Volkswagen’s Beetle Car Comes to the End of the Road

Volkswagen’s Beetle Car Comes to the End of the Road
Volkswagen is ending production of its Beetle in 2019, closing the door on one of the world’s most iconic car designs. The German company said output would end at its plant in Mexico next July after production of celebration models.

The Beetle has its roots in Nazi Germany with the creation of a “people’s car”, but went on to star in a series of successful Disney films as a vehicle called Herbie. But sales, particularly in the key US market, have fallen in recent years.

Volkswagen's Beetle Car

Consumers in the US have increasingly turned to larger cars such as crossovers and sports utility vehicles.

Volkswagen, in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal and huge investment in electric vehicles, says it will look to slim down its model range with a greater focus on family and electric cars. The company say the final Beetle models will be available in both coupe and convertible styles.

“The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said Hinrich Woebcken, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America.

The Beetle was originally designed in the 1930s by legendary engineer Ferdinand Porsche – a name now synonymous with fast cars – at the behest of Adolf Hitler, who wanted to see a cheap and practical mass-produced car made available to the German people.

But the outbreak of war would stall its production, as military necessity took precedence. The plant would be severely damaged, then fell into the hands of allied forces – who were eventually to play a large part in its recommissioning.

The company is already thought to have reviewed a possible model revamp and options for electric versions in recent years, before deciding on its abandonment.

But Mr Woebcken didn’t completely rule out that the model could one day be resurrected: “Never say never.”

Volkswagen sold 11,151 Beetles during the first eight months of 2018, down 2.2% from the same period a year earlier.

US consumers looking for a small Volkswagen vehicle overwhelmingly prefer the Jetta sedan, or the Tiguan compact sport utility vehicle.

Uber Avoids Car Pick-up App Restrictions in London

Uber Avoids Car Pick-up App Restrictions in London
London’s transport authority has rejected proposals that would have severely restricted Uber and other app-focused car pick-up services. The California-based private-hire company had urged its users to oppose suggestions that had included a ban on apps being able to show where their nearby available vehicles were.

The idea had been put forward following complaints from black-cab drivers about “unfair competition”.

Uber has celebrated the “victory”. However, the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) said there had been a “missed opportunity”.

Other rejected measures included:

a minimum five-minute delay between pick-up confirmations being sent out and drivers being able to collect their passengers
a requirement that private-hire companies let customers pre-book cars up to seven days in advance
a limitation that drivers be registered to only a single operator at a time

Uber’s drivers may still be inconvenienced by a new proposal. The Mayor, Boris Johnson, has asked Transport for London (TfL) to investigate whether all private-hire drivers should lose their exemption from the city’s congestion-charge scheme. That would mean they would have to pay £11.50 to drive in a central zone on weekdays.

TfL launched a public consultation into the private hire trade last September and said it received 16,000 responses. The organisation still plans to adopt some of the other proposals it made including:

requiring drivers to have a high enough standard of English
making it obligatory for operators to provide an estimated fare quote in advance – at present this is only shown in Uber’s app if customers request it
making it a requirement that customers can speak to a real person if they want to make a complaint about their journey

TfL said a final decision on the proposed changes would be made on 17 March.

Uber now has more than 25,000 drivers using its service in London, roughly matching the number of black-cab drivers.

“We’re pleased Transport for London has listened to the views of passengers and drivers, dropping the bonkers ideas proposed last year like compulsory five minute wait times and banning showing cars in apps,” said a spokesman for the app. “It means Uber can continue to keep London moving with a convenient, safe and affordable ride at the push of a button.”

However, a spokesman for black-cab drivers had mixed feelings. “There are 93,000 private hire vehicles at the moment and that’s soon to be 120,000,” Steve McNamara, LTDA’s general secretary, told the BBC. “They are a major contributor to congestion, so it’s good common sense that they should have their exemption from the charging zone removed. But what’s happened [with the dropped proposals] is that Uber’s power in Whitehall, Downing Street and beyond has put enormous pressure on Transport for London, and we’ve seen TfL’s genuine desire to regulate private hire vehicles curtailed by the political pressure put upon it.”

Taxi drivers are not, however, giving up their fight. Some of them are organising a crowdfunding campaign to pay for a legal case that they hope will result in Uber’s London licence being withdrawn. The effort has raised just over £48,000 of its £600,000 target so far.

The Newcastle Car Show 2015

The Newcastle Car Show 2015
Don’t forget to put a note in your diary to visit the Newcastle Car Show this summer. A superb new motoring event for  Newcastle upon Tyne, this promises to be a great value day out for all the family and not just the car enthusiasts. As well as provided access to the show and the many car related events, each ticket will include unlimited use of our fun attractions.

Saturday – 8th August

A collection of the finest Modified, custom and sport cars in the country. All makes and models on display from super slick German & Jap Street cars to the pure muscle Hotrods.

Classic Sunday – 9th August

Classic Sunday will see the best vintage vehicles, turn out in force, Priceless cars that have been restored to factory condition with owners all too happy to tell you how they did it. Remember the good old days and absorb yourself in nostalgia.

Show & Shine

Both days will see a show and shine competition the likes have never been seen before. Trophies galore from the best wheels to the best in show. Full presentation at the end of each day.

Please, remember that there will be Free Fun Attractions for the family including thrill rides, fair rides & other various attractions, accompanied by live music and DJ’s on the stage. There will also be a car and motoring related Jumble offering a large selection of trade and auto jumble over the weekend.

Tickets go on sale now and are available for individuals, the family, weekend or camping tickets. To book your tickets use the online booking system on the official Newcastle Car Show website to purchase the ticket of your choice.

Newcastle Car Show 2015

The Newcastle Car Show 2015
The Newcastle Car Show company are bringing a superb new motoring event this summer to Newcastle upon Tyne, promising to be a great value day out for all the family – not just car enthusiasts. As well as provided access to the show and the many car related events, each ticket will include unlimited use of our fun attractions.

Want to know more – Here’s what’s on at the Newcastle Car Show

Saturday – 8th August

A collection of the finest Modified, custom and sport cars in the country. All makes and models on display from super slick German & Jap Street cars to the pure muscle Hotrods.

Classic Sunday – 9th August

Classic Sunday will see the best vintage vehicles, turn out in force, Priceless cars that have been restored to factory condition with owners all too happy to tell you how they did it. Remember the good old days and absorb yourself in nostalgia.

Show & Shine

Both days will see a show and shine competition the likes have never been seen before. Trophies galore from the best wheels to the best in show. Full presentation at the end of each day.

Please, remember that there will be Free Fun Attractions for the family including thrill rides, fair rides & other various attractions, accompanied by live music and DJ’s on the stage. There will also be a car and motoring related Jumble offering a large selection of trade and auto jumble over the weekend.

Tickets are on sale now and are available for individuals, the family, weekend or camping tickets. To book your tickets use the online booking system on the official Newcastle Car Show website to purchase the ticket of your choice.

General Motors Recalls 2.7 Million Cars

General Motors Recalls 2.7 Million Cars
General Motors has announced the recall of a further 2.7 million vehicles, most of which have brake light defects. The recall, which affects a number of different models, will cost about $200m (£120m; 146m euros), the carmaker said.

Last month, the company revealed it had taken a $1.3bn hit to cover the cost of recalling about 2.6 million cars with defective ignition switches.

The carmaker said the latest recall was due to a greater emphasis on safety following the ignition problems. “We have redoubled our efforts to expedite and resolve current reviews and have identified and analysed recent vehicle issues which require action,” said GM’s safety chief Jeff Boyer.

The main recall involves 2.44 million Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Auras models in the US.

The carmaker said the fault could result in brake lights not working when the brakes are applied, or the lights coming on when the brakes are not applied. Cruise control and traction control might also be affected, it said. GM said it was aware of “several hundred” complaints, 13 crashes and two injuries as a result of the fault.

The other recalls include 140,000 Chevrolet Malibus for hydraulic brake booster issues and more than 100,000 Chevrolet Corvettes for faulty head lights.