s, as did a similar one with Tata to build Peugeot 307s. A plan to invest €650 million in a factory in Gujarat fell apart in 2012 amid PSA Group’s financial issues. As part of the CK Birla arrangement, PSA also acquired the rights to the Ambassador brand nameplate. The Ambassador was a Morris Oxford-based sedan produced for decades by Hindustan Motor, and more than half a million are still on Indian roads today, mostly as taxis. Jackson said Citroen and PSA were considering whether and how to use the Ambassador name. “I want to be very careful how we use the name because you need to be credible when you use it and not just assume that everybody will say, ‘Yes,’ that’s a good idea”. The potential for growth in India is huge, Jackson said. “All of the forecasts for India say the market is expanding exponentially”, she said, with passenger car sales of about 3.6 million vehicles in 2018 expected to grow to 6 million by 2025, which would make it the third-largest market after China and the United States. IHS Markit projects annual growth of 7 % and a total passenger car and light-commercial vehicle market of 9.5 million units by 2030. 4 brands (Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Hyundai and Mahindra) together have more than 80 % of the Indian market, with the remaining 20 % held by a mix of European, Asian and North American brands, many of which have seen their fortunes rise and fall. Jackson said Citroen would stand out with its design, as well as local production and a focus on initial quality and after-sales service. “We think that Citroen’s unique styling offers something slightly different, and it could be a good way for us to have a faster impact on the market”, she said. Puneet Gupta, associate director of automotive forecasting at IHS Markit in India, said Citroen had a chance to succeed but that it is hard to compete with the top brands. Existing brands “understand the country very well, they can price their products very well, and they have a solid network base”, he said. Still, there is room for new players as the market grows and space opens up for electrification, a government priority to reduce dependence on foreign oil, Gupta said. “That doesn’t mean that it will be a cakewalk; it will be very tough and challenging, but nevertheless there are real disruptions”, he said. Anil Sharma, associate director for automotive and transportation at Marketsandmarkets Research, said India’s leading automakers were able to quickly respond to technical innovations, so Citroen would have to build “a strong and evenly spread product pipeline, and develop positive word of mouth through after sales service”. “There is certainly some space left for new brands and OEMs in the Indian market”, he said. ”However, a lot will depend on which segments it decides to play into as well as on its price, positioning, and sourcing strategies”. Sharma suggested that Citroen’s best chance is to focus on low-volume, high-price models which primarily sell in urban markets. “Competing head-on with the established players in the mass-market segments is unlikely to yield positive results”, he said. Jackson said it was important for Citroen to listen to what Indian customers wanted rather than try to impose European tastes or designs on the market. “We need to have the mindset that we are going into India for Indians, and that’s why we have a local team that is defining exactly what should be in vehicles in terms of technology”, she said. “It may sound a bit blunt. It’s an important point, because there is sometimes an arrogance of Europeans that says, ‘I’ve been very successful in Europe, so I’m going to take exactly the same product and put it into India.’ Well, that’s not going to work”. +++ 

+++ FIAT has confirmed it will launch a next-generation 500 city car in 2020 which will see the brand take its icon all-electric and with a luxury focus. The all-electric Fiat 500 will be revealed in production form exactly 12 months from now at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. The current-generation 500 has been a staple of the Fiat range for well over a decade with over 2 million produced since introduction in 2007, and is still a hugely popular seller for the brand. However, Fiat has to move with the times, and is plotting a bold reinvention of the car. There will be no internal combustion variant of the next car: it will be entirely electric, and will be redesigned to appeal to an increasingly upmarket customer base for the 500. “Premium is the way we will go with the EV 500”, explained head of Fiat and FCA chief marketing officer Olivier Francois. “A new 500, totally renewed. A new object. Totally electric. It’s kind of an urban Tesla, with beautiful style. Italianess, dolce vita in an electric car. It’s the polar opposite of Centoventi”. Fiat’s big surprise at the Geneva Motor Show was the reveal of the Centoventi concept, previewing a next-generation Panda with affordable, low-range electric powertrain options. Francois could not clarify if the 2 vehicles would use the same platform, but did confirm that the next-generation all-electric 500 will use a brand new dedicated electric architecture currently under development by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. “It’s a new platform designed for electrification. It makes the car radically different. It’s still a 500, same size same proportions, but it’s just not the same car. The 500 of the future”. Francois hinted that with the 500 EV more upmarket position compared to the current car would be reflected in the asking price, but did not name a figure. However, pointing to the appeal of expensive limited edition versions of the current car, he added “the appeal of the 500 is so strong we may not lose customers” with an expensive all-electric version. An Abarth version is not part of the plan at present, but could potentially appear further into the 500 EV’s lifespan. Francois confirmed that the new 500 EV would not be the end of the line for the current generation 500 though, which will continue on after the launch of the new electric model, offering buyers a more affordable route into 500 ownership with a selection of petrol engines. +++ 

+++ FORD said it will boost U.S. production of its largest SUVs in a move to grab profits in a market where consumers favor larger, more comfortable vehicles. Ford’s Kentucky Truck plant in Louisville will increase the production rate for Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs by 20 % in July; the second 20 % increase in a year for both models. The move highlights Detroit automakers’ aggressive efforts to capitalize on popular, profitable large vehicles in America’s heartland, even as policymakers in California, China and Europe push for smaller, electric vehicles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions linked to climate change. The Trump administration, however, has proposed freezing U.S. fuel efficiency standards; a decision that would make it easier for automakers to sell large SUVs and pickup trucks. With gasoline relatively cheap, U.S. consumers are paying premium prices for large SUVs that seat eight people and can tow a 4-ton trailer. The average transaction price of a new Expedition is $62,700, Ford U.S. marketing director Matt VanDyke said, up $11,700 from the previous year. Ford does not disclose profits by model line. Average prices for the luxury Navigator rose to $81,000 in February from $78,000 a year earlier, according to Lincoln data. In January, Ford said transaction prices across its U.S. model lines averaged $38,400, above the $34,000 industry average. General Motors, which dominates the North American large SUV segment, will launch a new generation of its Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, and GMC Yukon, models later this year. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles last month said it will re-enter the large SUV segment with new models due out in late 2020. Ford workers and engineers redesigned portions of the Kentucky Truck assembly line to allow for the latest increase, Ford North American manufacturing chief John Savona said. For the first time, he said, workers at certain stations will be positioned at 2 levels (some in pits and some on platforms) to install parts on upper and lower sections of a vehicle in unison. The redesigned Expedition and Navigator assembly system requires 550 additional workers, and those jobs will be filled by workers currently at Ford’s Louisville assembly plant, which builds small Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC SUVs, Savona said. Ford invested $925 million to build the new generation Expedition and Navigator SUVs at the Kentucky plant. The automaker is pushing for market share in a segment it largely surrendered to rival GM over the past decade. Since launching its new big SUVs, Ford has improved its share of the U.S. large SUV segment by 5.6 percentage points, Ford’s VanDyke told. But GM still commands a 70 percent share of a market where vehicles sell for more than double the average price of a midsize sedan. +++ 

+++ As Lyft cruises toward an initial public offering this month, one of the big winners will be GENERAL MOTORS , whose stake in the ride-hailing firm could be worth as much as $1.27 billion. GM is not talking about its plans for that investment and investors do not have a consensus view. Some believe the No. 1 U.S. automaker should hold on to it for strategic reasons, while others want the money returned to shareholders through buybacks or a special dividend. “Unless GM can leverage its investment in Lyft to accelerate its own robo-taxi ambitions with Cruise, we believe it would be appropriate to cash out its stake to repurchase its own under-valued shares”, said Michael Razewski. Cruise Automation is GM’s self-driving car unit. GM invested $500 million in Lyft in January 2016. With a 180-day lock-up period during which GM cannot sell and the expected April IPO of larger rival Uber Technologies further stoking interest in the ride-hailing sector, the value could subsequently rise. GM spokesman Tom Henderson said the automaker is happy with its Lyft stake, but declined to discuss future plans for the shares. Lyft spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna had no comment. Several shareholders would like to see GM sell the stake and use the proceeds to repurchase shares or pay a special dividend. “If I want to buy Lyft, I’ll go do it myself”, said Scott Schermerhorn, managing principal with Granite Investment Advisors, which owns more than 210,000 GM shares. “Take the proceeds and invest it in something that’s core to their business or give it back to shareholders”. However, Jacques Elmaleh, portfolio manager with Steinberg Global Asset Management, with almost 24,000 GM shares at the end of 2018, said it is too early to write off the relationship. “I’d be inclined that they hold onto it and see how it plays out”, he said. GM’s former president, Dan Ammann, joined Lyft’s board as the companies eyed developing networks of self-driving cars together. However, there have been few signs of cooperation. Ammann, who now leads Cruise, left the Lyft board in June 2018. Analysts have speculated GM will eventually sell shares in Cruise or spin it off, and the incentive plan disclosed last month for Ammann pointed toward a possible IPO. Kyle Martin, analyst with Westwood Holdings, which owns more than 30,000 GM shares, would just as soon see GM sell the Lyft stake and use that money in Cruise. “That’s a meaningful amount of money that could certainly help them close the gap with Waymo and put them even further ahead of Ford”, he said. +++ 

+++ HYUNDAI and KIA will together invest $300 million in Indian ride-hailing platform Ola, playing catch-up in the global race to invest in mobility firms. The move follows the $275 million that the pair invested in Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab last year. Hyundai, Kia and Ola will collaborate to develop fleet and mobility solutions, electric vehicles and infrastructure specific to the Indian market, they said in a joint statement. The deal, Hyundai and Kia’s biggest combined investment, marks Hyundai’s foray into fleet vehicles. Hyundai is one of the biggest automakers operating in India, where affiliate Kia plans to start production this year at its first factory in the country. Ola’s other investors include SoftBank Group and Tencent Holdings. +++ 

+++ NISSAN is planning on introducing new models in the Arab world and increasing capacity at its local factories as part of a bid to secure the largest market share in the Middle East. The carmaker plans to increase its market share to more than 20 % by 2022 in the Gulf and in Egypt, from 16 % and 15 %, respectively, Peyman Kargar, chairman of Nissan in Africa, the Middle East and India, said in an interview. The company is currently No. 3 in Egypt and second in the Gulf. “We want to double our industrial footprint in the Middle East, Africa and India by 2022”, said Peyman, adding that Nissan is looking to boost its production facilities in the region to more than 6. It presently has three factories in Egypt, India and South Africa, and wants to add one in Pakistan and another in Algeria. Others would come later, he said. Egypt, with a population of around 100 million, is considered a strategic market for Nissan, according to Peyman. The automaker has invested $200 million in the country since it began operating there in 2005, he said. More investments are planned in the company’s fiscal year starting in April, and Nissan wants to bring its Egypt plant to full capacity of 28,000 vehicles per year, compared with the current level of 22,000. While the company’s Egypt outlook is optimistic, Peyman said the government’s decision to exempt imported cars from the European Union from customs duties is a challenge in the short and medium term. Yokohama-based Nissan had “very positive” discussions with the Egyptian government regarding this issue, he said. “We asked them to support the local industry to be able to compete, to not put us in a less competitive situation”, Peyman said. Among the proposals made was exempting imported parts from customs duties. “I’m pretty sure they will take some decisions soon”, said Peyman, referring to the government. +++ 

+++ Following a report last week, BMW and INEOS have confirmed PROJEKT GRENADIER will use BMW sourced engines. BMW is describing the agreement as a “major order” that will see the automaker deliver petrol and diesel powertrains to INEOS. The company didn’t go into specifics, but said they foresee deliveries in the “high-range five-digit” range. For their part, INEOS said the partnership is a “major step forward” for Projekt Grenadier as they noted BMW’s TwinPower Turbo engines are “famed for their world-class blend of durability, performance and efficiency”. While neither company mentioned which specific engines would be used in Projekt Grenadier, INEOS did reveal a little more about the model. They said it will embrace “no-frills utilitarianism, complete purity of purpose, unquestionable authenticity and ultimate engineering integrity”. The company was coy on details, but said the model will ride on an all-new architecture and be inspired by off-road icons such as the original Willys Jeep, Land Rover Series 1 and Toyota Land Cruiser J40. The vehicle will be offered in a number of markets and INEOS specifically mentioned Europe and the United States as well as Africa and “Australasia”. Projekt Grenadier is slated to be launched in 2020, although reports have suggested the date has slipped to 2021, and the company said development work is ramping up. Engineering is primarily being done in Germany with partners such as MBtech. Little else is known about Projekt Grenadier, but the vehicle was originally announced in 2017 as INEOS felt the temporary discontinuation of the Land Rover Defender left a “gap in the market for an uncompromising off-roader”. The company has remained tight-lipped about the model, but the automaker is eyeing to build 25,000 – 30,000 units annually and the model will be priced similarly to “high-spec double-cab pickups”. INEOS hasn’t announced a production location, they are expected to build Projekt Grenadier in-house at a facility in Europe. The model is slated to have a steel ladder frame, aluminum bodywork and a towing capacity of 3,500 kg. +++ 

+++ RENAULT chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has reportedly said he will not be “a commander” to manage the alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi, and that he will instead respect each companies’ culture and position. Senard also said he is not planning so far to discuss the possible merger of the French and Japanese automakers. But he added that by setting up a new council to operate the alliance, the companies show their willingness to make the collaboration “irreversible”. “It’s not to become a commander but to ensure the mutual respect among the 3 companies and the directors”, Senard said. “If I’m told to act as a referee, I will do it. But that’s not what motivates me”. Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have agreed to create an Alliance Operating Board, in a series of developments that followed the arrest of their former boss Carlos Ghosn in Japan last year for alleged financial misconduct at Nissan. The board, consisting of Senard and the CEOs of the 3 firms, will help reinforce and simplify decision-making in the alliance, he said. While Ghosn had been seen as seeking to create a holding company to integrate the operations of the 3 automakers, Senard said he is “not dealing with it today”, while adding, “There are fantasies and doubts which generate unfounded rumors and anxieties”. Asked whether the French government, the largest stakeholder in Renault, had asked him to make the alliance irreversible, Senard said, “I don’t know if that’s the word they used when I spoke to the government representatives, but that was the idea. In fact, I felt that it was obvious”. The new council shows “our will to make the alliance irreversible and that it is possible”, he said. +++ 

+++ SKODA is lining up its Scala family hatchback as the next model to get the RS treatment, according to a senior official, and requirements on CO2 emissions could mean that it becomes the first hybrid performance vehicle from the company. The Czech brand recently launched the Kodiaq RS, its second hot model after the Octavia RS. But the Scala (a conventional rival for the Ford Focus and VW Golf) would in theory be a more natural base for a ‘traditional’ hot hatch than the larger Octavia. Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Skoda’s board member with responsibility for sales and marketing, Alain Favey, admitted that such a vehicle is now being discussed. “Officially we have not decided anything”, Favey said, “but yes, we are considering a Scala RS. As far as I am concerned, it would make sense for us to have one. The reality is that we have been extremely successful with the Octavia RS. And early signs for the Kodiaq RS are encouraging; it is hitting its targets and more. So even in a package which is not a conventional sports car, a sporty version makes a lot of sense”. Favey added: “On a personal level, I would love to have it. But it needs to make sense in terms of profitability and it has to exist in the context of the CO2 targets we have to achieve for next year. There are a number of elements that you have to take into consideration, more than there used to be some years ago”. That concern about the impact of a Scala RS on Skoda’s average fleet CO2 emissions (a target the firm has to meet to avoid European Union fines) could force Skoda to take a radical approach to the powertrain. The concept that previewed the Scala, the Skoda Vision RS, combined a 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine with a 102 hp electric motor to deliver a total of more than 245 hp. A set-up like this in production form could give the Scala performance to match more traditional 2.0-litre cars like the Golf GTI, but with a lower impact on Skoda’s fleet CO2 emissions average. Skoda’s board member for technical development, Christian Strube, has been pushing the VW Group hard for a hybrid system. He declined to confirm this, or say whether such a move would be designed to support a Scala RS, but he conceded: “A performance version of the Scala is very interesting from an engineering perspective. It’s a type of car that I’m pushing for”. +++ 

+++ U.S. regulators charged VOLKSWAGEN and former CEO Martin Winterkorn with defrauding investors during its massive diesel emissions scandal. The charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission come 2 years after the German automaker settled with the U.S. over criminal and civil charges, as the company tries to distance itself from one if its darkest eras. The SEC said that between April 2014 and May 2015, Volkswagen issued more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities in U.S. markets when senior executives knew that more than 500,000 vehicles in the country grossly exceeded legal vehicle emissions limits. Volkswagen made false and misleading statements to investors and underwriters about vehicle quality, environmental compliance, and the company’s financial standing, which gave Volkswagen a financial benefit when it issued securities at more attractive rates for the company, according to the SEC. “Volkswagen hid its decade-long emissions scheme while it was selling billions of dollars of its bonds to investors at inflated prices”, said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division. In September 2015, Volkswagen installed software on more than 475,000 cars that enabled them to cheat on emissions tests, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The software reduced nitrogen oxide emissions when the cars were placed on a test machine but allowed higher emissions and improved engine performance during normal driving. In 2016, the Justice Department sued Volkswagen over the emissions-cheating software and the Federal Trade Commission sued the company, saying it made false claims in commercials promoting its “Clean Diesel” vehicles as environmentally friendly. Winterkorn resigned saying he took responsibility for the fraud, but insisted he personally did nothing wrong. Volkswagen said that the SEC is simply repeating unproven claims about Winterkorn. +++

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