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This is not looking good for VW

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Hello all,

 

Having worked in the Automotive industry for many years... and being in charge of recalls for Subaru for 5 years, I have a pretty good idea of how expensive this is going to be for VW with their "clean burning TDI" debacle.

 

Considering they have sold $300 Billion of these in Europe and $15 Billion of them in the USA that is a lot of cars. In addition, they have now admitted that they did it to all of them, in every country.

 

The cost of the recall and repair alone would bankrupt most large corporations. But then you start adding the fines on each car they sold... the fines for breaking the law, etc. I am beginning to believe

this may be the beginning of the end for VW as we know it. There is no way they are going to survive this financially and remain intact.

 

At best they are going to be a much smaller company. More likely they will cease to exist legally (legally close their doors and liquidate assets) and then re-open their manufacturing plants under someone

else's badge. I just do not see them surviving this at this point. There is just too much cash required to correct this. Nobody has this much cash... not even Volkswagen.

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VW has $25bn in cash, but Credit Suisse analysts estimate the cost to be potentially as high as $85bn. To put this into perspective the BP gulf spill topped out at around $53bn. The difference is that oil is fungible and BP never stopped selling it, VW sales (and therefore revenue) will go down whilst their costs will go up.

 

I doubt VW will go under, they will pay the best lawyers to prolong proceedings to give them time to develop an action plan, which could include selling the premium brands they own (Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini). But I imagine VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Seat will stay together because of the shared platforms (only the SUVs for Porsche).

 

Even if they do go under the doors wont be shut, I believe someone would buy the group with a promise of limited liability, to have enormous penetration in the German and European market.

 

One possibility is that the market for small engined diesels will disappear, if I am not mistaken this cheat is on their 4 cylinder diesels not the bigger V6's. In Europe (Certainly France and Germany) diesel fuel attracts a lower tax than petrol, so its around 20 centimes cheaper per liter. The greens may use this situation to get rid of this subsidy, its not difficult to imagine what would happen to sales.

 

All that being said this will go down in history as one the dumbest deliberate corporate misdeeds since the Enron/Arthur Anderson scandal.

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hehe, They are doing the same advertising here. But their best performing dealers in this country that used to sell 5 to 10 cars per day are now lucky

if they can sell 5 cars per week. As zeno mentioned, this drop in revenue will exacerbate the problem.

 

I must not have been clear. They will not cease to exist. But they will likely cease to exist as we know them today.

They will likely end up under someone else's badge. They will have to liquidate a lot of assets. But they are never likely going to liquidate their

manufacturing capabilities. That would mean they are giving up their existence. Which I doubt they will allow to happen.

 

Having said that... these costs just continue to mount. I actually think the Credit Suisse estimate is very conservative. I think it is likely going to be more than 85 billion.

I am thinking it is likely going to be more than 100 billion before it is all said and done.

 

We all know, an 85 to 100 billion dollar liability combined with sales that have tanked to almost nothing... is a recipe for disaster regardless of how large you are.

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I drive one of these diesels, Seat not VW. I think they will survive because all brands have the same emission figures, and you cant beat VW's diesels, they are the best (even though they pollute more than promised) When I bought my car I was counting on a diesel price of €1,45 per litre, it still is 1,16 per litre, and I'm doing 18 km per litre (translate that to gallons per mile and you'll see thats still a lot better than the average car in the US....)

Electric cars pollute even more the batteries, the power loss on the grid before their battery, ...... Hydrogen will be the only clean fuel, and if we make unused power created by our windmills into hydrogen a lot of the hazardous hydrogen transport can be evaded....

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I do not dispute how good the TDI's are... I love them.

But this shit cannot be tolerated.

 

It will be interesting to see how much power you lose when they make the corrections.

 

Here our hybrids which are both electric and gas do very well... cars tend to get 45 to 55 mpg.

The hybrid SUV's get around 30mpg... which isn't bad for a vehicle that weighs close to 6000 pounds.

 

This rivals the economy of a TDI, but as you have pointed out, the batteries are a problem.... and the batteries typically have to be replaced about every 5 to 7 years depending on how

the car is used. You are correct in that batteries are a nightmare problem as far as disposal. They are highly toxic.... to everything.

 

This is why I have always loved the TDI's produced by anyone out there really. Isuzu actually builds some of the best TDI engines in the world. Even a little 4 cylinder Isuzu TDI

comes with rod and piston cooling... which is a feature typically only found in commercial truck diesel engines that are warrantied for 1 million miles.

 

Volkswagen also tends to build beautiful "swiss watch like" TDI engines. The problem is they have cheated badly. These engines are producing 40 times what is allowed of some greenhouse gas emissions in the tests run here.

Now they can likely correct it with software updates to the ECM. However, they will likely lose significant power overall. In addition your likely to see a change in the rpm range it produces the most power. That is fine if it is a manual,

but if it happens to be an automatic, they will have to reprogram the shift points also. All of these engines they correct will see a significant change in the HP/Torque curves.

 

You may be wondering why this change would reduce the power?

Well, the only way to honestly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a diesel or gas engine is to lean it out.

The leaner it runs, the hotter it runs which begins to severely limit how much power you can produce due to detonation dangers.

In addition, leaner means less fuel to start with, our engines are only capable of extracting a fraction of the power available in a given amount of fuel.

The less fuel supplied, the less HP is available... and your also running much hotter which brings detonation into the picture.

So between the two... your producing significantly less power with the leaner fuel/air ratios.

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Oh...and do not forget natural gas engines. They actually burn extremely clean compared to other combustion engines also.

Not as clean as hydrogen... but pretty clean.

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Just an few points since I live in the electric propulsion industry.

Charging an electric car on the "Grid" is far more efficient then any gas car when it comes to emissions. The power generation for the "Grid" is far more efficient.

The only option for electric cars right now is Lithium. Its highly toxic to dump. But is also recyclable, the number of places that will recycle are increasing also. We actually face a more dangerous dumping problem of all those little phone batteries then from electric cars.

 

Current storage tech is just not up to par when it comes to the amount of mass needed for the batteries. The cost is also prohibitive. Unless gas hits $10 a Gallon you wont see a surge in electric cars. And that surge will be limited by the availability of the small electric car production chain.

Edited by Donziboy2

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On the grid 65% of the energy is lost.....and still most power plants use coal.....

Natural Gas cars have too limited range (I'd be refuelling every day) (300 km max)

6000 pound cars is not needed at all, my car weighs in at 1400 kilo's (thats 3000 pounds and its a comfortable 5 seater with a big trunk)

So to save the environment saving weight in cars is most important, thats only feisable when all cars go down in weight (otherwise accidents will cause deaths in the US)

less horsepower is no problem for me, I have driven bigger cars with less horsepowers and still got from A to B. (When I drive too fast it only saves me 5-10 minutes in a drive of 1,5 hours)

More and better trains could save a lot on emissions.

Id like for Europe to see a tax on flights that are less than 3 hours duration. the emissions in those flights are huge compared to the time gain.

my 5 cents... ;-)

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Oh I have given you the wrong impression Forrester.... let me correct that.

 

There are NO cars here that weigh more than approx. 4000 pounds. (there are a couple of big luxury exceptions)

The majority of cars here weigh between 2500 and 3800 pounds.

Last time I checked the average weight of a 4 door sedan was 3400 pounds here in the USA.

The majority of vehicles in this country are these fairly light cars.

 

So people who have paved roads, or great snow removal typically drive a fairly light car.

 

Another class of vehicle we have here are officially called AWD or 4x4 SUV's but they are unibody vehicles

meant for bad weather and some very light dirt road use.

We refer to these vehicles as "Mall Assault Vehicles". These typically weigh 3500 to 4500 pounds.

 

4x4 off road trucks are considerably heavier due to how tough they must be built, and the suspension that goes with that.

The majority of off road 4x4 Trucks here weigh between 4000 pounds and 6500 pounds.

 

You might wonder why people need 4x4 trucks? well... there are two reasons. Mountains of snow across the northern tier of states.

As an example, where I lived in Northern Indiana, due to the "lake effect snow" we typically got 8 feet of snow per winter.

This meant many times when I got out to go to work at 5am, I had 12+ inches of snow on the ground.

Many times I actually plowed snow with my front bumper going to work (more than 24 inch drifts of snow). Cars cannot move in these conditions.

This pretty much dictates a very capable 4x4 truck to get around during winter. Many places get much more snow than that each winter.

Yes you could wait a day or two for snow plows to get to your house... but that is not really tolerated well in these areas.

Since it is the norm, most work places expect you to be prepared to deal with the norm.

 

But even more demanding on a vehicle, in a lot of western states, there are still many dirt roads as hard as that may be to believe.

While all cities and main highways are paved, a huge number of county roads are still dirt roads.

It is impossible for cars to traverse many of these dirt roads on a regular basis without damage.

A significant number of people still live miles back these dirt roads... many times by choice... they do not want a city next to to them.

 

So yes we have gone very light for road cars and they are the majority of vehicles in the country. It is very difficult (not impossible) to build a light off road

4x4 that will also have great endurance. Just the frame for one of these trucks typically weighs between 400 and 600 pounds.

It must not flex much under the torsional beating it is going to take.

Edited by Zathrus~SPARTA~

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On the grid 65% of the energy is lost.....and still most power plants use coal.....

Natural Gas cars have too limited range (I'd be refuelling every day) (300 km max)

6000 pound cars is not needed at all, my car weighs in at 1400 kilo's (thats 3000 pounds and its a comfortable 5 seater with a big trunk)

So to save the environment saving weight in cars is most important, thats only feisable when all cars go down in weight (otherwise accidents will cause deaths in the US)

less horsepower is no problem for me, I have driven bigger cars with less horsepowers and still got from A to B. (When I drive too fast it only saves me 5-10 minutes in a drive of 1,5 hours)

More and better trains could save a lot on emissions.

Id like for Europe to see a tax on flights that are less than 3 hours duration. the emissions in those flights are huge compared to the time gain.

my 5 cents... ;-)

Less then 37% of the total US power output is from coal and that number drops every year due to conversions and retirements. In the last few years Obama and his friends have pretty much killed the coal industry in the US. (the sister company to the one I work for does electric propulsion for mining, mainly coal and they have been hit hard.)

 

All power generation will be inefficient.. Do you really think your car is actually efficient? Maybe compared to other cars but not by the standard of the amount of energy used and produced.

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I dont say my car is the best. But if you take into account all energy used producing energy, refining, loss on the grid, diesel will come out at least as a runner up.

Refining for petrol brings huge environmental issues, lots of oil/waste just burns away. Electrical power has considerable loss on the grid, and fracking to get natural gas, I will talk to you in 30 years....

There is only one way to get real clean power earth heat to hydrogen gas. even PV cells cause a lot of toxic waste in the production process. So the goal is clear, and as soon as I can switch to a "good" car I will.

In the mean time, reduction of weight, smaller engines (less HP) less driving for fun, and less consumption in homes (especially pools and airco.....) which you wont find over here. And no flying for me and my family, we have fine holidays in europe at at most a day drive away.

This year i further improved my home by isolating the floor and switching to floor heating. every overhaul brings isolation/energy efficience gains in my home. I try to do my best.

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That is a good thing.

 

In reality, with current technologies, there really aren't any super good solutions.... only mediocre ones.

 

Also, I agree fracking is dangerous as hell.... in Oklahoma, where considerable fracking has been done for the last few years they have seen

a huge increase in minor earth quakes. Prior to fracking only a handful per year, now over 100 per year. Granted they are all generally around 3.0 or lower so in many cases

even hard to feel... but to me, this could easily be an indicator of significantly worse problems in the future in this area.

 

In my opinion, as long as they aren't cheating, a small 4 cylinder turbo diesel is likely the best current solution. They have plenty of HP for most vehicles and great economy.

 

This may change as technologies advance, but right now, alternatives that can produce similar power are either very expensive (too expensive to be viable) or no better once one

analyzes the entire picture.

Edited by Zathrus~SPARTA~

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One other thing, I believe the amount of "grid loss" is greatly dependent on the age of the infrastructure.

For instance, in the Southwest, much of the Grid is less than 20 years old. Some is older, but the majority is fairly new.

The town I live in was not even established until 1977.

 

All the power in this area is in underground conduits, due to periodic high winds and a lot of lightning destroying above ground utility power transmission

poles. In fact, where ever they have remained above ground in my area, is with these huge 60 foot tall steel "hurricane resistant" poles.

I know that power underground, is actually more susceptible to lightning than on over ground poles. However, instead of a pole being destroyed, an automatic relay

kicks out for a second or two... then resets.

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Oh this just keeps getting better

 

 

The EPA announces new VW violations;The Environmental Protection Agency has added seven vehicles to its VW violation list of affected cars, reports CNBC's Phil LeBeau;

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued a second notice of violation against Volkswagen, and this time included a Porsche model.

Monday's announcement adds more vehicles to the list of affected cars, including the 2014 VW Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L and Q5.

The EPA said the German automaker installed software designed to defeat emissions tests on 2014 to 2016 vehicles with 3-liter, six-cylinder diesel engines. In September, the automaker acknowledged rigging emissions tests for four-cylinder diesel engines.

The new notice marks the first time a Porsche model has been implicated in the scandal.

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Why would anyone think a Audi Quattro or Porche to be environmentally friendly..... Fast/Big cars pollute like h€ll

Not really about that mate it's about the deliberate corporate decision to try and cheat emissions tests

 

However I agree with your premise that big cars are a problem all by themselves

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Actually, you can make a turbo diesel fairly clean, but you have to run it very hot with very high head pressures.

That of course can affect the longevity of the engine. But most diesel blocks and heads are designed to withstand very high head pressures in the cylinders.

 

In addition, a 4 cyl. turbo diesel would provide plenty of adequate power for those "big vehicles".

 

This is all about the deliberate decision to write code into the ECM that automatically defeats the emissions tests. That... cannot be tolerated. I really do not care how much they were polluting.

I care that they actually had engineers sit down and design an emissions test defeating ECM control package. That indicates a very serious problem with ethics in my book.

 

I know why they did it... it is much safer for the engine. They run cooler the richer you can run them... ofc they pollute a hell of a lot more also and it is in no way a legitimate excuse.

 

They have intentionally broken the law. They had engineers design an ECM control system that breaks the law..... that is the problem here. ETHICS!

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I don't think big cars are a problem and I certainly wouldn't classify those cars as BIG. Thirsty cars yes, BIG no!

So would you say a car that does 20 miles to the gallon is as environmentally friendly as one that does nearly 100? and is therefore not a problem that's the argument a lot of people are using nowadays.

 

For the record those cars are very big compared to the average in Europe.

 

I am a bit of a petrol head I like fast cars but I understand the environmentalist point of view I do not always agree with it but I do think when we talk of cars we all get a little bit selfish.

 

I had the use of a Mercedes on Thursday frickin nice car but compared to my usual work vehicle 40% less economic to be fair I really would like to use it every day if they would let me is this me being reasonable or selfish?

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Custard... you misunderstand how this works.

 

Just because it gets 20 mpg does NOT mean it pollutes. Here... a 7500 pound SUV getting 20mpg is burning extremely clean.

It just takes a lot of fuel to manage the movement of that much mass.

 

The amount it pollutes is dependent on the combustion in the cylinder... not how much mass you have to move.

I can build a very large V8 producing in excess of 350HP only gets 16 mpg for a large SUV or truck that burns cleaner than a cheap 2000 pound car with a cheap 4cyl. engine in it getting 35mpg.

It has nothing to do with size, it has to do with the spark advance, the cylinder pressure, the amount of fuel relative the amount of air your bringing in, etc.

 

More pollutants are released eventually over time due to more fuel has been consumed over time. But the bigger vehicle may in fact be releasing fewer pollutants per mpg than the vehicles with smaller engines.

That is the point I am trying to make.

Edited by Zathrus~SPARTA~

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Lol mate my math is not perfect but I still see 1 x 7500 pound SUV equates to 3 x smaller vehicles amount of burnt fuel which ever way you slice it = bigger vehicles = more pollution.

 

Any 4 cylinder getting less than 50 mpg should not be allowed to be built. I totally refute your premise that weight of vehicle is irrelevant to economy that's a bogus argument mate.

 

Don't get me wrong my family are farmers we had 4x4s before they became fashionable I understand the need for that type of vehicle but 99% of users of what we deem 'chelsea taxis' are having them because of want not need and they are in that sense an environmental nightmare.

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That is not what I said. Your not reading clearly.... or I am not writing clearly... either way..

 

You can refute that the weight of a vehicle is irrelevant to economy... but I never said that... only you did in that post. Although there are

many big heavy vehicles that actually get better fuel economy that smaller lighter models.

 

I said, the size of the engine has nothing to do with how much pollutants are pumped out per gallon of fuel burned.

The efficiency of the combustion in the cylinder dictates that.

 

Yes a vehicle that has lower economy burns more fuel. The point I was making is size of engine and miles per gallon have nothing to do with the amount of pollutants pumped out per gallon of fuel burned.

 

In england I would say that that 99% dont need 4x4's number is true.

Here... this continent is a different animal.

There are many people here who drive SUV's that do not need to... they really do not need a 4x4. I would say probably 50% of 4x4 owners here do not really need them.

But there is a huge number of people in this country who do need 4x4's because of where they live or what they do.

 

As an example on economy, efficiency and pollutants vs. vehicle size:

The Jeep CJ series with its 6cyl engine (produces approx. 250HP) is very popular for some in this country, but even the 2010 through 1015 models get horrific economy because it uses an old engine design that is updated with todays fuel injection systems etc..

Typcially Jeeps get 13 to 18mpg depending on conditions.

 

My FJ Cruiser is 1000 pounds heavier than the Jeep, has a larger V6 (produces approx. 300HP) ... but gets almost 10mpg better fuel economy than that Jeep V6.

I can assure you it also burns much cleaner than the jeep engine... I have owned both.

 

So size and weight of the vehicle do not dictate economy... or the amount of pollutants it pumps out per gallon of fuel burned.

Edited by Zathrus~SPARTA~

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My neighbor has a 2013 Jeep CJ7 series. It has a 2 inch lift, etc. I just asked him how it was doing.

He told me running around town he gets 9 mpg... on the highway if he is lucky he gets about 12 or 13mpg.

This is partly because of Jeep's choice of axle ratio's for their trail rated jeeps, but most of it is the engine just sucks fuel like a demon... and it only produces about 255HP.

 

So My 2014 Toy. FJ Cruiser weighs 1000 pounds more than his jeep... has a 300HP V6 in it... and I get about 21mpg running around town

and mid 20's on the highway... I also have a 2 inch lift on my truck.

 

Design is everything.... and today I filled my 20 gallon fuel tank up with gas that was $1.95 per gallon..... our gas is far too cheap here... part of the problem.

Edited by Zathrus~SPARTA~

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and yes I agree.... the Jeep engine and axle ratio choices are horrific. By today's standards, a V6 producing only 250HP or so in a 4000 pound vehicle should

be getting a minimum of 18 to 20mpg.

 

My 2007Jeep CJ was trail rated also, but I had not lifted it or done anything in that regard. So it was factory stock trail rated.

It got 13 to 16mpg no matter what I tried... it did not care... that is how much fuel it was going to burn to go from point A to point B.

It is the main reason I got rid of my Jeep. I loved how it drove, but I hated how fuel hungry it was. It was absurd in my opinion.

 

I am unsure why jeep continues to use this old engine... perhaps because it has proven that while fairly inefficient.. it tends to

be a steady performing with good low end torque & dependable engine for a very long time compared to most Mopar based designs.

It has the reputation of being a workhorse.

 

My Father's 6000 pound Hybrid SUV gets about 33mpg on the highway. It actually gets much higher fuel economy running around town,

because it tends to use the electric motors a lot more in town driving conditions.

 

So... we can also just raise the efficiency of all of these vehicles, regardless of size as the technologies already exist to induce huge improvements over present conditions.

But it is usually significantly more expensive... and there is only a limited percentage of the general population with the ability or willingness to pay that significantly higher cost.

As an Example, the Hybrid version of my Father's SUV costs about $7000 more than an identically equipped gas only version... my Father decided it was important enough to him to at least try to use

less fossil fuel. In addition he had the ability to pay that additional $7k... many of us don't without the pain of significantly higher payments.

Edited by Zathrus~SPARTA~

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