After four years at the top, Toyota has been overtaken by Volkswagen for the title of the world’s best selling group.
Toyota was hit by falling US demand for its Camry while VW enjoyed booming Chinese sales which more than offset other losses due to the emissions controversy, but the Japanese group still turned in better profitability.
Germany’s motor authority raised suspicions that Volkswagen was using prototype vehicles to lower CO2 emissions in tests in 2015, soon after VW’s manipulation of diesel emissions tests was uncovered, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported on Saturday.
It quoted the Federal Motor Transport Authority told VW in a November 2015 email it would choose test models randomly and appoint new external experts to carry out testing because of doubts about the independence of the company’s CO2 testing regime.
Schaeffler and Continental have created a 48-volt hybrid prototype that can reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption in a compact car to less than 85 grams per kilometre, says a report in the latest Automotive News Europe magazine.
A variation of the mild hybrid system is already on the road in the new Renault Scenic minivan and Schaeffler Chief Technology Officer Peter Gutzmer believes that 48-volt hybrids have the potential to become dominant players in Europe at the expense of diesel.