Volkswagen is Bringing Back the Scout, the SUV Pioneer, as an EV

First Up 05/11/22

Volkswagen is Bringing Back the Scout, the SUV Pioneer, as an EV

Volkswagen AG is set to resurrect the Scout off-road vehicle brand as part of its bid to expand in the U.S., the world’s most profitable automotive market. Under the plan, which previously hasn’t been reported, the German company, a minnow in the U.S. but one of the largest auto makers in the world, is planning to launch a new Scout-branded electric sport-utility vehicle and a Scout electric pickup truck. VW’s board of directors is expected to approve the plan on Wednesday, reports The Wall Street Journal. The plan would see Scout operate as a subsidiary of VW in the U.S. alongside other VW brands — Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley. The move would mark the first time that VW has created a new brand based in the U.S. VW’s leadership hopes the Scout name can help the company break into the hard-fought and highly profitable American market for big SUVs and pickup trucks. VW hopes to eventually sell up to 250,000 Scout-branded vehicles a year in the U.S., with production set to start in 2026. Click here to learn more about the Scout.

Toyota Breaks Profit Records as it Shrugs Off Pandemic, Semiconductor Shortage

Toyota Motor Corp. smashed earnings records across the board in the latest fiscal year, racking all-time highs for revenue, operating profit and net income even as it battled the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and global semiconductor shortage. Automotive News reports operating profit climbed 36 percent to $24.61 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, topping the previous high from the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. Toyota booked a robust operating profit margin of 9.5 percent, up from 8.1 percent the year before. In announcing its earnings results on Wednesday, the world’s largest automaker said full fiscal year net income increased 27 percent to $23.38 billion, while revenue grew 15 percent to $257.42 billion. Both those totals chalked new records for Toyota as well. Global sales advanced 7.6 percent to 8.23 million vehicles in the fiscal year. The consolidated sales figure covers deliveries for the Lexus and Toyota brands, as well as Daihatsu and Hino. Click here for the full story.

BEVs Take Half the Spots on 2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX List

Battery-electric propulsion and charging get all the attention, but it’s clear automakers also are using their blank-sheet battery-electric-vehicle platforms as palettes for interior and UX innovations. BEVs account for half this year’s winners of the new jointly combined Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX awards, with two of the five from upstart automakers whose vehicles were tested for the first time. “This year marks a significant milestone for the Wards 10 Best Interiors and UX awards,” says WardsAuto Editor Drew Winter. “With 50 percent of our winners being battery-electric vehicles, this tells us the interiors of these models now are as awe-inspiring as their 0-60 mph performance time. Automakers are creating beautiful cabins in these vehicles that combine great new ideas with timeless designs from the past, plus packing them with great advanced technologies such as augmented reality.” The BMW iX and Kia EV6 CUVs, Lucid Air and Mercedes-Benz EQS sedans and Rivian R1T pickup truck make the cut this year, the first time Wards had such a large proportion of BEVs on either of their 10 Best Interiors or UX lists. Click here to see the lists.

Labor and Supply Shortages Continue to Impact Car Dealerships

Labor and supply shortage continue to impact many industries, including car dealerships. Many factors, like increasing COVID-19 cases in China, the war in Ukraine, and labor shortages in the U.S. have changed the way car salesmen do their jobs. Scott Simons, General Manager of CMA’s Valley Dealerships, said instead of test driving a car on the lot and signing the papers all in one day, buyers often place the car online and get the car delivered. “We have roughly 225 vehicles that are presold. You may drive by a dealership and say, ‘they don’t have many cars there.’ Well, if a truck comes in and people are waiting for it to come in, that truck may deliver in the morning and that car’s gone in the afternoon,” Simons said. This isn’t only a problem in the Valley or in the commonwealth; it’s widespread reports WVSV News (Va.) “We still feel like there’s going to be some inventory issues because there’s not only a chip shortage, it’s a labor shortage, it’s a COVID-in-China shortage, so all these parts are made in all these different countries, not just here in the United States,” he said. Click here for the full story.

Vietnam's VinFast IPO May Be Delayed to 2023 on Market Uncertainty

The chairman of Vietnam's Vingroup conglomerate said on Wednesday that an initial public offering (IPO) for the company's auto unit, VinFast, may be delayed until next year due to market uncertainty. The IPO is currently slated for the fourth quarter of this year. Vingroup Chairman Pham Nhat Vuong also told the company's annual general meeting the conglomerate was prioritising spending on VinFast and gave an aggressive car sales target. "We are eyeing a Q4 IPO, but there are lots of ongoing market uncertainties now... If necessary we may delay it to next year," Vuong said. "The IPO is not just for fundraising. It's also about marketing and claiming VinFast's position globally," he said. Reuters reports VinFast's Singapore-based holding company had filed for an IPO with the U.S. securities regulators, as the company readies a $4-billion investment to build a factory in the United States. Vuong also told the meeting the car maker was facing obstacles obtaining parts from China. Click here for the full story.

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Inside the McLaren Technology Centre: Best of the Boulevard [Jalopnik]

Bentley Bentayga Goes Big on Luxury with New Extended Wheelbase [Carbuzz]

Mercedes-AMG is Getting its Own Electric Patform [Autoblog]

$5.36 Million LaFerrari Now the Most Expensive Car Ever Sold on Internet [Autoweek]