Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Volkswagen outlines its recipe for success in the US

The US market is a contentious issue for Volkswagen. After years of losing money, only now is Volkswagen taking action to stop the bleeding. They have already revealed their goal to beat Toyota by 2018. What isn't known is how.

Of course, Volkswagen won't reveal their secrets just yet but they have outlined some points as to exactly how they will go about their plan. The theme is to release newer and cheaper models and to utilize factories in Mexico and the forthcoming factory in the US.

The Passat nameplate will be scrapped, and the car itself will be smaller than the current one to be priced around $20,000. The Jetta will also be cheaper (and smaller, presumably) at around $15,000. A version of the Polo may finally arrive to the US and may be built locally to keep costs down. An up! derivative, a body-in-frame pickup, and a cheaper Phaeton are also in the pipeline. With the Passat gone, the new Phaeton may actually fill in the gap the Passat would leave in the lineup.

We don't know when all of this takes place. We don't even know if we will still see the B7 Passat on our shores. Most likely not.

Update: I forgot to mention that the Passat CC will still be available in the US and will therefore be the sole model with the Passat name in the US.

Source: Autoblog


Anonymous Ben said...

This plan is all well and good from a marketing standpoint, but I've heard nary a peep regarding quality. VW cannot continue to produce cars that are rated "Much Worse than Average" in Consumer Reports and expect them to sell in large numbers. Toyota has a reputation that precedes it, and VW, despite its fun image, won't beat Toyota without being Toyota when it comes to reliability. Say what you will about CR, it's influential, and VW will do well to improve in their survey.

Thu. Mar. 13, 02:38:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read the new CR and the Jetta is now "recommended", including a checkmark by the photo, because it has improved. One can hope the Rabbit will be recommended as well.

Having said this, all the models need to improve. The Passat looks great but it has such a scary reputation, and even though us VW enthusiasts can say it's undeserved because the complaints are about rattles or the sunroof motor or something seemingly minor, Toyota's don't have these issues!

Hopefully things will keep improving!

Thu. Mar. 13, 04:53:00 p.m.  
Blogger Lorenzo said...

Both of you are correct. Volkswagen needs to focus on quality, first and foremost. That's what Hyundai did and look where it has taken them. Churning out a lot of cheap-priced models will not matter if quality is what's keeping people away from the dealerships.

Honestly, if Volkswagen had better quality, no doubt people would be much more willing to pay for their current offerings at their current price, even the ill-fated Phaeton.

Hopefully, a factory in the US will mean better quality control.

Fri. Mar. 14, 12:20:00 a.m.  
Blogger jim said...

"Hopefully, a factory in the US will mean better quality control."

Dream on...

You obviously don't remember why VW closed down their PA plant before... You don't know about 'quality' that comes from Merc-USA, or the headaches gotten with Toyotas "Made in the USA".. Or that Mazda is shifting some models back to Japan because they need to raise their quality.. or that Saturn (Jeezus - What a joke) has never made 5-cents for GM and only now that they're slapping name plates on Opels are their prospects looking up.

Hey, I'm all for Team USA ..but cut the B.S., ax the over-paid brass and quit waving a flag in my face. Wave some quality instead.


Mon. Mar. 17, 06:55:00 a.m.  

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