Drive Type: Manual
Model: Beetle - Classic
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Clarklake, Michigan, United States
J.D. Power has just revealed the results of its 2013 APEAL Study, which looks at which brands have the most appealing cars based on sales figures, dealer inventory, brand loyalty, transaction and trade-in prices. The study was revamped for 2013, and places a larger focus on the new tech and infotainment options available to customers. All told, study participants gauged their vehicles on 77 different attributes, delivering a score out of a 1,000 points.
The Volkswagen Group had the greatest success of any corporation, topping the APEAL rankings with the Audi Allroad, Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayenne, VW GTI and Passat. Chevrolet had the highest number of awards for a single brand, though, with the Avalanche, Sonic and Volt all taking home a prize.
The best brand overall was Porsche, which scored 884 out of a possible 1,000 points. The top Japanese brand was Lexus with a score of 847, while the top American brand was Cadillac, at 841. The best mainstream brand was Ram, which received a very respectable 817. The industry average for this year's study was 795, with 16 brands, all of which were mainstream, falling below the average.
During a gathering of 20,000 Volkswagen Group employees at company headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany on Wednesday, CEO Martin Winterkorn dropped a bombshell. The boss stated that the automaker isn't operating efficiently enough and admitted the company needs to radically start cutting back to raise its profit margins. To right the ship, Winterkorn has proposed killing off less profitable models and spending less on research and development.
According to Reuters, Winterkorn wants to raise the VW brand's profit margin from about 2.9 percent in 2013 to a target of 6 percent. To make that possible, his plan amounts to increasing cost cutting until Volkswagen reaches about 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion) per year to get things back in order. "Over the short-term, we urgently need more efficiency and higher profit," the CEO said during his speech, according to Reuters.
However, Winterkorn can't make these decisions unilaterally. Volkswagen's works council also has a seat on the supervisory board to represent laborers, and it isn't likely to take the proposed cuts sitting down.
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf just went on sale in Europe, but it is already off to a promising start. Announced as the Geneva Motor Show kicked off, the newest Golf was named European Car of the Year for 2013 in dominating style over cars like the Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 twins, Volvo V40, Ford B-Max and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
According to Automotive News Europe, the MkVII Golf won handily over its rivals with a total of 414 votes. The Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 received 202 votes finishing in a distant second, while the Volvo V40 (189 votes), Ford B-Max (148 votes) and Mercedes-Benz A-Class (138 votes) round out the top five. The new Golf marks the third Volkswagen product to receive the prestigious award with previous cars including the MkIII Golf and the most recent iteration of the Polo.