- Volkswagen partners presented with award for service quality
- Volkswagen Builds New Engine Plant in Mexico
- Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid at the 1,000 mile classic Petit Le Mans
- Audi is back in the USA with R15 TDI to take on Petit Le Mans and Peugeot
Posted: 24 Sep 2010 08:40 AM PDT
Volkswagen yesterday presented its Service Quality Award to 100 service partners from Europe including Turkey and Russia. The aim of the competition is to further improve the quality of service and customer satisfaction at the service partners. Michael Horn, Head of Volkswagen After Sales, was very satisfied with the results and presented the trophies at a gala event in Wolfsburg.
“The results show we have constantly improved service quality in recent years, particularly as regards the repeat repair rate. In addition, all the winning service partners have excelled in their systematic customer orientation and the personal commitment of their employees,” Horn said in his laudation speech.
To qualify for the Volkswagen Service Quality Award, service partners must conduct a standardized customer satisfaction survey over a twelve-month period. The two criteria of customer retention and repeat repair rate are crucial for determining the ranking in the Service Quality Award.
In total, some 6,300 service partners from 27 countries took part in the competition. The best 100 were invited to Wolfsburg for this year’s final event. The award ceremony was preceded by an exciting program of driving events and other highlights. The Volkswagen Service Quality Award was presented for the first time in 2008.
- Volkswagen AG
Posted: 24 Sep 2010 07:43 AM PDT
The Volkswagen Group is opening up a new plant in Silao in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato as part of its long-term expansion strategy. Otto Lindner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen de México, announced the decision this Wednesday in Mexico City in the presence of Mexican President Felipe Calderón and the Governor of the state of Guanajuato, Juan Manuel Oliva Ramiréz. Construction works are set to begin this year. From 2013 engines will be produced on site in Silao with the help of state-of-the-art manufacturing technology.
“North America is and remains one of the biggest and most important markets for the automotive industry,” explained Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, member of the Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Board of Management for Group Production. “The current expansion of capacity of the plant in Puebla, the upcoming start of production in Chattanooga, as well as the opening up of the new engine plant in Silao, clearly shows how Volkswagen AG is going on the offensive in North America as well.”
Strengthening the market position of the Volkswagen Group in North America is an essential component of the global expansion strategy. In this context the Volkswagen Group is planning sales of one million vehicles in the USA annually from 2018. The core elements of this strategy are vehicles tailored to the demands of US customers, such as the New Jetta or the New Midsize Sedan, which are produced in North American plants with a high degree of localisation.
From 2013, the new plant in Silao will supply engines of the latest generation to the vehicle plants in Puebla, Mexico and Chattanooga in the USA. The new plant in Puebla is designed for an annual capacity of 330,000 engines. The investment volume for the development of the new engine as well as for building the new site comes to a total of USD 550 million (EUR 400 million). Volkswagen will create approximately 700 jobs over the medium term on site in Silao. In addition, further jobs will arise in the region with suppliers and in the area of logistics. The Volkswagen Group selected Silao as the new engine site because in addition to having a qualified work force and a developed supplier structure, the region offers a site of 60 hectares which is already developed and has an existing transport infrastructure.
Referring to the great significance to the company of the new engine plant, Otto Lindner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen de México said, “In over 40 years our plant in Puebla has developed into one of the largest vehicle plants in the Group. The decision to open up a second site in Mexico is the next logical step as part of our expansion strategy.”
Currently, the Volkswagen Jetta, Golf estate and the New Beetle are produced in Puebla, Mexico. From 2011, production of the New Midsize Sedan will begin in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the USA.
- Volkswagen AG
Posted: 24 Sep 2010 06:26 AM PDT
A gripping finale in the American Le Mans Series: At Petit Le Mans, the 1,000 mile classic on the Road Atlanta circuit, the title decision in all classes goes down to the wire on 2nd October. For fans of the racing series featuring the world’s fastest sports cars, another highlight awaits them on the established circuit in the US State of Georgia – it is the first race in the USA for the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid.
The challenging 4.087 kilometre race track with its twelve corners, on which the success story of the American Le Mans Series began back in 1999, is an ideal stage for the selection of the champion. In the particularly competitive class for GT sports cars, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) have the best chances to successfully defend their title from last year at the wheel of the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Facing strong opposition from BMW, Ferrari and Chevrolet, they have so far taken home victory from Long Beach, Laguna Seca, Lime Rock and Mosport and tackle the finale with a comfortable points’ buffer. The situation in the manufacturer and team championships, however, looks particularly dramatic – in each classification, Porsche ranks first albeit by just one point.
“The title is virtually within our grasp. Still, we’ll be doing everything to bring home as many points as possible and to also secure the manufacturer and team titles for Porsche,” says Joerg Bergmeister. “The track is very picturesque, but very challenging. It put a lot of demands on a driver.” With a string of five victories between 2003 and 2007, he has raised the bar in Road Atlanta. Bergmeister and Patrick Long receive support from Porsche factory pilot Marc Lieb (Germany), the newly-crowned winner of the Le Mans Series (GT class). After the Sebring 12 Hour event, the Petit Le Mans race is the second longest in the American Le Mans Series with a maximum duration of ten hours. Joerg Bergmeister regards this as advantageous: “With the many pit stops, strategy and teamwork play a major role. And our Flying Lizard Motorsports boys have proven often enough that they are the best at this.”
Aside from the riveting title fight, a highlight of the season final on the classic circuit is the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid. The sports car with its ground-breaking drive technology, which was on course to win the Nürburgring 24 hour race until shortly before the flag, celebrates its much-anticipated race premiere in the USA. It races in the special GTH class – with a prominent driver line-up: Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) with Audi factory pilot Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) are eager to demonstrate the reliability and performance of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid to the US fans and to assist in perfecting its innovative technology. Earlier this year, the trio clinched overall victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Whilst the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid is not eligible to earn points, another title will be decided in the sports prototype class. Here as well, Porsche has good chances for victory with the RS Spyder. The US customer team, Muscle Milk Team Cytosport, which fields the successful racer from Weissach, has already celebrated a class victory this year at the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring and underlined its potential with two overall wins at Lime Rock and Mosport. Sharing driving duties in the #6 cockpit for the season finale is an all-German line-up of Klaus Graf, Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr. Audi works pilot, Luhr, is no stranger to his teammates and the RS Spyder. In 2006, as Porsche works driver, he was crowned champion in the American Le Mans Series – with Sascha Maassen.
In the second Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche-Junior Marco Holzer (Germany) makes his debut in the American Le Mans Series. He starts in the GT class with Americans Darren Law and Seth Neiman. Contesting the series for the first time this season, the Falken Tire squad, winners of the environmental Michelin Green X Challenge award at the Elkhart Lake race, fields a 911 GT3 RSR with drivers Bryan Sellers (USA) and former Porsche-Junior Martin Ragginger (Austria). Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) will not be competing for the rest of the 2010 motorsport season. He underwent surgery to his back and will be in recovery over the next several weeks in order to guarantee he is ready to race without any restrictions in the 2011 season.
Poised to snatch the GTC class title is points’ leader Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Teaming up with American Timothy Pappas, the double Porsche Supercup champion has notched up four victories so far this season. Joining forces as the third driver is his brother, Sebastiaan.
The race in Road Atlanta starts on Saturday, 2 October, at 11.15 hrs local time (17.15 hrs CEST) and runs over 1,000 miles or a maximum ten hours. The GT-qualifying on Friday can be seen from 21.15 hrs CEST on www.porsche.com/alms-live.
Posted: 24 Sep 2010 06:01 AM PDT
© Corey Beaman | oneighturbo.com
After an almost exactly one-year break Audi will contest a race again for the first time in the USA: at the “Petit Le Mans” endurance classic at Road Atlanta (U.S. state of Georgia) on October 2, Audi Sport Team Joest will field two Audi R15 TDI cars driven by Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish and Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Treluyer.
Audi’s track record at the U.S. counterpart of the Le Mans 24 Hours is similarly impressive as at the French original: from 2000 to 2008, an Audi prototype crossed the finish line as the winner nine consecutive times. Last year, Audi was again headed for victory at Road Atlanta before the race had to be stopped due to extremely heavy rainfalls. Over the full 1,000-mile distance or maximum time of 10 hours the brand with the four rings has not been beaten at Road Atlanta to date.
© Corey Beaman | oneighturbo.com
The squad around Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich will give everything to keep it that way on the first October weekend. The two Audi R15 TDI cars (chassis numbers 202 and 203) were flown to the United States as early as last week in order to take advantage of a two-day testing opportunity on the demanding track at Road Atlanta on the weekend before the race. Audi Sport Team Joest’s main aim is to optimally set up the R15 plus with its new aerodynamics package for this circuit. The squad had successfully accomplished this at the inaugural round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) at Silverstone for the qualifying session when both Audi prototypes qualified for the front row.
© Corey Beaman | oneighturbo.com
For the race at Road Atlanta Dindo Capello will again join his regular Le Mans partners, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish. With five victories under his belt, the Italian is the most successful driver in “Petit Le Mans” history. McNish’s track record reflects four wins. Tom Kristensen last competed at Road Atlanta in 2002 and the “King of Le Mans” won the race in that year.
Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Treluyer will contest their third joint race for Audi after Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans. Their commitment is also intended to help them gel even better with the Audi squad which is planned to remain unchanged for the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans.
© Corey Beaman | oneighturbo.com
This year’s Le Mans winners will contest the “Petit Le Mans” race as well: Timo Bernhard will drive a Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid together with Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller. This means that all nine Audi drivers who finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13, 2010 on the podium will be on the grid at Road Atlanta too. No doubt, they will find themselves granting a particularly large number of requests for autographs.
Topics of the weekend
- Will Audi manage to clinch the pole position again?
Quotes by the officials
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “Nine ‘Petit Le Mans’ victories in the past ten years are impressive proof of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ and reliability, particularly since we could have won last year’s race as well. Unfortunately, the stoppage thwarted our plans. So we’ve still got some unfinished business at Road Atlanta – as well as at Silverstone. Despite the retirement at the ILMC inaugural round, which was caused by a defective supply part, we know that the R15 plus is a very reliable vehicle. Since we’ll have more opportunities to gather track experience with the R15 plus before the race at Road Atlanta we should also be able to achieve a good race set-up.”
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “Obviously we want to achieve a better result at Road Atlanta than we did at Silverstone and, above all, finish without any problems. ‘Petit Le Mans’ is a long and difficult race. We’ve been there very often and still have something to make up from last year because we should have actually won that race if it had been run all the way to the end. We’ve got two days of testing and are hoping that we’ll be able to make optimum use of them. Prior to Silverstone we only had one test at the EuroSpeedway – and these two circuits do differ quite a bit from each other. Now we can test on the track where we’ll actually be contesting the race. This should help us take revenge not just for one but two events: for Road Atlanta in 2009 and for Silverstone in 2010.”
Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers
Dindo Capello (46/I), Audi R15 TDI #7 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
Tom Kristensen (43/DK), Audi R15 TDI #7 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
Allan McNish (40/GB), Audi R15 TDI #7 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
Marcel Fässler (34/CH), Audi R15 TDI #9 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
André Lotterer (28/D), Audi R15 TDI #9 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
Benoît Treluyer (33/F), Audi R15 TDI #9 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
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