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VW has agreed budget car concept, design: manager

BEIJING (Reuters) - Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> has agreed the basic concept and design of a budget car for emerging markets, a VW manager told Reuters, nearing the project's completion after a long struggle to meet cost targets for the vehicle. Europe's largest carmaker has been trying for more than a year to hit internal cost goals for the model, which would likely sell for between 6,000 euros ($8,300) and 8,000 euros and be built in China, the biggest market for low-cost cars.

GM 1Q global sales rise 2 pct. to 2.42M, enough to hold off fast-growing VW in global race

DETROIT - General Motors says it sold 2.42 million cars and trucks in the first three months of the year, keeping it slightly ahead of Volkswagen in the global sales race. The Detroit automaker says its sales grew 2 per cent worldwide from January through March. The company was led by 13 per cent growth in China. But sales fell 2 per cent in North America. Sales leader Toyota has yet to release first quarter numbers but says it's on the way to selling 10.1 million vehicles this year.

Volkswagen joins rush by Western carmakers to tap high-growth Southeast Asia

By Andreas Cremer BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen has joined a rush by Western carmakers to tap fast-growing Southeast Asian markets to take on Japanese rivals in a region where a burgeoning middle class has money to spend. Volkswagen is seeking to set up operations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries where the German group has one of the few remaining gaps in its global factory network that encompasses more than 100 facilities.

Volkswagen to spend over $1 billion on new van plant in Poland

By Marcin Goettig WARSAW (Reuters) - Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> is to spend nearly 3.4 billion zlotys ($1.1 billion) on setting up a new plant in Wrzesnia, Poland, which will produce its Crafter large delivery van, the company said on Tuesday. The plant will employ more than 2300 people, with production expected to start at the end of 2016 following construction of the plant, which is due to begin at the end of this year, Volkswagen said.

VW sees 'good chance' of reaching 10 mn sales this year

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, is set to sell more than 10 million vehicles this year, chief executive Martin Winterkorn said on Thursday. "There is a good chance that we will already exceed the ten million deliveries mark this year -- four years earlier than originally planned," Winterkorn told the group's annual earnings news conference. In 2013, worldwide deliveries rose by 4.9 percent to 9.7 million vehicles, placing VW ahead of US rival General Motors to become the world's second-biggest car maker after Japan's Toyota.

VW budget car plan stalls as struggles to meet cost targets

By Andreas Cremer GENEVA (Reuters) - Volkswagen's <VOWG_p.DE> plan to build a budget car for emerging markets, a key part of its drive to become the world's biggest automaker, has stalled because the German group is struggling to meet cost targets for the vehicle, a VW executive told Reuters.

European automakers ready to rethink strategy in Russia as tensions over Ukraine rise

GENEVA - European automakers cast a wary eye toward Russia on the first day of the Geneva Auto Show on Tuesday, poised for a quick strategy rethink as the threat of sanctions hangs over the country because of its intervention in Ukraine. Russia has been a key market for recession-battered European automakers that have looked to expand sales and find partners for lucrative joint ventures. But new uncertainty has been raised by growing tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

VW's union chief won't give up fight for US plant, warns South may lose out on future sites

BERLIN - Volkswagen's top workers' representative says he won't give up the fight for unionization at the German automaker's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Employees there voted 712-626 last week against joining the United Auto Workers union after state Republicans warned that it could hurt the local economy. Bernd Osterloh, who is also a member of VW's supervisory board, told the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung in an interview published Wednesday that U.S. labour law experts will check whether undue pressure was put on employees to reject the UAW.

VW works council says will pursue labor representation at U.S. plant

By Jan Schwartz and Andreas Cremer HAMBURG/BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen's works council said it would press on with efforts to set up labor representation at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, undeterred by a workers' vote against any such step involving the United Auto Workers union (UAW). Employees at the plant, in a region traditionally hostile to organized labor, on Friday opted to reject representation by the union, whose membership has plummeted 75 percent since 1979 and now stands at just under 400,000.

French and Spanish car sales add to European recovery signs

By Andreas Cremer and Dominique Vidalon PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) - Car sales in France and Spain rose for the fifth straight month in January, suggesting the recovery in Europe's autos market is strengthening following a six-year slump. The figures add to broader signs the European economy is emerging from a protracted period of weakness which weighed heavily on consumer demand, particularly in the debt-laden southern countries of the region.
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