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Volkswagen loses “Green Car of the Year” prize for two models

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San Francisco :Volkswagen has lost its “Green Car of the Year” prize for two models that employed technology at the heart of German giant’s pollution-cheating scandal, US prize organizers said today.

Green Car Journal announced it was rescinding the 2009 prize for the Volkswagen Jetta TDI and the 2010 prize for the Audi A3 TDI in the wake of Volkswagen’s acknowledgement that it intentionally deceived government regulators overseeing air emissions rules.

“These models were selected as Green Car of the Year above others for compelling reasons, including high fuel efficiency, reduced carbon emissions, a fun-to-drive nature, and the ability to meet 50 state emissions requirements with advanced diesel technology,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal.

Rescinding the awards is “unfortunate but appropriate,” he said in announcing the first such action in the 10-year-old award program.

Both Audi and Volkswagen agreed with the decision, according to a Green Car Journal statement.

“Audi has won hundreds of races and thousands of awards throughout its history,” said Audi of America President Scott Keogh.

“But we only want to win fair and square. Therefore, in light of recent developments, we believe the only right thing to do is to return this important recognition of environmental stewardship.”

Volkswagen has been under fire since US environmental regulators announced on September 18 that the company had violated air-quality rules by installing software on nearly 500,000 diesel cars intended to evade US emissions limits for nitrogen oxide and other dangerous pollutants.

Volkswagen, the world’s biggest carmaker by sales, has admitted that up to 11 million diesel cars worldwide are fitted with so-called “cheat devices” that can switch on pollution controls when they detect the car is undergoing testing.

VW faces up to USD 18 billion in fines from the US Environmental Protection Agency over the fraud, and a growing number of lawsuits.

VW’s luxury sports car maker Porsche names new CEO

Porsche, the luxury sports car division of German auto giant Volkswagen today named Oliver Blume as its new chief executive replacing Matthias Mueller, who has been made head of the entire VW group.

Porsche said in a statement that its supervisory board appointed 47-year-old Blume, previously the board member in charge of production and logistics, at a meeting today.

Supervisory board chief Wolfgang Porsche said he was “particularly pleased” that Blume and Detlev von Platen, who was also appointed today to take charge of sales and marketing, were both company insiders.

“Porsche doesn’t only have a highly motivated workforce, but also a very large number of qualified top managers,” Porsche said.

Blume, born in Brunswick in northern Germany, in 1968, studied mechanical engineering and joined VW’s upmarket Audi brand in 1994 as a trainee.

Since then, he also worked at VW’s Spanish unit SEAT and was head of production planning for the VW brand in 2009 before being appointed Porsche board member in 2013.

His predecessor Mueller, 62, headed Porsche for five years before he was named new CEO of the entire VW group last Friday, taking over from Martin Winterkorn who resigned in the wake of the global pollution-cheating scandal.

Board chief Porsche praised Mueller, saying the sports car maker had “practically doubled unit sales, turnover and the number of employees” under his reign.

PTI