Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen and Jeep® launch BLUETEC Diesel Initiative

Los Angeles, Nov 29, 2006
On the eve of the Los Angeles Motor Show DaimlerChrysler, AUDI and Volkswagen announced that they intend to establish the BLUETEC brand name as the designation for particularly clean, highly fuel-efficient passenger cars and SUVs with diesel engines. Under the shared concept of BLUETEC, each of the manufacturers involved will be working on their own technical systems for meeting the world’s most stringent emission regulations.

The latest J.D. Power study, “Global Outlook For Diesel”, predicts that the share of diesels among first-time registrations in North America will rise to over 15 percent by 2015. It is in the light of this development that Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volkswagen will be systematically expanding their ranges of diesel vehicles.

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All three companies are convinced that up-to-date diesel propulsion systems play a major part in efficient and clean mobility. With their high torque, agility, economy and robustness they display all the qualities which American customers, especially, appreciate.

With their outstandingly efficient fuel consumption, which lies some 20 to 40 percent lower than that of comparable petrol engines, these particularly clean diesel engines now have the potential to comply with the toughest emission limits in the world. They combine ecology and economy with driving pleasure for the customer.

What is BLUETEC?

The name BLUETEC covers diesel engines with exhaust emission treatment systems which meet even the strictest emission regulations on the US market. The systems employed by BLUETEC serve in particular to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) the only constituent part of the exhaust gases which, due to the design of the diesel, inherently lies above the value for petrol engines. In this way it will in future also be possible to meet the strict limits imposed by the State of California.

Depending on the vehicle class concerned, various NOx treatment systems can be used. In one version, for instance, an oxidising catalytic converter and a particulate filter are combined with a further improved, particularly long-life NOx storage converter. Another way of cutting NOx emissions is even more effective. In this case for example AdBlue, a water-based additive, is injected into the exhaust gas. This causes ammonia to be released, which in turn reduces the nitrogen oxides almost completely to harmless nitrogen and water in a downstream SCR catalytic converter.

BLUETEC is a brand of DaimlerChrysler which is already being used by the corporation’s Mercedes-Benz cars and commercial vehicles. In future the name BLUETEC will also stand for clean diesel engines from Audi, Volkswagen and Jeep® in the United States.

AUDI:
Audi stands for sportiness, progressiveness and high quality – for “Vorsprung durch Technik”. Audi currently makes the Audi A3, Audi A4 and Audi A4 Avant and the Audi S4 at its Ingolstadt plant, the Audi A6 and A6 Avant, Audi A8 and Audi RS 4 in Neckarsulm, and the TT Coupé and TT Roadster at AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. in Györ, Hungary. the Audi Q7 is built in Bratislava. The Audi product range is rounded off by the Audi A4 Cabriolet, which is made by Karman.

The new Audi R8, made by quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm, is the first super sports car in the Audi range. Audi stands for “Vorsprung durch Technik” (leadership by technology), and this guiding principle finds its expression in the company’s products. Prime examples of this include the quattro full-time all-wheel-drive system, aluminium bodywork (Audi Space Frame in the Audi A8 and R8), the S tronic Direct Shift Gearbox featured in the Audi TT and Audi A3, and the advanced TDI and FSI engine technology. Audi is a pioneer in diesel technology – both on the road and on the racetrack. The R10 TDI sports car was the first diesel ever to win the legendary “24 Hours of Le Mans” race and the ALMS Series in America. Audi will also be putting the world’s most powerful diesel on the road, in the form of the Q7 V12 TDI, with an output of 500 horsepower and 1000 Newton metres of torque.

DaimlerChrysler:
DaimlerChrysler is unique in the automotive business: its product range extends from ultra-compacts up to sports cars and on to luxury saloons – and from versatile small vans to classic heavy-duty trucks and comfortable touring coaches. The passenger car brands of DaimlerChrysler comprise Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and smart. Its commercial vehicle brands include Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, Setra, Mitsubishi Fuso, Thomas Built Buses and Orion. DaimlerChrysler Financial Services offers financial services as well as other vehicle-related services.

DaimlerChrysler’s strategy is based on four pillars: excellent products offering outstanding customer orientation, leading brands, leadership in innovation and technology, and global presence and integration. DaimlerChrysler’s workforce is based all around the globe, and the same applies to its shareholders. With 382,724 employees DaimlerChrysler achieved sales totalling € 149.8 billion in 2005.

Volkswagen:

The Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and is the biggest automotive producer in Europe. Volkswagen employs nearly 345,000 people worldwide. In 2005 the Group’s eight brands delivered 5.243 million vehicles in more than 150 different countries, corresponding to a world market share for passenger cars of 9.1 percent. Group sales rose in 2005 to € 95.3 billion. In eleven European countries and in another seven countries in America, Asia and Africa the corporation operates 44 production facilities. Every working day around the world, the Group’s employees are busy building over 21,500 vehicles and providing vehicle-related services. The Volkswagen Group comprises the brands Volkswagen cars, Audi, SEAT, Škoda, commercial vehicles, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini plus, amongst other units, Volkswagen Financial Services.

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