• Sad - VW may have to sell Lamborghini, Bugatti, Ducati to cover emissions scandal costs

    Volkswagen’s troubles with falsifying its emissions data for both diesel and even some gasoline powered vehicles are now well-documented, and it looks like the company may have to sell some of its prized assets in order to pay for the inevitable recalls, regulatory fines, and class-action lawsuits headed its way. The automaker has just secured a credit line of over $21 billion, according to Reuters. In order to do so, Volkswagen Group had to assure the 13 financial institutions involved throughout Europe that it’s prepared to sell whatever it needs to for collateral.
    First up on the chopping block would be MAN, the division that supplies ship engines, gear units, propulsion systems, and other industry components that’s worth between $4 and $5 billion euros, the report said. But an unnamed source (our favorite kind) also said, “Volkswagen may also consider divesting luxury car brands Bentley and Lamborghini or motor bike brand Ducati, although these units don’t really move the needle.”
    Lamborghini Huracan
    Lamborghini (pictured above) and Bugatti (pictured, top) are famed for their supercars — particularly the former, which has steadily put out models since its transformation from a Italian tractor company into an automaker in 1963, and whose posters have graced the walls of many a teenage kid throughout the years. Bugatti was recently resurrected as a car company in 1998, after its original incarnation produced some of the most celebrated vehicles in automotive history throughout the first half of the 20th century. And the Bologna, Italy-based Ducati needs no introduction to motorcycle fans, thanks to its ultra-fast superbikes and their sweeping, distinctive styling.
    It’s less likely VW would have to let go of Audi or Porsche, at least in the first go-around, if worse comes to worst. Volkswagen has yet to comment on the latest news, although it continues to insist that the 800,000 cars recently discovered to emit greater carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and consume more fuel than disclosed are in question, and that the final number of those may in fact be smaller.
    TDI 2015 engine VW
    What isn’t in dispute is the main problem, which is that the automaker has admitted 11 million VW TDI diesel vehicles globally cheat on emissions tests, and in the US, emit up to 40 times the maximum NOx compounds allowed by federal law in regular driving tests, as caught by some independent researchers trying to learn more about how VW achieved its clean diesel design. We can safely say “clean diesel” is dead, as veteran auto industry exec Bob Lutz recently put it.
    To make a November 30th deadline, VW submitted to CA regulators plans to clean up the three types of four-cylinder TDI vehicles affected in the emissions scandal, but neither side has yet to close what those plans are and whether they will adequately solve the problem — not to mention what kind of effect they’ll have on the performance, mileage, drivability, resale value, and reliability of the 482,000 vehicles in question. A more recent disclosure that 85,000 of the automaker’s six-cylinder Touareg TDI models, the Porsche Cayenne, and some Audis, is also still up in the air without resolution.
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