COVID-19

Volkswagen, Faurecia team up to produce, deliver PPE to NYC's front line responders

Volkswagen has worked with one of its suppliers to donate PPE to NYC first responders.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen has teamed up with Faurecia to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) to meet the needs of those on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The effort was started by an internal Volkswagen task force that reached out to VW's suppliers and production partners. Faurecia offered to pivot its processes and begin production at one of its 15 facilities in Mexico. Volkswagen placed an initial order for 70,000 masks and 5,000 gowns.

Volkswagen Fauercia COVID-19 coronavirusOne of Faurecia's Mexico facilities is producing the equipment.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Since that initial order was placed, Faurecia has been able to significantly ramp up production and is now able to make an estimated 250,000 masks and 50,000 gowns per week.

"Volkswagen is proud to have partners like Faurecia willing to step outside their usual scope and drive something bigger," said Scott Keogh, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "This joint effort is putting the ingenuity of VW and our supplier network on full display, and we don't plan on stopping our response to this crisis here."

Volkswagen has donated the first run of Faurecia-produced masks and gowns to New York State's COVID-19 response efforts. A shipment of 75,000 units is scheduled to arrive this week and be distributed at area hospitals including New York City's Javits Center, which was recently transformed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into a temporary hospital staffed by FEMA and Army medical personnel.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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The ID. Buzz enters production in Europe soon.

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is one of the most anticipated EVs in a sea of desirable and exciting new vehicles. With retro styling and an all-electric powertrain, the van promises to be a funky, futuristic people-hauler with plenty of new tech. Today, VW handed out specs and information on the van during its global launch.

Volkswagen ID. BuzzInterior and exterior design ooze retro style. Volkswagen

Two configurations are available: A five-seat passenger version and a three-seat cargo version. Both ride on Volkswagen's modular electric drive platform (MEB), and both are rear-wheel drive. Power output lands at 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque, and the van's top speed reaches 145 mph.

Inside is where the magic happens. The passenger van features five seats, and in top models the seats come with massaging functionality. The three-person bench seat in the second row can be folded flat or folded 60/40, and the seat slides up to 5.9 inches front to back. Six-passenger seating is standard, but an extended wheelbase seven-seat configuration will be offered.

Inside, a ten-inch digital gauge cluster is standard, and pairs with a ten-inch infotainment touchscreen. A 12-inch display is available, and touch controls handle climate controls and audio volume. Rather than a traditional gear selector lever, Volkswagen uses a stalk mounted on the steering column. The Cargo version gets special storage functions, including a removal center console and several storage bins.

Volkswagen ID. BuzzBoth passenger and cargo configurations are offered.Volkswagen

ID. Buzz Cargo production starts in Europe early this year, with production of the standard van following shortly after. The European launch is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022, and the van will launch in North America in 2024. Volkswagen has not yet nailed down the model year for the new van, and will release more information closer to its release.

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