1969 Volkswagen Bus/vanagon on 2040-cars
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Auto blogSun, 23 Dec 2012
Wards Auto has released its North American Light Vehicle Production Forecast for 2014, and the report predicts foreign manufacturers will increase production on the continent some 3.9 percent by 2014. If accurate, that should see 123,000 additional cars, trucks and vans produced in North America, swelling the total number of units produced both by domestic and foreign manufacturers to 16.9 million light vehicles from a projected 15.6 million in 2013. Much of the increase can be attributed to the fact that Toyota intends to produce another car at its Blue Springs, MS plant as well as a new Lexus model at its Georgetown, KY facility in a year's time.
Likewise, Volkswagen intends to move production of a currently imported model to its plant in Puebla, Mexico. Daimler, Honda, Nissan and Mazda also plan to build additional models on North American soil for the first time. Around two-thirds of the new North American manufacturing will take place in Mexico, helping the country soak up a full 20 percent of the content's automotive production for the first time. You can head over to the Wards Auto site for the full report.
Getting a new diesel-powered car just got a bit easier. Volkswagen has announced a new Jetta TDI Value Edition for 2014 that trims over $2,000 off the starting price of a Jetta TDI, making the most affordable diesel-powered car in America even more so. Prices start at $21,295 (*plus $820 for destination) for a Value Edition with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed dual-clutch automatic adds $1,100 to the price. For that money, owners will get 140 horsepower, 236 pound-feet of torque and 42 miles per gallon on the freeway.
Despite the lower price and being down on content versus the previous base Jetta TDI, the Value Edition does come quite well equipped, with standard heated cloth seats, a six-speaker stereo with a Media Device Interface, satellite radio, and one-touch, up-down power windows on all four doors. Customers will be giving up some notable stuff though, including tilt/telescopic steering, Bluetooth streaming audio, power seats and a multi-function steering wheel.
Still, if you're aching to get your hands on a new TDI, this is now the most affordable way to do it. We suspect having the lower MSRP will help the German manufacturer make even further diesel-powered inroads here in the States, a land where they cleared their decks of over 100,000 TDI models in 2013.
More Fun Than A Prius, Less Sensible Than A TDI
Let's have some fun, and do some math. We're talking pretty rudimentary stuff, multiplication and division, to figure out if the upcoming Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid can make a baseline case for itself against two very strong competitors in this segment. The competitors in question, at least for now, are two more Jettas: the diesel-drinking TDI and the fit-for-the-masses SE with VW's long-serving 2.5-liter engine.
To keep the equations clean and simple (hey, we're writers), we'll calculate based on the most flattering EPA miles per gallon stat from highway driving for all cars, assume a healthy 20,000 miles driven per year, and factor in today's average cost for the respective fuels these three require: diesel (TDI), regular (SE) and premium (Hybrid). We'll also start with the base prices for all models.