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Larry P. Vellequette

Toyota, VW reporter
Address: 1155 Gratiot Ave.
48207 Detroit, Mich.
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Phone: 313-446-0478
E-Mail: lvellequette@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

While the novelty wears off for most retro-styled cars, Challenger powers on

Everything old may be new again, but eventually, everything that's new again grows old. Except, perhaps, for the Dodge Challenger.

VW: $50 billion for EVs, mobility

Volkswagen plans to spend about €44 billion ($50 billion) over the next five years on a comprehensive electrified mobility strategy that includes making at least 15 million battery-powered autos and further research into autonomous driving

New-gen pickups win high marks for safety

Crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have violently demonstrated just how safe the latest generation of pickups has become, even compared with models from only a few years ago.

CEO de Volkswagen: Grandes cambios por delante

Apenas desde abril, Herbert Diess es el CEO de Volkswagen Group. Pese a ello, el ex ejecutivo de BMW, con 60 años de edad, encabeza ahora una de las empresas automotrices más grandes del mundo y tiene una visión clara de hacia dónde quiere llevarla.

VW'S HERBERT DIESS: Big changes ahead, 'big potential' in U.S.

UPDATED: 11/15/18 5:59 pm ET - corrected

Herbert Diess has been CEO of Volkswagen Group only since April, yet the 60-year-old former BMW executive now heading one of the world's largest automakers has a clear vision of where he wants to lead his company.

Diess: VW can help make EVs mainstream

UPDATED: 11/15/18 5:49 pm ET - corrected

If electric vehicles fail to catch on globally over the next several years, it won't be because Volkswagen didn't try, CEO Herbert Diess says.

Jeep pickup to be called Gladiator, enthusiast website says

We know Jeep is building a Wrangler-inspired pickup -- it's just a matter of what it'll be named, what it will look like and when it will show up. Well, the folks at JeepScrambler Forum answered some of those questions.

FCA picks Gardner to lead Maserati in North America

Al Gardner, the head of FCA's dealer network in North America, will steer Maserati in the region. Gardner, 54, will report to Jean-Philippe Leloup, who joins Maserati from Ferrari.

Jeep pickup to be called Gladiator, enthusiast website says

UPDATED: 11/12/18 1:37 pm ET -- New story

We know Jeep is building a Wrangler-inspired pickup -- it's just a matter of what it'll be named, what it will look like and when it will show up. Well, the folks at JeepScrambler Forum answered some of those questions.

Inventories make sharp jump in October

U.S. new-vehicle inventories rose sharply last month, reaching the highest level for the start of November since 2014.

VW has put most of its scandal in past, CEO says

CEO Herbert Diess says that, thanks in part to a global strategy shift to electric vehicles and efforts to clean up its own house after spending more than $30 billion to make things right, VW has put "most" of the diesel scandal in the past.

VW wants more U.S. production capacity; could trade platforms with Ford

UPDATED: 11/15/18 6:00 pm ET - corrected

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess tells Automotive News that the Chattanooga plant could grow, or VW could build another plant to expand North American capacity for EVs and perhaps a pickup. He also says talks with Ford could involve licensing VW's MEB electric architecture, or using the Ford Ranger to replace the VW Amarok.

Diess: VW wants dealers 'to become really profitable'

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess says he recognizes the need for VW dealers — whose average profit margins lag almost every other brand in the U.S. — to improve their returns and that VW itself must help in that effort.

At long last, FCA flexes its profit-making muscles

After years of being Detroit's third wheel, FCA outearned Ford in the third quarter and matched GM's 10.2% North American profit margin.

Dealer engineers own auctions

Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships opened its own weekly auction to wholesale its excess used cars and trade-ins, saving fees and earning extra revenue.

VW GROUP: Audi's 9-year streak ends; VW up 4.6% on CUVs

Audi's industry-best sales streak ended in October as the German premium brand posted its first monthly decline exactly nine years after its last one, in October 2009. Audi's sales fell 17 percent in October to 16,056. Meanwhile, Volkswagen brand sales rose 4.6 percent in October to 29,000 on higher demand for its crossover lineup, while sedan sales continued to lag.

FCA: Jeep leads the way again

Jeep's U.S. sales rose for the 10th consecutive month, and the Ram, Chrysler, Dodge and Alfa Romeo brands all posted double-digit increases.

FCA's 1000-hp Hellephant engine to stampede into Canada

Some 2,200 years after Hannibal crossed the Alps to invade Italy using an army of African war elephants, FCA's Mopar brand is unleashing the Hellephant -- a giant, supercharged 1,000-hp crate engine it intends to sell next year and is capable of generating 950 pound-feet of torque.

FCA, 2,200 years after Hannibal, brandishes 1,000-hp war elephant

Some 2,200 years after Hannibal crossed the Alps to invade Italy using an army of African war elephants, FCA's Mopar brand is unleashing the Hellephant -- a giant, supercharged 1,000-hp crate engine it intends to sell next year and is capable of generating 950 pound-feet of torque.

FCA tops 10% margin in North America, beats Ford profit

UPDATED: 10/30/18 1:26 pm ET -- New story

Fiat Chrysler outearned Ford in the third quarter, and it fulfilled a prediction from two years ago by then-CEO Sergio Marchionne by posting a record double-digit profit margin in North America.

NHTSA's proposed rule change should help tame headlights

After years of pleading from global automakers, NHTSA announced this month that it is considering a dramatic change to the long-standing rules that govern auto headlights. The change would allow automakers to install and enable adaptive driving beam headlights on new cars sold in the U.S.

VW rewrites the rules with new retail agreement

VW's deal with its European retailers — a potential framework for upcoming negotiations in the U.S. — includes unique revenue-sharing arrangements and eases infrastructure demands to boost dealership profits as electric vehicles cut down on service business.

New Audi A8 will protect against side impact

The redesigned Audi A8 sedan gives new meaning to the term "active suspension."

Can Keogh repeat his Audi success?

In taking control of parent Volkswagen and its namesake marque across North America, Scott Keogh again faces a struggle to lift a German brand.

New Audi boss Del Rosso a familiar face

Mark Del Rosso won't need any introductions to his dealer network when he becomes president of Audi of America on Dec. 1. They already know who he is and what he can do.


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