prosa
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Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:44 am

It wasn't much more than 30 years ago that "Volkswagen" and "import" were almost synonyms in the United States. VW had a huge domination of the import market and was preparing to build vehicles in a new Pennsylvania factory.
Things certainly have changed for VW, and not for the better. The huge influx of Japanese and Korean imports of course would have ended its market domination no matter what, but it's clear that many of VW's current American woes are self-inflicted.
VW's U.S. sales for October 2005 were down 15% from the year-earlier period, when they should have risen considerably thanks to the introduction of the new Jetta and Passat models. Both of these models are selling well below expectations. VW also just announced that it is ceasing imports of the Phaeton luxury car. The Phaeton's sales figures, with less than 1,000 sold in 2005, answered the question of whether buyers would be willing to pay $65,000+ for a Volkswagen. The new Golf still hasn't come to the U.S. market, and its other new models - a minivan and a smaller SUV to be known as the Marrakesh - are still at least a year off.
I see several reasons for VW's stumbles:
1) The Jetta and especially the Passat were allowed to get positively geriatric, in model-cycle terms, before being updated. Without doubt, many would-be buyers in the past few years skipped over the aging models in favor of competitors.
2) Almost all of the new Jettas and Passats that finally arrived on dealer lots were loaded with expensive premium packages. Each model comes in a more affordable "Value Edition," but they're few and far between. Chrysler got away with a similar pricing strategy on the new 300, even now it's hard to find V-6 base models, but the 300 was a much bigger hit with much higher demand.
3) The New Beetle might be selling okay, I don't know its actual sales figures, but it's pretty much a niche model. It's also getting old.
4) As noted above, we still don't have the new Golf. The present version is seven or eight years old.
5) The Touareg SUV is overpriced. For only about $5,000 more you can get its platform-mate the Porsche Cayenne, which is, after all, a Porsche. In any event, VW didn't introduce the Touareg until after the SUV boom had peaked.
6) The Phaeton ... well, the less said about the Phaeton, the better.
7) VW built much of its reputation on German engineering. Today only the Passat (and the Phaeton) is made in Germany.
It's sad to see how Volkswagen has struggled. For the record, a couple of months ago I bought a 2001 Jetta for my stepdaughter, and it's a fine vehicle. Hopefully VW will regain its footing, though of course its days of dominating the import market are long in the past.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:59 am

As long as Audi (owned by VW) sells well, I do not think the problem is too serious, but I agree that the situation is alarming.

I think, however, that VW will succeed again. Unfortunately Diesel engines are not popular in the US, otherwise you would see much more VWs.

I think the mistakes were made in the 70s, VW didn't manage to fill the gap of the Beetle in the US market. But I do not think the problem is too serious.
 
tristarenvy
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:40 am

Toss in dubious quality on a few cars.

My old Jetta had a nasty habit of becoming full of water after a strong rainstorm. Seems that the drainage in the doors was "badly designed". I sold it, and swore never to own another VW. Not long after that, I met a woman that was connected to VW, and told her of my displeasure. She told me that VW had been aware of this issue, and took forever to fix it.


My old man had one of the first New Beetles in TPA, and pretty much liked it, except for a habit of draining batteries. And the minute the warranty expired, everything started to go wrong.

The only VW he ever had that was incredibly trouble-free was a 1987 Fox. The cheapest car sold in the USA, that year.
If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
 
aloges
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:26 am

I always wonder why some people's VWs have so much trouble. It do of course not doubt their honesty, but my parents hardly ever had anything but a VW. Beetle, 411, 412, Passat, Polo... the latter two both having been represented by three generations.

The last VW that gave us unjustified trouble was the first Passat we had, built in 1983-ish. It had an automatic transmission that had to be replaced two or three times. The other ones however - nothing serious, just a malfunctioning coolant pump on the second Passat that was quickly replaced, some leak whose repair (by a garage) wouldn't have been economical and congested drainage of the sunroof on the second Passat - due to parking under chestnut trees some four days a week.

However VW's internal politics are a different issue, and don't get me started on the Phaeton... A "Volkswagen", "popular car", just for the rich? Yeah right... it's not like Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini combined are enough of a luxury division.  sarcastic  The new Passat's looks also don't do too much for me.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:27 am

The Golf and 'new Beetle' in the USA are largely assembled in Mexico with some components made there or from Europe and Brazil or as they put it in ads "German Engineered". The Japanese brands, and even Korean brands have better quality and reliability which is the far more important with most buyers than European style and engineering. Yes, VW back in the late 50's to 1967 with the Beetle was the gold standard of quality low priced automobiles. The Japanese have long surpassed a long ago. There pricing, dealer issues, some dumb models (like the Phaeton) and so on have badly hurt them too.
 
KevinL1011
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:31 am

I think some of it is due to dissatisfaction with after warranty service and the VW dealer body. Here in So.Cal, I would say 1 of 4 VW Dealers are "decent". Most give the impression that it's your privilege to allow them to fleece you.
After warranty service outside the Dealer can be difficult. VW is very protective with technical information. Technician training outside their dealer body is non existent. Parts procurement is often difficult as there is not a lot of availability from after market sources. Independent repair shops are disadvantaged and often learn by doing. As far as doing it yourself, anybody who has replaced a headlamp bulb in a new beetle knows the grief.
I believe VW owner repurchace intent has declined and has hurt sales.
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bahadir
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:37 am

Simple answer, VWs in US are piece of crap. How long VW will keep Golf this old? Does it really matter if they renew it? Civic is a much better car compared to VWs.

A friend of mine has a 99 Jetta.. she couldn't be unhappier..

I think Phaeton, is made in Bratislava.
Earthbound misfit I
 
aerobalance
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:41 am

VW's only appeal was to the teen female crowd, and LHMARK, thus they could care less about quality and only be concerned about their cars 'cute' looks.
"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
 
aloges
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:50 am

Quoting Bahadir (Reply 6):
I think Phaeton, is made in Bratislava.

It's made, no "manufactured", in Dresden.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
slider
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:00 am

Price, in my estimation.

As soon as VW had a sound resurgence (like Nissan under Carlos Ghosn), they jacked up price. Problem was, the quality and perceived VALUE wasn't there to sustain that premium.

And a good number of Japanese imports and American badges caught up, priced more competitively, and eVW was stuck in the mud.

I can count the number of Touaregs I've seen on one hand probably.

They don't have a dealership network worth a damn. In the US, that's gold.
 
jmc1975
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:10 am

The problem isn't as serious as it was in the early 90s, when VW not only closed the plant in PA, but also talked of pulling VW, Audi and Porsche from the US market. I know several people with Mexican-built New Beetles and Jettas and they loved them when they drove them off the lot, but hated living with the poor quality and frequently have them in the shop. I found that owners of German-built Passats were relatively happy with them, but not nearly to the degree of Honda Accord and Toyota Camry owners.

The Phaeton, although a beautiful car, was a lost cause and shouldn't have been built, or at least made the short-wheelbase version available in the US at a lower price. The Touraeg has missed the mark...too heavy, expensive and underpowered (V6). The newest Passats and Jettas seemed to have moved upmarket. Perhaps, they should get back to basics and introduce the Polo or even Lupo in the US.

It doesn't look like VW is supplying the US with Fahrvegnugen anymore.
.......
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:11 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 1):
As long as Audi (owned by VW) sells well, I do not think the problem is too serious, but I agree that the situation is alarming.

I wouldn't go there either. The North American version of the new Audi A6 and A4 appear to be moving at slug pace...

Quoting PROSA (Thread starter):
VW's U.S. sales for October 2005 were down 15% from the year-earlier period, when they should have risen considerably thanks to the introduction of the new Jetta and Passat models.

It's tragic considering how high VW was riding from 1995-2001. They had the most desirable demographics in the world: young, wealthy, well-educated, and wealthy buyers.

As you list, they fell apart. Models got old, products were too expensive, and reliability was aced by other imports.

Quoting Bahadir (Reply 6):
Simple answer, VWs in US are piece of crap. How long VW will keep Golf this old? Does it really matter if they renew it? Civic is a much better car compared to VWs.

I believe the Civic has gone through two generations since the last Golf-GTI-Jetta update? Not smart VW...

Quoting PROSA (Thread starter):
2) Almost all of the new Jettas and Passats that finally arrived on dealer lots were loaded with expensive premium packages

Ugh... tell me about it.

I was set on buying a Jetta last year, but the payments were too much to swollow. I settled on the 2003 Accord LX. The car has a larger cabin, lower opperating cost, and much better reliability than either Jetta model save the 2-liter base model. I havn't looked back from that decision.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:16 am

Quoting PROSA (Thread starter):
5) The Touareg SUV is overpriced. For only about $5,000 more you can get its platform-mate the Porsche Cayenne, which is, after all, a Porsche. In any event, VW didn't introduce the Touareg until after the SUV boom had peaked.

The Touareg has been a strong performer, so I have no idea what you are talking about. It has met sales targets, last year selling nearly 30,000 units. This is a premium truck. Volkswagen wasn't going for the mass market with the Touareg, and, unlike the Phaeton, people accepeted the premium price despite the Volkswagen badge.

$43,000 buys you a Cayenne V6 with nothing, not even full leather seating surfaces. Porschse sells cars ala carte, which means customers are realistically looking at adding $10,000-$15,000 in options. Sunroof, CD player, naivgation system, leather seats - all optional. For the same price of a lightly equipped Cayenne V6 you can get a loaded Touareg V8.

Volkswagen in the US is definitley not in decline, they are simply at the end of a cycle. Their decline was in the early 1990s, when in 1993 their total US sales were 49,000 cars. That is less than half the amount of Jetta's they sell in the US today. Their problem right now is that they are ending their old cycle, with models like the Jetta, Passat, and Golf outgoing, and bringing in the replacement products. 2006 should be a strong year for VW in the US - the new Golf, GTI, and Passat and Jetta wagons will round out a total redesign of their core line-up. Their new products are getting excellent reviews, and early sales of the new body Jetta and Passat are very strong. Jetta sales are up 6% this year, and rising. The new Eos is sure to a hit as long as they keep the price, as promised, below $30,000, and they will be entering the US minivan market in 2007 with a Chrysler-built minivan (which will be more than just a rebadge).

The problem with Volkswagen is that they update their entire core product lineup at the same time, which causes these cycles. Instead of introducing a new major core product ever 2-3 years, as most automakers do, Volkswagen does at once. For example, when the Honda Civic is near the end of its current life cycle and sales dwindle, there is a new Honda Accord, and visa versa.
a.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:50 am

Quoting Tristarenvy (Reply 2):
The only VW he ever had that was incredibly trouble-free was a 1987 Fox. The cheapest car sold in the USA, that year.

IIRC, didn't this car make its U.S. debut that year ('87) as well?

Priced at $3990.
Remember the old slogan? The Road Back to Sanity

One of the worst cars every sold here.
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Superfly
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:10 am

Hey I Like the Yugo! Big grin

Quoting PROSA (Thread starter):
The Phaeton's sales figures, with less than 1,000 sold in 2005, answered the question of whether buyers would be willing to pay $65,000+ for a Volkswagen.

I was thinking the same thing before opening this thread.
Bring back the Concorde
 
whitehatter
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:12 am

Quoting Jmc1975 (Reply 10):
The Phaeton, although a beautiful car, was a lost cause and shouldn't have been built, or at least made the short-wheelbase version available in the US at a lower price.

well duh...

that engine was developed for the new breed Bentley as well. The Phaeton/Bentley program wasn't just for one dubious product. Otherwise it would never have gotten the research budget it needed.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
767Lover
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:39 am

This surprises me since it seems like half the drivers in Atlanta have a Jetta or Passat (including my future husband, so I guess I will be driving one too.)
 
whitehatter
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:02 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 12):
The Touareg has been a strong performer, so I have no idea what you are talking about. It has met sales targets, last year selling nearly 30,000 units. This is a premium truck. Volkswagen wasn't going for the mass market with the Touareg, and, unlike the Phaeton, people accepeted the premium price despite the Volkswagen badge.

unfortunately the bulk of them have gone to people with no business whatsoever needing a heavy, powerful four wheel drive SUV.

The Touareg is phenomenally good at the low speed grunt stuff. So why drive it round car parks and narrow Chelsea streets? It really pisses me off to see vehicles like that abused when they are just not built for some Prozac-riddled soccermom collecting Tristan and Petronella from their school gates.

Still, VW has its other marques in the company making money. Skoda and SEAT have certainly come on by huge leaps in recent years. Audis are still boring and driven by dicks, but generally well built.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
prosa
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:21 pm

The Touareg has been a strong performer, so I have no idea what you are talking about. It has met sales targets, last year selling nearly 30,000 units.

30,000 units per year isn't enough to make much of a difference in VW's fortunes. And I suspect that figure doesn't compare well to competing vehicles such as the Lexus RX330 or the Acura MDX. I see far more of those on the road than I see Touaregs.

For the same price of a lightly equipped Cayenne V6 you can get a loaded Touareg V8.

Some people will go for the Cayenne with that pricing simply because of the Porsche nameplate.

Their new products are getting excellent reviews, and early sales of the new body Jetta and Passat are very strong. Jetta sales are up 6% this year, and rising.

I will note again that October 2005 sales were down 15% from October 2004. While that's not a huge decline, especially compared to GM's results, by all rights there should have been no decline at all but rather a significant increase. The Passat and Jetta were nearing the end of their (way too long) product cycles in October 2004, without any significant discounting, while they were both new to the market in October 2005

The problem with Volkswagen is that they update their entire core product lineup at the same time, which causes these cycles. Instead of introducing a new major core product ever 2-3 years, as most automakers do, Volkswagen does at once.

Agreed. To what do you attribute that? Poor management or something else?

[Edited 2005-11-17 04:29:47]
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
stirling
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:22 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 13):
Priced at $3990.
Remember the old slogan? The Road Back to Sanity

One of the worst cars every sold here.

Anyone ever see the movie with Danny DeVito; where every car in the town it was set in; was a Yugo!? Funny damn movie...can't remember the title.

Quoting Aloges (Reply 3):
However VW's internal politics are a different issue, and don't get me started on the Phaeton... A "Volkswagen", "popular car", just for the rich? Yeah right... it's not like Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini combined are enough of a luxury division.

The Phaeton is not a bad car....
Now, if VW has instead stuck a Lamborghini badge on it, sold it only with the W-12 engine,...it would have been golden...the beautiful people would have lapped it up.

Somewhere along the lines VW got this wild-hair up their ass to be a premium brand...when they already have divisions set up for the task.
A $30,000 Jetta is not what the market expects....an $80,000 VW is a fairy-tale.
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prosa
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:27 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 11):

It's tragic considering how high VW was riding from 1995-2001. They had the most desirable demographics in the world: young, wealthy, well-educated, and wealthy buyers.

VW's demographics in the United States are still very good, at least as far as age is concerned. It competes with Mitsubishi (a brand that's barely surviving) for the youngest average buyer age, just under 40. Toyota's Scion brand, which is marketed almost entirely toward the youth market, attracts buyers several years older on average, though that may be skewed somewhat by parents buying Scions for their children.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
MAH4546
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:34 pm

Quoting PROSA (Reply 18):
30,000 units per year isn't enough to make much of a difference in VW's fortunes. And I suspect that figure doesn't compare well to competing vehicles such as the Lexus RX330 or the Acura MDX. I see far more of those on the road than I see Touaregs.

Volkswagen's original goal for Touareg sales in the US was 30,000.They met those goals. Volkswagen never meant to be selling the Touareg, which has been praised by the press and customers, in very high volumes, or they would have marketed and priced it accordingly. The Touareg in itself is a niche vehicle - it is one of few SUVs on the market that is actually a real SUV. Volkswagen cut no corners with it, and while they could have gone the crossover route and produced a mid-size SUV at a lower price point with the car-like ride (ala MDX and RX330) that most consumers purchasing import SUVs perfer, they could have had much higher sales volume. That wasn't the road they wanted to take with their first SUV, and I thank them for that.

Quoting PROSA (Reply 18):
I will note again that October 2005 sales were down 15% from October 2004. While that's not a huge decline, especially compared to GM's results, by all rights there should have been no decline at all but rather a significant increase. The Passat and Jetta were nearing the end of their (way too long) product cycles in October 2004, without any significant discounting, while they were both new to the market in October 2005

Jetta sales have been steadily climbing month after month and been healthy. The new Passat just came out, so you won't see a real impact, positive or negative, until early 2006.

Quoting PROSA (Reply 18):
Agreed. To what do you attribute that? Poor management or something else?

Poor management decissions. They expect too much shelf life from their products. That's fine for a niche car like the New Beetle, but not a Passat or Jetta. Volkswagen mangaement needs to redesign these cars every 4-5 years, not every 7-8. Also, the new Golf has been on sale in Europe for almost two years now, and the US is still waiting! That's ridiculous.
a.
 
TPAnx
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:06 pm

Wish I could quote the source for this..but a recent study of auto quality showed:
1:Japan
2: U-S-A
3: Germany

TPAnx
I read the news today..oh boy
 
MD-90
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:14 pm

And it was just 1998 (B5 Passat) and 1999 (Jetta) when VW was roaring back in the USA. I think it went to their heads.

I would've loved a 99 GLS 1.8T Passat in Satin Silver with moonroof/alloys.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:23 pm

Pretty good thread here.

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 17):
The Touareg is phenomenally good at the low speed grunt stuff. So why drive it round car parks and narrow Chelsea streets? It really pisses me off to see vehicles like that abused when they are just not built for some Prozac-riddled soccermom collecting Tristan and Petronella from their school gates.

With the Touareg's price tag and it's oh so precious interior, do you think Bubba is going to be getting one to pull stumps out of the ground or to compete with at the local tractor pull?

From what I read, it may have low end grunt, but what percentage of the buyers value that? What they see instead is a high price tag on a vehicle that is costly to run due to high weight, poor efficiency and the need for premium fuel.

Quoting PROSA (Reply 18):
30,000 units per year isn't enough to make much of a difference in VW's fortunes. And I suspect that figure doesn't compare well to competing vehicles such as the Lexus RX330 or the Acura MDX. I see far more of those on the road than I see Touaregs.

I agree, and in my neck of the world, the BMW X series also outnumbers Touareg by a large margin.
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jmc1975
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:35 pm

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 15):
Quoting Jmc1975 (Reply 10):
The Phaeton, although a beautiful car, was a lost cause and shouldn't have been built, or at least made the short-wheelbase version available in the US at a lower price.

well duh...

that engine was developed for the new breed Bentley as well. The Phaeton/Bentley program wasn't just for one dubious product. Otherwise it would never have gotten the research budget it needed.

I also meant they should have offered the V6 model that was available in Europe, which would bring down cost. If Americans spend $65K on European luxury, it better have a three-pointed-star, and blue-and-white propeller, or a cat leaping from the hood. Cadillac isn't even at the point yet to justify such a price.

Quoting Stirling (Reply 19):
The Phaeton is not a bad car....
Now, if VW has instead stuck a Lamborghini badge on it, sold it only with the W-12 engine,...it would have been golden...the beautiful people would have lapped it up.

  
And with that, it probably could've justified a $20-30K premium with no significant decline in sales. It would've been equivalent to a Maserati Quattroporte or a modern-day Aston Martin Lagonda.

[Edited 2005-11-17 07:40:40]
.......
 
Garri767
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:10 pm

i think VW took too much of a break, when competition was low back then, but now has skyrocketed, its not really the same market it was.
Two wrongs may not make a right, but three lefts do!
 
cornish
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:21 pm

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 17):
Audis are still boring and driven by dicks, but generally well built.

Oi you grumpy old sod - I drive one I have you know  

And last year it was "officially" the coolest car brand in the UK according to some UK Style Council (NOT Paul Weller). Somehow I think they gave that award not realising that i drove one......  Wink

Although perhaps a 2nd hand Lotus Elise to replace it as I now use the train to go to work during the week and my other half has a sensible car already  

[Edited 2005-11-17 13:25:25]
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:12 pm

Bernard Perchtrieder (sp?) mistake to say it in short... that guy believed that VW could be more expensive and have more luxury...and acted accordingly.

The Original concept one (the new beetle concept car) was fairly simple and had an initial target of 13 to 14k loaded, but the overengeniereed it and the result was a carthat was so expensive to make and to develop that Audi made the TT from tech. developed for the NB, heck tons of parts from the TT are interchangeable with the NB, the whole frikin dash for example is interchangeable down to the bolts.

the result?... the NB in a version like the turbo S costing over 23k!!!
The Phaeton is the same stupid thinking, maybe its a hell of a car but HEY MACFLY there is the Audi A6 and A8 !!!
Touareg is an splendid SUV (drove it and the Cayenne) but a 55K VW is a hard thing to fathom, it should have been Audi branded it would have sold easily.
The GOLF OMG dont get me started, they are still selling the Golf in its MK IV when the "new" mark V has been availiable in europe for over a year...

The new FSI engine and the FSI turbo are wonderful engines really worthy of premium cars, the 6 speed DSG and tiptronic auto trannys are top notch but if they are going to make a Jetta a 29k car they need to get their act together or rebrand those cars Audi.
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klmcedric
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:15 pm

I own a 2004 VW polo 1.4TDI, and I couldn't be happier with it.
Offcourse it's still a relatively new car,it hasn't cost me a dime so far.
The onboard computer calculates,based on your driving pattern,when you
have to bring in your car for maintenance.I now have 48.000km, and
I will have to bring it in at 50.000km, for the first time since I bought it march
2004.Although I must ad I use my car almost exclusively on highway to drive
from my home in Ghent to Schiphol airport, for the rest we use my girlfriends
company car(a new BMW5).
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:25 pm

Quoting Stirling (Reply 19):
Anyone ever see the movie with Danny DeVito; where every car in the town it was set in; was a Yugo!? Funny damn movie...can't remember the title.

Drowning Mona--great flick.
International Homo of Mystery
 
bhmbaglock
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:59 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
Hey I Like the Yugo! Big grin


The first three Yugos I ever saw were attention grabbers due to the fact that they were on the side of the road with raging engine fires. Never heard anything out of Ralphie about it - maybe because "Unsafe at no speed" just wouldn't sound as good.
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tristarenvy
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:08 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 13):
Priced at $3990.
Remember the old slogan? The Road Back to Sanity

HA! I thought '88 was the first year. I remember seeing one chugging along I-10, between Baton Rouge and Houston, back in 1992, and thinking "There goes the bravest soul on the planet." I have never seen one of the drop top ones, but one DOES appear in the movie "The Birdcage" for about 5 seconds, as Robin Williams and Nathan Lane walk by it.
If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
 
slider
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:44 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 19):
Anyone ever see the movie with Danny DeVito; where every car in the town it was set in; was a Yugo!? Funny damn movie...can't remember the title.

Yes- Drowning Mona....with Neve and Bette Midler. Dark comedy, a hilarious movie!



Anyone else miss the VW Corrado? Now that was a sweet little machine.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:05 am

Quoting PROSA (Thread starter):
The Phaeton's sales figures, with less than 1,000 sold in 2005, answered the question of whether buyers would be willing to pay $65,000+ for a Volkswagen.

While the Phaeton is an engineering masterpiece I'd never buy one. The new Merc S Class is coming out next year and frankly the poor resale values on the Phaeton alone make it a non-starter. Beyond that the cabin on even the LWB Phaeton is claustrophobic, the LWB S Class on the otherhand was superb.

Quoting PROSA (Thread starter):
4) As noted above, we still don't have the new Golf.

I was surprised too. My girlfriend is looking to replace her Golf and I went into the local dealers to get some info for her to peruse and the dealer said they are still selling the same model as she already had! This was several months after the new Golf hit the UK. I was somewhat taken aback....

OTOH, I was surprised to see swish looking new Jettas around the streets of Richmond. They sell very poorly in the UK under the Bora badge.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:19 am

The Phaeton is one of the worst management ideas ever, this already starts with the name:

Phaeton was the son of helios who was riding the sun wagon (or something like that) over the sky. The son was saying: Come on, I want to ride as well! The father said: No, Phaeton, you are not experienced enough for that, you cannot do it. Yet Phaeton insisted and started to ride. He couldn't control the wagon, lost control over the horses, fell down and died.

For me, Phaeton is the "son" of Mercedes S-Klasse or BMW 750i. He thinks he can do the same, tries, and fails.

I really don't understand how you can give your product the name Phaeton. This name stands for failure. It is the same as if you called your airline Icarus - Destined to crash!
 
prosa
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:29 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):
Quoting PROSA (Reply 18):
30,000 units per year isn't enough to make much of a difference in VW's fortunes. And I suspect that figure doesn't compare well to competing vehicles such as the Lexus RX330 or the Acura MDX. I see far more of those on the road than I see Touaregs.

I agree, and in my neck of the world, the BMW X series also outnumbers Touareg by a large margin.

Out of curiosity, I checked the most recent available monthly sales numbers for the RX330 (October 2005) and the MDX (August 2005). Multiplying these by 12 to get an annual rate is not precise, but should give a reasonable estimate especially since these models generally don't get short-term incentives that can skew a particular month's sales pace.

RX330 - 8,012 (96,144/yr.)
MDX - 5,379 (64,548/yr.

At 30,000 per year, the Touareg is selling at just one third the rate of the RX330 and less than half the rate of the MDX.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
FMAL
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:07 am

Quoting Jmc1975 (Reply 10):
Mexican-built

Guys, here in Brazil VW was the leading brand for years. They now face fierce competition from Fiat.

I quoted the "Mexican-built" as I believe this is one of the major factors contributing to the downfall. I haven't heard a single person say good things about the Mexican built VWs, or any other car for that matter.

Here in Brazil they launched the Bora (Jetta), Mexican built, hugely overpriced. Result: the imports lasted about 6 months, as the cars were expensive and overall lack of quality. I myself had a Mexican built Golf GLS, perhaps the worst car I ever had. Constantly in the shop, the car would accelerate itself while stopped on a red light....When they said that the new Accords were gonna be imported from Mexico, a lot of people cried out against it.

I think the problems with VW are Global. Some countries with a higher level of difficulties than others, but clearly Global.
 
FMAL
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:19 am

Quoting Tristarenvy (Reply 2):
e only VW he ever had that was incredibly trouble-free was a 1987 Fox. The cheapest car sold in the USA, that year.

Made in Brazil!
 
MD-90
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:04 am

Today's rant is about Piech's folly.

http://www.autoextremist.com/index.shtml
 
MAH4546
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:54 am

Quoting PROSA (Reply 36):
Out of curiosity, I checked the most recent available monthly sales numbers for the RX330 (October 2005) and the MDX (August 2005). Multiplying these by 12 to get an annual rate is not precise, but should give a reasonable estimate especially since these models generally don't get short-term incentives that can skew a particular month's sales pace.

RX330 - 8,012 (96,144/yr.)
MDX - 5,379 (64,548/yr.

At 30,000 per year, the Touareg is selling at just one third the rate of the RX330 and less than half the rate of the MDX.

Here are the 2004 sales figures Jan04-Dec04:

Lexus RX-Series: 106,531
Acura MDX: 59,505
Volvo XC90: 35,723
Lexus GX-Series: 35,420
BMW X5: 35,225
Infiniti FX-Series: 30,964
Cadillac SRX: 30,019
Volkswagen Touareg: 29,706
Mercedes-Benz M-Class: 25,681
Lincoln Aviator: 23,644
Porschse Cayenne: 18,117
Land Rover Discovery & LR3: 16,530

Again, Volkswagen's original intentions were to sell in the 30,000 range, and they met those. You really can't say a vehicle is unsuccessful just because Lexus sells triple the number of RX 330s. The RX-Series appeals to a much broader audience than the trucky and more rugged Touareg does. Similarly, Infiniti decided to target a niche audience with the FX-Series, which exceeded initial sales target. The fact that they only sell 30,000 a year doesn't mean the vehicle isn't that popular. Also notice that the leaders of the pack, the RX 330 and MDX, aren't even real trucks. They are station wagons on steroids. Taking those two out the equation, the Touareg's sales are very much in line with other vehicles in its class.

I'm impressed by Volkswagen's ability to get 30,000 people to buy a $45,000 truck from a company known for $18,000 college cars, especially in the US, where image is everything.
a.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:01 am

Quoting TriStarEnvy (Reply 32):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 13):
Priced at $3990.
Remember the old slogan? The Road Back to Sanity

HA! I thought '88 was the first year.

http://www.inet.hr/~bpauric/eindex.htm
From the above web-link:
During the summer of 1985 the Yugo went on sale as the cheapest car sold in the USA. With a base price of $3990, it was thousands cheaper than the next car up. Standard equipment included fabric upholstery, full carpeting, reclining front seats, folding rear seat, rear window wiper/washer, opening rear quarter windows, rear window electric defroster, low fuel warning light, cigarette lighter, locking gas cap, and a full size spare tire. There were few options such as air conditioning, stereos, floor mats, wheel covers, and roof racks.
...
In early 1989 Yugo America went bankrupt, which threatened to remove the Yugo from the USA. No 1989 models were imported, so dealers sold leftover 1988 models. Reorganization brought Yugo America back to life, but it faced a major battle to repair it's poor image


Yugo came to the USA in 1985? Must've been a very limited dealer network for the first 2 years. While growing up in Massachusetts at the time, I never saw nor even heard of the Yugo until the late summer of 1986.

Back to VW:

Truth be told, VW's real sales heyday in the USA was with the original rear-engined Bug/Beetle, the Carmanghia (sp) 2-seater, the Squareback wagon, and the Microbus (a Hippie favorite) from the 50s, 60s, through the mid-70s. To many, the original VW Bug/Beetle was dubbed as THE small car.

In 1975, VW unleashed a new type of small car that sent the competition scrambling to duplicate its design. In the States, it was called the Rabbit.


From the mid-to-late 70s to about the early-to-mid 80s; these cars were all over the place. However, over time, the Japanese imports (mainly Honda & Toyota) overtook the Rabbit in sales & popularity.

With regards to Audi: like VW, Audis were more popular in the States back in the late 70s/early 80s with cars like the Fox & the very popular 5000 mid-size model. Following a transmission recall on the 5000 in the mid-to-late 1980s; sales of all Audis, not just the impacted 5000s dropped like a stone. As a result, while Audi has rebounded from the recall fallout-related sales drop in the late 80s; I don't believe they're selling in as many numbers today as they were 20 years ago.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
Superfly
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:52 am

The only import I've ever bought was a 1980 Volkswagen Dasher diesel stationwagon. I bought it off my 12 grade english teacher for $50 back in 1990 so the car was 10 years old.
That car got 50MPG literally!
Back then, diesel was only $1.09 a gallon.

It could run a mile cheaper than I could.  Wink

http://www.adspast.com/store/skin1/images/pics1a/vw772stretch.jpg
Bring back the Concorde
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:21 am

Quoting PROSA (Thread starter):
1) The Jetta and especially the Passat were allowed to get positively geriatric, in model-cycle terms, before being updated. Without doubt, many would-be buyers in the past few years skipped over the aging models in favor of competitors.
2) Almost all of the new Jettas and Passats that finally arrived on dealer lots were loaded with expensive premium packages. Each model comes in a more affordable "Value Edition," but they're few and far between. Chrysler got away with a similar pricing strategy on the new 300, even now it's hard to find V-6 base models, but the 300 was a much bigger hit with much higher demand.

You hit the nail on the head! Also, there have been some quality/reliability issues. And, those damn SUV's have almost murdered the "pony car/sport econo car." However, the new Mustang is a hit and there is rumor of those "Bitchin Cammarros" coming back in '07 with a retro/modern design like Cammarro gen 1 not an overweight white trash cruiser.

VW, has basically boring looking cars! With the acception of the Beetle, the other cars are boring looking and old before their time. The new Passaat looks like a smaller version of a 1975 Nova Sedan.

Design better looking cars and maybe bring back a retro modern version Karmon Ghia. Then maybe VW can be Farfalnoogen again!
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
MAH4546
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:58 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
As a result, while Audi has rebounded from the recall fallout-related sales drop in the late 80s; I don't believe they're selling in as many numbers today as they were 20 years ago.

Yes they are. Audi has never sold as many vehicles in the US as they have in the early 2000s. I believe 2003 was their record year.
a.
 
bhmbaglock
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:54 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
the Carmanghia (sp)

Kharman Ghia - my first car, last VW I'll ever own.
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stirling
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:21 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 35):
Phaeton was the son of helios who was riding the sun wagon (or something like that) over the sky. The son was saying: Come on, I want to ride as well! The father said: No, Phaeton, you are not experienced enough for that, you cannot do it. Yet Phaeton insisted and started to ride. He couldn't control the wagon, lost control over the horses, fell down and died.



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 35):
I really don't understand how you can give your product the name Phaeton. This name stands for failure. It is the same as if you called your airline Icarus - Destined to crash!

Interesting story...I'd never heard it before, and obviously no one at VW has either.
Delete this User
 
KevinL1011
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:34 pm

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 45):
Kharman Ghia -

After I wrecked my '60 VW Double Cab pickup, I found a clean '63 Ghia w/o a motor and put the 1835cc dual port, dual solex motor from the truck in to the Ghia. I could almost pull the front wheels off the ground with a hard launch, but kept breaking the axle retainer clips in the transaxle.
That car was a blast!(and a chick magnet). Met a girl in college who had a Ghia and I did a "trade out".....she got me a "B" in typing, I fixed her Ghia. Today, I still hunt and peck. ATTN: College Students! Don't buy your grades! You'll suffer later!
I've owned just about every air cooled VW except a 21 window van and a 4 dr 412.
Did you know that the 1970 + European Karmann Ghia was sold in the US as a Porsche 914? (914-6 were cool)
474218, Carl, You will be missed.
 
bhmbaglock
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:57 pm

Quoting Kevinl1011 (Reply 47):
Did you know that the 1970 + European Karmann Ghia was sold in the US as a Porsche 914? (914-6 were cool)

The ironic part is that the older Ghias looked more like a Porsche although the 914 did perform much better - still not good enough to be a Porsche IMHO.
Where are all of my respected members going?
 
KevinL1011
Posts: 2858
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RE: Volkswagen's Decline In America

Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:00 pm

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 48):
still not good enough to be a Porsche

Exactly. And many of the owners were "wannabe" Porsche owners. Worse than the real Porsche owners.
474218, Carl, You will be missed.

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