Cleveland, Ohio – With last week’s IMTS 2018 trade show and its 23 hours per day of meetings and press conferences, some motor vehicle news items slipped through the cracks. Following are a few items we missed.
Volkswagen cancels the Beetle…. again
VW plans to end Beetle production next year, releasing two special editions of the iconic compact car. As with most small, fuel-efficient vehicles, Beetle sales have dropped significantly in the past three years, making it economically unviable.
While versions of the Beetle have been in continuous production since 1938, U.S. availability has been far spottier. Between the late 1970s and the late 1990s, it was only available in developing countries and parts of Europe. The second-generation of the vehicle rejoined the U.S. lineup in 1998, and a third generation debuted in 2011.
“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 J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it.”
Produced in Puebla, Mexico, the final versions of the Beetle will leave the assembly lines next summer.
Michael Beyer named interim CEO at Chassix
Casting and machined underbody equipment supplier Chassix named its CFO Michael Beyer interim CEO to replace Doug DelGrosso who left to become CEO at Adient, a global giant that supplies automotive seating.
Prior to joining Chassix in 2016, Beyer had more 25 years of financial and accounting management experience in the automotive sector as chief financial officer of Wolverine Advanced Materials and in roles on increasing responsibility at Affinia Group and Dana Corp.
The Board of Directors has started a search to identify internal and external candidates for the permanent CEO of Chassix.
Hyundai continues to develop fuel-cell heavy trucks
Hyundai Motor presented a first look at a render image of a new truck with fuel cell powertrain which is set to be launched in 2019.
The fuel cell electric truck boasts distinctive design which sets it apart from other Hyundai commercial vehicle line-up. The truck aims at simple and clean design which is also aerodynamically efficient with a spoiler and side protector.
The front grille symbolizes hydrogen through geometric shapes. During the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 taking place in Hanover Germany, Hyundai will announce the future plans for introducing the fuel cell electric truck in the European eco-friendly commercial vehicle market next year as well revealing vehicle specification.