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Auto blogThu, 17 Jan 2013
A new survey of top global automotive executives indicates both Volkswagen and BMW are the most likely to grow their market share over the next five years.
Tax advisory firm KPMG LLP has released its 14th annual Global Automotive Executive Survey, which includes responses from over 200 executives. A total of 81 percent of respondents said they expect to see Volkswagen make gains, compared to 70 percent last year. BMW, meanwhile, saw 70 percent of those surveyed say they believe the company will increase its market share. That's a jump of 7 percentage points over last year. This is the first time in the history of the survey that BMW has claimed the second-place spot.
Meanwhile, Hyundai has seen its perceived market share potential slacken for the third year in a row. Around 61 percent of those surveyed predicted gains for Hyundai, down from 63 in 2012. Toyota also has a surprising year, but for just the opposite reason. While the manufacturer had slipped in ranking since 2011, it enjoyed the largest increase of any company in the 2013 survey, jumping to 68 percent from 44 percent last year.
Enthusiasts like nothing more than to crucify modern interpretations of their favorite performance models for failing to live up to some imagined ethos. Even the Volkswagen GTI has suffered its fair share of slings and arrows for growing in size and curb weight. Chris Harris recently spent some time with the all-new MK VII GTI to find out if growing up means giving up on what makes the machine so special.
Judging by his comments, Harris certainly doesn't think so. Yes, the new GTI is considerably more comfortable than its predecessors, but that's hardly a bad thing. The multitude of driving modes actually seem to add depth to the car rather than simply try to force one tool to do many jobs, and Harris even finds the machine's electronic power steering tolerable. As a result, Harris goes so far as to call the Volkswagen GTI "one of the best cars to actually own." How's that for high praise? You can watch the video for yourself by scrolling below.
The United Auto Workers is in hot water with some of the very workers it is trying to unionize at Volkswagen's Chattanooga assembly plant. According to The Tennessean, eight Volkswagen factory workers have filed complaints against the UAW with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the union "misled or coerced" them into formally asking for union representation.
The UAW has instituted a major push at the Chattanooga plant to represent the 2,500 hourly laborers that build the VW Passat by using what's called a card-check process. The tactic is opposed by the National Right to Work Legal Defense foundation, the group representing the workers. The card-check process demands that a company recognize a union that obtains the signatures of more than half its workforce, according to The Tennessean. This tactic is in contrast to the more traditional route, which sees employees vote on union representation.
The workers filing the complaint claim that the UAW told them the cards merely called for a secret ballot, rather than an outright demand for union representation. Workers also allege that the UAW has made it overly difficult to reclaim their signed cards, some of which were signed so long ago that they have been rendered invalid. Although the cards can force a company's hand, federal law still allows the company to ask for a secret ballot before yielding to unionized workers.