The 2018 Volkswagen GTI Just Got An Incredibly High-Tech Interior And Even More Power

It feels like we just got the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf family here in America, but VW is already giving it some major updates. You’ll need a keen eye to spot those differences on the outside, but there are some big changes in the cabin and under the hood. Also, more power for our beloved GTI version.

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The MK7 Golf family has been on sale in Europe since 2013, and today VW has revealed the European 2017 models; we will see most of these variants here as 2018 vehicles.

Obviously missing from the Golf engine lineup is the 2.0-liter TDI motor. What will be available is a 1.5-liter turbo in the Golf and the 2.0 liter TSI unit for the GTI. The 1.5 turbo makes 145 horsepower.

But the GTI gets some notable improvements. Power is up from 210 HP to 227 HP, and the Performance Package goes from 230 HP to 245 HP. That’s pretty excellent.

On the outside things get a little sharper as it looks the new LED lights are concentrating really hard on something.

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The biggest upgrade on the new car is the fully digital “Active Info Display” instrumentation panel and its huge infotainment screen.

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You will recognize the display unit as similar to the one in the current Audi A4. Active Info Display is will be available across all Golf variants as an upgrade over the traditional analog instrument panel.

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The center stack unit is now a giant 9.2 inches. For the first time ever on a Volkswagen model, you can get gesture control on what VW calls the “Discover Pro” system, only available on the fully loaded models.

The upgraded infotainment units feature high-definition graphics with customizable colors and the navigation view will be available in both 2D and 3D.

As of now, we are not sure which specific features will make it stateside, as these upgrades are for European spec vehicles. Last time around, VW gave us a smaller infotainment compared to across the pond, so it’s possible some of the advanced systems and upgrades may not be available to us. But seeing as how these are key updates and the car market is increasingly tech-driven, our chances may be good.

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Auto Industry Fears Trump’s Tariffs Could Add $5,000 To The Price Of A Small Car

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Over the course of his candidacy, President-elect Donald Trump has scorned automakers—particularly Ford— who “send jobs elsewhere” by building plants outside of the U.S. Now that Trump will be the next president, the industry is concerned about its copious investments outside of the U.S.

Upon Trump’s election, shares for some automakers and suppliers like Fiat Chrysler, GM and Delphi—all of which have big operations in Mexico—dropped, as investors began to fear ramifications of Trump’s proposed policies that will supposedly emphasize manufacturing in the U.S. instead.

In particular, much of the concern revolves around Trump’s proposed tariff for trade between the U.S. and Mexico, a tariff which a senior economist at the Original Equipment Suppliers Association trade group said “add $5,000 to a $15,000 car,” according to The Detroit News.

So that little Cuautitlán-built Fiesta in the picture above, for example could become a $20,000 car.

Trump told the newspaper during his visit to Flint in September the rationale behind his proposed policies, saying he was unhappy with Ford, who had just announced it would shift all small-car production to Mexico. The President-elect said:

We shouldn’t allow it to happen…They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands and thousands of people not from this country and they’ll sell the cars right through our border. No tax, no nothing and we’ll have nothing but more unemployment in Flint and in Michigan. It’s horrible.

But it’s not just Ford. The Center for Automotive Research says the Big Three have all invested over $25 billion in operations Mexico.

The question is: are we really going to be dropping 20 large on small cars after Trump becomes president? The paper says not necessarily, speaking with analysts who think Trump will “ease his stance on trade after taking office.”

Even if he doesn’t ease up, though, the site quotes auto analyst Efraim Levy from CFRA Research, who told investors:

Even with some potential tariff costs to automakers, we believe GM and Ford will have time to flex production and regional sales to mitigate the impact

On top of that, some strategists told the news site Trump’s plan to repeal NAFTA is going to be very difficult, and may not even be possible within his term considering how important it is for American companies, as the U.S. sells more goods to Mexico than many other countries combined according to the site.

Trump also mentioned a 45 percent tariff for cars exported from China to the U.S., a move that could not only hurt companies now building vehicles there, but could also hurt American automakers’ penetration into the Chinese emerging automotive marketplace.

So will the new administration impose a tariff? Will it be as high as Trump has proposed? Will automakers be able to “flex production” to soften the blow? How would proposed tariffs with China affect U.S automakers’ inroads in that marketplace?

Nobody knows the answers yet, and The Detroit News says that may lead automakers to follow a “wait-and-see approach” before making any further major investments.

But even if I can’t answer many of these questions, I can say the next four years are going to mean a serious reevaluation of strategy—and the status quo—among automakers.

Rules of engagement: why we’re still working on making people happy at work

Rules of engagement: why we’re still working on making people happy at work:

Back in the day, the motivational theories of Abraham Maslow and Frederick Herzberg were considered de rigeur.  They’re founded on the idea that people have basic needs, and that job satisfaction depends on whether those needs are met (or not).  It’s perception of this that influences an individual’s sense of motivation and engagement at work.

(Via City & Guilds Kineo Blog)

US Beef and Kineo win gold at the Brandon Hall awards

US Beef and Kineo win gold at the Brandon Hall awards:

Brandon Hall Group has recognized Kineo’s work with United States Beef Corporation (US Beef) in the category of best blended learning. Kineo is thrilled to take home gold in this category of the HCM Excellence Awards.

The Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards are highly sought after and are one of the most prestigious awards in the industry. The awards require demonstrated and measurable benefits to the business as a whole, a unique distinction highlighting that winning solutions are transforming the business.

(Via City & Guilds Kineo Blog)