- DTM: Rockenfeller fastest in the rain at Hockenheim
- Volkswagen Group reports another delivery record for first nine months
- BMW to return to DTM in 2012
- Audi competition about future carmaking
Posted: 16 Oct 2010 03:30 AM PDT
Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) coped best with the adverse weather conditions in second free practice on Saturday morning. With his 2008-spec Audi A4 DTM, the 27-year old set the fastest time of 1:36.699 minutes. With Timo Scheider, Martin Tomczyk, Miguel Molina, Oliver Jarvis and Mattias Ekström, Audi drivers also ended up in second to fifth place.
The fastest Mercedes-Benz driver only ended up seventh. On his fastest lap, Gary Paffett was exactly one second slower than Rockenfeller. Maro Engel was again quite quick in the second 90 minutes’ practice session, ending up eighth. Paul Di Resta and Ralf Schumacher (both Mercedes-Benz) completed the top ten.
On the rain-soaked track, CongFu Cheng and Bruno Spengler (both Mercedes-Benz) were among the drivers who slid off. After twelve laps, the Chinese slid into the tyres at the Sachs corner and Spengler also hit the tyre walls with 30 minutes remaining. Other drivers also provided additional work for their teams after they came off the track.
From 13.45 h, the action will start in earnest for the DTM stars. Qualifying will decide on the starting grid positions for the grand German finale on Sunday. ARD is broadcasting live from Hockenheim from 13.30 h.
Posted: 15 Oct 2010 07:10 AM PDT
The Volkswagen Group has held its own on the world’s automotive markets in the first nine months of this year and reported another delivery record, handing over a total of 5.37 (January to September 2009: 4.76; +12.7 percent)* million vehicles to customers. In September alone, deliveries rose by 7.9 percent to 663,100 (614,800)**.
“We are very satisfied with developments. We anticipate the Group will set another new record for full-year deliveries. Even though a positive trend is expected for the automotive industry, we nevertheless remain cautious,” Group Board Member for Sales Christian Klingler commented. “Volkswagen will carry on rejuvenating its innovative and environmentally-friendly model range and thus maintain the sales momentum,” Klingler added.
Group increases deliveries in markets and growth regions
The Volkswagen Group again achieved high growth on key markets such as China and the USA. Deliveries in the first nine months grew 39.0 percent to 1.48 (1.06) million vehicles in China and to 267,500 (220,600; +21.2 percent) units in the USA. Volkswagen Group deliveries in the Asia Pacific region also increased, rising 39.7 percent.
Deliveries on the European market were also up on the prior year. The Volkswagen Group delivered 2.50 (2.47; +1.1 percent) million vehicles, a slight increase compared with the period January to September 2009, while the overall market contracted by 2.3 percent. Europe’s largest automaker also continued its upward trend in Russia, where the Group delivered 92,300 (72,600, +27.2 percent) vehicles in the first nine months. The Volkswagen Group stayed on its growth path in West European markets as well, with deliveries increasing by 15.5 percent (Western Europe excluding Germany).
The German automobile market, on the other hand, continued to decline. The market contracted by 27.5 percent during the first nine months due to the effects of the scrapping premium. The Volkswagen Group performed better than the market, delivering 770,000 (954,200; -19.3 percent) vehicles to customers.
All volume brands grow deliveries
In the first nine months, the Volkswagen brand delivered a total of 3.39 (3.02; +12.2 percent) million units. During this period, the brand continued its rapid growth on the Indian market: Deliveries were up more than sevenfold to 16,000 (2,200) units. The brand also reported very pleasing growth on other markets such as China (+33.9 percent), the USA (+20.6 percent) and Russia (+26.2 percent).
From January to September, Audi delivered approximately 829,300 (705,000; +17.6 percent) vehicles worldwide. In September, the Ingolstadt-based subsidiary benefited from strong growth in China and the USA – and from a strong rise in Germany, where deliveries in September were 16 percent up on the previous year.
Czech automaker Škoda also remains on its dynamic growth path, delivering 75,800 (69,000) vehicles in September, the highest figure ever for a single month. In the first nine months of this year, Škoda grew worldwide deliveries 12.8 percent to 569,000 (504,600) units.
The Spanish brand SEAT delivered 259,100 (255,400; +1.4 percent) vehicles worldwide from January to September. During this period, the brand again reported a strong increase on its home market of Spain, with deliveries to customers rising 24.2 percent to 74,500 (60,000) vehicles.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles grew deliveries 15.9 percent to 310,700 (261,400) units in the first nine months. In South America, deliveries increased by 81.1 percent to 80,500 (44,500) units.
*) excluding Scania, including Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Trucks and Buses for January/February 2009
- Volkswagen Group
Posted: 15 Oct 2010 05:59 AM PDT
Great news for both the DTM and fans of the series! It has been 16 years since we’ve seen a BMW in the DTM. Unfortunately we have to wait another as it won’t be until 2012. We only hope for the racing action of those spectacular days of curbs, door banging and more! Check out the video “The Golden Era” from DTM Enthusiast after the jump!
The return of BMW to the DTM from 2012 is reality: This was confirmed by the company during the DTM race weekend at the Hockenheimring. In April this year BMW had announced its intention to race in the DTM in principle from 2012, the first time since its departure from the series in 1994. The Board of Management of BMW AG considers conditions tied to a positive decision to return to the popular touring car series have now been met.
In recent months BMW has been working with the DTM umbrella organisation ITR e.V. and the other manufacturers represented in the DTM on issues relating to the future technical regulations, and the long-term internationalisation of the championship. The positive nature of these discussions means BMW Motorsport can now begin planning its DTM comeback in greater detail.
Dr Klaus Draeger, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG with responsibility for development, says: “The return of BMW to the DTM is a fundamental part of the restructuring of our motorsport activities. With its increased commitment to production car racing, BMW is returning to its roots. The race track is the perfect place to demonstrate the impressive sporting characteristics of our vehicles against our core competitors in a high-powered environment. The DTM is the ideal stage on which to do this.”
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen comments: “The entire team at BMW Motorsport is approaching this exciting project with absolute commitment. We began making technical preparations following our declaration of intent in April, and established parameters for a high-performance vehicle concept for deployment in the DTM. The positive decision of the BMW Board of Management means we can now shift up a gear and give the green light for development.”
Hans Werner Aufrecht, 1st Chairman of the Board of ITR e.V. (DTM commercial rights holder and promoter): “We welcome the decision by BMW to enter the DTM from 2012. This is a further milestone for the future of our popular racing series, and proves that our efforts over the past few years have paid off. We laid the foundation for this in conjunction with the DMSB and the existing DTM manufacturers, namely Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Thus I would like to heartily thank all parties. I am personally looking forward to again seeing the three premium brands of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz competing against each other on the race track. Our fans have waited a long time for this.”
The intention is to use the BMW M3 as the basic DTM vehicle, a car that has enjoyed unique successes in the field of touring and sports car racing in the past. Eric van de Poele (BE) and Roberto Ravaglia (IT) celebrated two DTM titles with the racing version of BMW’s most sporty representative back in 1987 and 1989, while before that Volker Strycek (DE) won the DTM premiere in 1984 in the BMW 635 CSi. This season the current BMW M3 GT2 caused a sensation in the world of international endurance racing, taking victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (DE).
Posted: 15 Oct 2010 05:36 AM PDT
In the summer of 2010, Audi launched a competition to inspire new ideas: the Audi Production Award. The subject is carmaking in the age of electric mobility. Students and scientists from Germany and Hungary have submitted a wide variety of concepts. The six teams with the most innovative ideas are participating in a two-day workshop this week in Ingolstadt as guests of Audi.
What will the production of electric cars in the future look like? During the workshop, the participants refined their concepts and received direct feedback from Audi experts. The automaker expects to gain new ideas from the participants – a perfect example of the open-source approach in the innovation process. “We’re having lively discussions and I am extremely pleased with the wealth of ideas from the participants,” says Dr. Bernd Griesbach, spokesperson for the Predevelopment and Innovation Team in Production. “But the special aspect of the Audi Production Award is that the competition doesn’t end with the submission of concept portfolios. Each team is supported by a subject mentor from Production who stimulates additional thoughts and answers questions. This enables students to achieve further progress in the substance of their concept.”
These concepts address the most diverse aspects of carmaking – from the production of electric motors to the improved utilization of materials. “It is very enlightening to get feedback from experts in Production,” says participant Michael Schacht from Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg. “It helps you see which aims can be realized in a practical setting, and which ones probably cannot – it’s great fun.” The finalists also learned more on a tour through Audi Production and by attending expert presentations about production processes. The participants are able to forge contacts with high-level AUDI AG managers at the closing event.
After the workshop the teams will have two additional weeks to revise their concepts. The jury will select the winner of the Audi Production Award; the award ceremony will be held in early December.
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