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Monday, September 19, 2005

VW Irrelevant?

Pete DeLorenzo at Auto Extremist says that VW has become irrelevant in the U.S. market.

I agree with him. VW has poor quality, high prices, and perhaps the biggest sin of all--bland styling. They are neither a premium brand, nor a performance brand, nor an economy brand.

6 comments:

Seppo said...

Volkswagen has really dropped the ball in North America. The A5 Golf has been two years on the European market, and will not reach America until sometime next year. New Jetta is a good car, but the small sedan market is over-served. VW needs to exploit the niche of Americans who WANT to drive efficient, responsive Euro-type vehicles such as hatchbacks and wagons. Trying to take on Camry, Corolla, Civic, Accord, etc. is a fool's game, given their production costs and recent quality record. They need to give us what nobody else does in the mass market, supplemented by truly fine, higher-priced performance versions that keep their daily practicality.

John B said...

That's an interesting article. Why can't VW be more price competitive since the Jetta is made in Mexico and the Golf in Brazil (at least that's where they are sourced in the Canadian market). If they can improve their quality and stay reasonably price competitive (as well getting new product to North America as seppo noted above), they may do OK. No one does interiors better than VW in that price segment.

Dave T said...

I find myself disagreeing here even after railing against the much more expensive new gen jetta back when I was on AB.

Now I see VW's plan best with the price of the new 3 series and A4. The jetta is still a cheap (and excellent performing) alternative German Sedan. And the company is aiming at those youngsters that have grown up from the days of the early 1990s.

I think the Jetta interior quality is way up there with Audi (equal to the A3 for sure). The exterior is just ugly as hell.

Now take the Passat. It is even better priced and larger and looks like the Phaeton at $30K. I think it may do better than the Jetta in sales in the US. Well maybe not, but MUCH better than the Passat did last year by far.

The only thing that was dumb was not bringing the GTI and Golf here sooner and the golf for less. we'll see how that holds up.

Da said...

I meant cheap compared to those other two sedans of course.

Anonymous said...

as one of those former VW owners who bought a 98 Passat GLX back when it came out as VW's smash hit of the late 90's, and then was disappointed by reliability issues over the 8 years that I had the car, (even though I really did love the way it drove) I am now the proud owner of an 05 Subie Outback, which promises to be much more reliable in the long run. Sorry VW, I totally would have stuck with you guys if you only made a car that lasted...

Anonymous said...

surprisingly though....

The 2006 VW Jetta is the most popular vehicle on MSN Autos, based on visits to the site's vehicle research pages!
The redesigned Volkswagen Jetta unseated the Honda Accord as the most popular vehicle on MSN Autos during the second quarter of 2005. Considerably larger than its predecessor, the Jetta features bold, new exterior styling as well as a host of new interior features.