Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The GX3 dies a second time

Rarely does it happen that a concept is able to evoke very strong emotions from the public. That's what happened when Volkswagen showed the world the fruits of the Moonraker group's research in the US: the GX3 concept. The GX3 trike was a concept that embodied what Volkswagen should be in the US. It struck a chord with the public and as a result, they begged Volkswagen to put it into production. So the research in a viable production version was launched. Volkswagen even did some testing of a prototype. But just as Volkswagen Engineering was hard at work making a true-to-concept road-going model, Volkswagen's legal department was also hard at work, looking at liabilities from every angle and what they saw was not good. Volkswagen decided to scrap the GX3 project, not because of engineering limitations (they had already partnered with Lotus for help) but because of the legal implications.

Enter Defiant Motors. Defiant Motors, set up by founder Aaron Mady, was established to help car companies produce niche vehicles. It was exactly the thing the GX3 needed to stay alive. So it was to no surprise that Defiant Motors contacted Volkswagen about the production of the GX3. Basically, Defiant proposed that Volkswagen continue development and production of the GX3 while Defiant will badge and sell them and will also assume all legal responsibility. It seemed like an offer Volkswagen couldn't resist. But, just today, they did.

It is a sad end to a hopeful beginning. Volkswagen had contacted Defiant Motors telling them that their proposal was carefully considered but that they ultimately decided to reject it, thus killing the GX3 concept for the second time.

The whole purpose of the Moonraker group was to conduct a study to see what will bring Volkswagen back to profitability here in the US. They sought to find out what it was the Americans looked for in a Volkswagen. To that end, the Moonraker did not fail to deliver. The did come up with a model that was exactly what Americans wanted from Volkswagen. Maybe Volkswagen will change their mind. We can only hope.

Source: Defiant Motors

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