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Comments

  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    very handsome
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    wish we could see some interior pics.
  • pkraddpkradd Posts: 358
    Unfortunately, it will be much more expensive. No bargains in this model I think.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    any particular reason?
  • sundhario1sundhario1 Posts: 16
    I think VW is trying to compete with the upscale German manufacturers. Which is the reason for the price increase. I personally don't understand since VW has Audi?!? Wouldn't they cannibalize sales? I don't think the 2 brands are all that distinct.

    BTW -- I really like the new designs!
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    VW would be foolish to move the Passat upscale. It's a nice car as it is (the styling isn't my taste, but that's beside the point). Judging from what I see on the roads, they sell mostly GL and GLS models, which range in price from $21-27K or thereabouts. If they try to make the Passat into a $30K+ car, I think they're in for a rude awakening.

    What is it with VW lately? They had a great thing going recently with the "trendy alternative to a Toyota" image, and suddenly they seem to want to compete with their own Audi brand! I don't get it.

    -Andrew L
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    this new passat is nicer on the outside than the a4 and maybe even the a6 too.
  • pkraddpkradd Posts: 358
    I seem to remember that a VW higher up said that VW would be a more conservative line while Audi would be more driver-oriented. He used the Mercedes-BMW analogy. VW doesn't, it seems to me, know the North American market very well. They are running NA operations from Germany - local execs seem to have no real say. Toyota did this in the beginning, then let go and we know what happened.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Now that is an interesting theory about VW of America's problems. I would have to say that is pretty much true. VW (in the U.S.) has about the worst model introductions of any European maker, they cars never show up when promised. Never. How Audi manages to do it right is amazing. Don't they share the same U.S. distribution system?? Now if VW wants to be the all-encompasing automaker, having cars that range from the still affordable Golf/Jetta up to the W12 Phaeton, I'm all for it. Now if they're going to push the whole brand upmarket and make even their mainstream cars like the Passat a 30K+ car to start with then I have to say their idea is absurd. I suspect one of the biggest reasons the Passat can't break 100K units a year is price. To make it even more expensive means less sales and competing directly with the A4, utter nonsense. VW also needs to get their head out of the sand thinking they'll actually get away with treating a Phaeton customer so much better than a Golf customer, in the same facility! Pluhease. VW needs to implement that proposed Phaeton treatment on every customer. Bring over the Lupo also. Lupo, Golf, Beetle, Jetta, Passat, Toureg, Phaeton...affordable to expensive......all treated the same in areas of service/sales etc...thats the only way it'll work.

    M
  • kzenerkzener Posts: 1
    Anyone know if 2004 Passats will finally have an in-dash 6 cd changer?
  • sundhario1sundhario1 Posts: 16
    I think Mazda tried to push an "upscale" model with the Millenia. While the car had good driving impressions and reviews, customers did not want to pay a premium and still get mediocre service. I think it would be dangerous for VW to push upscale cars such as the Phaeton with out the infrastructure to cater to those customers with the dollars.

    But -- we don't know if VW is going to push the 2005 Passat price up (i only assume so). The car looks awesome, in my opinion of course.

    Don't know about the in-dash 6-disc changer.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    are now the stuff of great controversy but I suspect the VW future plans as widely publicized go something like this:

    VW and Audi begin the process of "ceasing" to be fraternal twins first by making the platforms no longer shared or as shared as they are now.

    VW and Audi begin the process of no longer having virtually the same engines (if not literally the same engines) as choices (e.g., 1.8T, 3.2, 2.8, 4.2). That is the engines will go their own way more and more, just as the body and chassis directions will diverge

    While family resemblences and even some apparent cross over (Phaeton and A8, e.g.) will remain, the plan will call for divergence.

    Audi will continue to be "dynamic" -- whatever the Marketing Machine says

    VW will morph into the "classic" or perhaps more traditional luxury image

    Both marquis will move up across the board in MSRP (perhaps more discernable in the US market).

    Passats in the $30K range -- sure, but more likely in the $40K range instead (check out the plans for the new Passat -- 300HP, 4 motion, bells and whistles, etc.)

    Audi will market against BMW (and others to be sure)

    VW will market agains Mercedes (and others, yadda yadda yadda)

    Audi will offer some far out high high high buck stuff

    VW will offer some not so far out not so high (but above $70K) stuff

    They will appeal to different "self-images" -- even if there is competition between them (between VW and Audi that is).

    Some people can't or won't for a long time see themselves in a Phaeton, only an A8 will do -- even if the Audi costs more or the content and relative amenities of the Phaeton are higher than the Audi's.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    Audi will come out with a "true" SUV -- based on the, umm, er -- Touareg or the Porsche version (probably will).

    Audi will sponsor and advertise and go to market this way and VW will sponsor and advertise and go to market that way.

    VW will not be just getting Audi's "hand me downs" -- the Passat will not be strapped with an Audi engine from the previous generation (where is the 3.0 Passat? In the "old" way, the Passat would eventually get Audi's 3.0 just as it inherited the 5 pot Audi engine, the V6 Audi engine and shares to this day the 1.8T Audi engine.)

    New VW's will be as distinct as PO$$IBLE and will be marketed to be even more distinct than they actually will be.

    Passats, for example, will be price competitive with C class and perhaps even low end E class Mercs. Phaetons with W12's will go head to head with Merc's S classes (both in content and tickling their price point).

    The summary that says it most succinctly:

    VW will be 90 - 95% of a comparable Mercedes offering at 80 - 85% of the Merc's price point. Hence an $85,000 VW is not too many years off in the future.

    Now all of this is not meant to suggest that VW will not produce low end Passats (for consumption somewhere in the world) -- but, it is to suggest that these low end, lower priced versions will probably NOT make it to our shores.

    I have been to Germany to the Audi factory (6 times) and have visited German cities both large and small and have visited Audi and VW dealerships in Munich and Berlin -- the range of "low end" Audis that are available is incredible. And, we never see them here.

    I have rented a completely stripped Audi A6 1.8T. I have been in Audi A4 taxis that, other than A/C are the equivalents of Neon's -- yet we never see them here.

    This is what I expect will happen with VW -- fewer and fewer low end models will make it to the US. We will see, relatively speaking, high end models of whatever makes it here.

    Power everything, every do dad made will be part of the standard model or will be included in one all encompassing "Premium Package" -- like we are already seeing in the Passat W8 and the Touareg. Wait till you see the first generation Phaeton we get -- and then remember it (features and options) will only increase from that point forward.

    The current generation of VW's compete in some respects in the economy market. VW says, "hmmm economy market -- lower margins, price sensitive customers; hmmm Classic Luxury market -- higher margins, customers that have the willingness to pay for more [and expect more, VW]. . ." Their decision was relatively easy.

    VW may or may not succeed in "movin' on up to a dee-lux apartment in the sky [the Jefferson's]" -- but I'm willing to wager here and now that by this time two years from now the VW (US for certain) product offerings will be already be well headed in that direction.

    If you want a "cheap" Passat (as in under $30K) you better get while the gettin's good.

    VW wants Mercedes to look in their rear-view mirror and see a VW closing in on them -- and gaining fast.

    Again, this Hyde and Jekyll may or may not be able to be pulled off, but don't count on it not at least being attempted in earnest.
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    The above sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. The US market is already top-heavy with luxury brands, and there are several (Lexus, BMW, Mercedes) that are fairly well entrenched as the leaders. VW's quality problems are not going to reassure people who want $40K+ vehicles. VW has had a good thing going since the mid-90s, and now they seem intent on shooting themselves in the foot. How unfortunate.

    -Andrew L
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    As in any Poker game, what you see is not necessarily what you get.

    However, VW does have to clean up their act in terms of reliability, and they know that. Same goes for AUDI. In Europe, there are so many brands with reliability problems that VW/Audi still manages to look decent.

    W8’s and Phaetons have been a flop, and Touaregs will need to be sold at such a discount that the upscale premium vanishes sooner than you can say Nissan re-design.

    The politics of the European car market does not translate well into the NA market - so here, we get whatever a least common denominator allows. Believe me, the US is and has been an afterthought for VW strategy planning and product development. All the forces that drive market differentiation in Europe are very different from those in the US. BTW, Subaru of America suffers from the same disease of not having competent marketing specialists on site, and not being flexible enough to integrate a consensus vision into their domestic pipeline.

    The good news? Diesel engines and hopefully improved low-end Golfs, Jettas and Passats @ 2005.

    The bad news? Still no AWD Jetta Wagon with raised suspension [THINK: FORESTER XT], RS32 too little too late, no turbo Passat manual AWD (wagon), Audi always 2-3 years behind in offerings (if an Accord V6 beats you in important categories, you have a problem).

    The ugly news? Water pumps used to fail @ 100,000 miles in Hondas in the mid 90’s. So did a lot of other stuff. So they increased their reliability and maintenance intervals to yet longer times. VW/Audi is still stuck pre-mid-nineties, with component failures lagging the top Japanese manufacturers by about 10 years. Not only have they not closed the gap, the gap has increased from 3-5 years to about 10 years. The next 3 years will witness whether VW/Audi (and Mercedes) can turn this thing around.

    - D.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If VW thinks they can go upmarket with ALL their cars they're dead wrong. There is no way they should give up the Jetta, Golf, and current Passat positions to chase a customer that may or may not be there. The Phaeton should be sold in short wheelbase form with a V8 first, loaded for about 55K, at that point it would provide a hell of a value against the E500, 540i, GS430, Q45, S-Type 4.2, and yes the A6 4.2. A Phaeton eqquiped in such a way would essentially occupy the same postion as the LS430 does now, a big car with middle-class base pricing. ***Chasing Mercedes price for price will only make a VW a bargain compared to a Mercedes, and there are other big fish (Lexus, BMW, Jaguar, Infiniti, and Audi) in the luxury pond, of which a value priced/against Mercedes VW, won't appear to be a bargain against****

    Very few, and I mean very few people if any at all (!) are going to pay 90K for a VW, no matter how many cylinders (W12) or how much hp it has. VW should start with a the Polo and go up to about 55K with a much-needed improved dealer body and a whole new approach to customer service/sales etc. Does VW really think nobody ever cross shops a VW with an Audi, or that people won't do just that in the future considering the prices VW wants to command with their next generation of cars, and the current Phaeton?

    I have to admit it's a novel idea, but logically it doesn't make sense. VW essentially wants to have it's cake and eat it too, by having TWO high-priced brands. It won't happen, at least not with any success. I wonder what VW would do if their strategy took off and was a hit, but Audi sales dropped like 50 percent during the process?

    M
  • pkraddpkradd Posts: 358
    With the above plans, which are similar to what the VW excecs said in an interview a year ago, VW will finally get their death wish and leave the U.S. market... as they almost did in the 70s. Stupidity reins supreme methinks. VW has a very poor reputation. This cannot be changed simply by increasing the price of the cars. It's a cultural thing with their attitude and the dealerships. Also, dealerships in the U.S. sometimes share space with BMW (mine does) and there is a major difference in the way they treat VW customers and BMW customers. I saw that first hand yesterday as I waiting for a loaner at the BMW side of the dealership. Attitudes towards the customer was much better then on my side of the dealer - I have a 2001.5 Passat. They were attentive and immediately came up to people bringing their cars into service. At the VW side I had to fend for myself and find somebody to help me. Ugh. My car is in for a 20,000 service and they couldn't get it done in 8 hours. I do have a loaner and they promise to finish today. Ugh again.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    The [US] market is top heavy with lux cars? Well, while I find myself agreeing with much of what has been written both before and after I stirred up the pot so to speak, ". . .there's ALWAYS room at the top."

    The spirited discussion (argument?) perhaps is can VW make it to the top? I am unwilling -- YET -- to count them out. Changing dealer's behavior may not be too daunting of a task. There are plenty of dealers (who currently don't rep VW's) who would love to have the VW brand and would know how to treat customers.

    The problems that we see and read about on these internet chat (gossip?) boards are almost certainly 100% true. They are certainly 100% inadequate. OK, perhaps VW and Audi too are not as reliable as other brands -- perhaps there are some nightmarish stories. I believe that people who are "satisfied" through "delighted" don't spend much time extolling the vitues of their dealers and brands. And, without a scientific statistical review it is hard for me to come away with any sense that the overwhelming majority of posters here, on Audi world and VW vortex are anything but delighted. The number of complaints appears to be in the minority, that is.

    Most people who participate in these forums love cars and many love BRAND NAME HERE cars. Audi and VW have many more fans (based on the forums I read and participate in) by far than foes.

    I welcome VW to the upper class -- my current personal skepticism is still there, however.

    The Touareg seems pretty spanky, both Car and Driver and Motor Trend (and a few others) either rave or at the very least highly praise this entry by VW into the upper class of SUV's. While the Wall Street Journal (and other 'automotive' publications) have reported initial quality control (roll out) problems (with the Phaeton) in Europe there is no certainty that we will or will not repeat this once the car lands here in the US.

    And, although I did mention that there may be an $85K Phaeton here in the US, I have not -- yet -- read of any $90K VW comming. And, I have every reason to believe that there will be Phaetons that are sold with a number beginning with a "5."

    The W8 has been treated, based on anecdotes written by all of us and VWGUILD as an orphan -- I have seen only 2 W8 commercials and only 1 of them is currently in play (the man racing the kid on the bike). But, I have NEVER seen an allroad commercial and everyone who has ever seen or been in my car wonders why they've never heard of it.

    Perhaps the US market isn't important to VW and Audi -- but I doubt that is the case. Indeed, despite what appears to be illogical marketing behavior (or lack thereof) of these brands, I think that the US is "THE MOST" important market of all to them -- but I am only mildly suggesting that is the case financially.

    The US car market is like the song "New York, New York" -- car companies reputations often rely on the fact that "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. . ." Witness Peugot, Fiat. . .etc.

    Sales of both VW's and Audis are -- according to their own press releases -- down (single digit %, I believe) in 2003. But the past month or two have been strong from a sales perspective.

    According to my dealer every $82,000+ RS6 has already been spoken for. Yet, the S6 avant -- itself a very sweet car and a relative bargain when compared to the RS6 -- often sits unsold on the lot or is sold quickly with a substantial discount.

    For "new" for "sexy" for "exclusive" for "perfomance" even for "value" -- there really is [probably] room at the top!

    I say go VW go!
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