By Andreas Cremer and Minami Funakoshi MUNICH/TOKYO (Reuters) – Volkswagen overtook Toyota as the world's largest carmaker by sales in the first half year, achieving its long-held ambition three years ahead of target. "The hunt for scale only makes sense if it boosts synergies, something VW hasn't really been able to achieve," said Stefan Bratzel, head of the Center of Automotive Management think-tank. "Dependence on China is VW's weak spot and managing such a large group inevitably poses problems." VW has been pushing for greater scale under Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn's eight-year reign, propelled by adding brands and factories and roaring sales in China.
General Motors Co said on Tuesday it will invest $5 billion over the next several years to develop with its Chinese partner a new family of Chevrolet vehicles aimed at fast-growing emerging markets, in the process offering investors a fresh rationale for rejecting a merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV . For the first time, GM will develop the foundation of a new, global family of vehicles in collaboration with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, the state-owned Chinese automaker that is GM's primary partner in China, the world’s largest car market. GM and SAIC will engineer Chevrolet compact cars and sport utility vehicles that will go on sale starting in 2019 in growth markets outside the United States and Europe, including India, China, Brazil and Mexico.
The youth-oriented Scion brand will double U.S. sales to above 100,000 by 2017 on the strength of three new offerings, two of which go on sale in September, the head of the 12-year-old Toyota Motor Corp brand said. In the first half of this year, Scion's U.S. sales were down 19 percent at nearly 25,000. Earlier this year, Automotive News reported that the third new model will be a compact utility vehicle or SUV-like hatchback to debut before 2017.
DETROIT (Reuters) – Strong sales of small SUVs will help push U.S. July auto sales to a 3.2 percent gain as full-year sales are headed to 17.1 million vehicles, J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecast on Friday.
Dutch mapmaker TomTom has deepened its partnership in high-definition mapping with German auto supplier Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL] to refine the technology crucial for autonomous driving. As Nokia auctions its mapping service Here, attracting interest from potential buyers including German carmakers, TomTom and Bosch said on Tuesday that they would add new layers of data to their maps. “By the end of 2015 we want to have new high-precision maps for automated driving for all freeways and freeway-like roads in Germany,” said Jan Maarten de Vries, TomTom’s vice-president of automotive operations.