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  • 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.

  • 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: 5,343
    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: 5,343
    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?

  • 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: 5,343
    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!
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    If VW's luxury market share isn't going to come from Audi, where is it going to come from? This reminds me of the fact that about 5 different smaller automakers (VW, Suzuki, Mitsu, Hyundai, Mazda, etc.) have claimed they are going to substantially increase their sales in the US. Well, somebody's got to lose. We aren't going to start buying three cars per person next year.

    I'm sure VW can sell a few Phaetons and W8 Passats, and maybe a decent number of Touaregs. But to actually abandon the lower end of the market, where VW has established a decent reputation with young, trendy buyers, would be the stupidest thing they could possibly do. It's about on par with Hyundai dropping the Accent, Elantra and Sonata, and deciding to compete with Mercedes! Not only would they be starting from scratch in the luxury market, but they would be using a brand name that already has a lower priced image associated with it. That's two strikes against, as I see it.

    By the way, to remain on the 2005 Passat topic: If the Passat moves upmarket for 2005, say starting at $28K rather than the low $20Ks as it does now, what is going to fill the gap? $20-25K is the sweet spot for the family sedan market. Is the Jetta suddenly going to take a leap for 2005? Then what will fill THAT gap? Something is not quite right, here.

    -Andrew L
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    According to what I have read about VW's upmarket plans, they do not necessarily include "abandoning" the "low end."

    The cars that have perhaps been the VW mainstay, for example the Golf are certainly not just going to go away -- my understanding is that the content of the VW family will, like Audi, Mercedes and BMW in the US, be more complete, more lux-like. Indeed, isn't BMW (and Mercedes already) pushing down somewhat with some of the newer models.

    Perhaps the least expensive future VW will be more than the least expensive current VW. All of the articles I have read indicate VW intends to compete with Mercedes "head on."

    And, I still maintain that "there is room at the top." Now, perhaps VW will take sales away from Audi -- but perhaps VW WILL take sales away from Mercedes, Volvo, Saab, Jaguar -- and who knows what other brand.

    I doubt that Audi buyers will migrate in droves to VW. Presumably the VW "image" will appeal to Classic buyers (whatever in the heck that means) who today are said to be most like Mercedes buyers.

    I kind of see the Chevy, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick , Cadillac thing going on here. There are Pontiacs (and you can start to see it more with the newest Pontiacs) for example that are pretty much (technically) similar to Buicks -- but the image of the brands, the appeal of the brands, the demographics of the 2 brands customers mean that some folks will consider Pontiacs and some Buicks (even if the prices are not the deciding factor).

    Now, at the ripe old age of 52, I can say that I have never even considered a Cadillac -- but I must admit, I now have brand awareness of the CTS due to the "Led Zeppelin" campaign.

    Perhaps an AWD, stick shift, small-block V8 CTS would make me test drive one. . .

    I have considered, but never followed through, the Jaguar all wheel drive offerings and the Volvo AWD models.

    VW MAY be able to pull this image transformation off. . . Audi came back from the brink with "marketing," and other companies have shifted their images both within price class and outside of price class.

    Classic example is Sony -- still considered by many has "upmarket" TV -- can be found at Walmart, Costco and Circuit city beside similarly priced competitive TV's yet the Sony Image has stuck.

    Before you beat up on me, I will again say I agree with many of the reservations that have been expressed on this forum about VW's move up. But saying it is doomed to failure is a distance too far for me to agree with.

    Many people look at a Passat -- for example -- as the Sony TV when it is placed (and shopped) by cars that are "in its class." The VW Name, to this day, remains mostly in good stead.

    This is the company that brought the "Bug" to the US and has ultimately morphed itself into a company that few could have ever imagined when the only two cars you could acquire from a VW dealer included the Bug (and a convert version) and the Karmann Ghia.

    I'm willing to watch the years commencing with the 2004 calendar year for about 2 - 3 years to see if they can pull a "rabbit" out of their hat (pun intended).

    One last thought -- marketing will begin to morph the image as I have outlined; but ultimately PRODUCT will sustain the buying public's perception. I do not think they can show you a picture of a juicy steak and when you get home find out it is hamburger and expect repeat buyers or the word NOT to get out.
  • pkraddpkradd Posts: 358
    I've read that the next Jetta, for 2004, will be redesigned and larger. Perhaps this is where VW will get the Passat buyers who purchased the car when it was in the low 25M (like me). Too bad the quality may not be as good... Toyota and Honda have it nailed for their American-built sedans. Jetta's from Brazil (Brasil) don't have much cache.
  • james_cajames_ca Posts: 16
    I was seriously thinking of getting a new Passat until i heard abt the new one!probably they dont hit NA roads until August 2004,shud I wait but dont want to spend more than 30K on this..where can i get more info on the new model?
  • mshoakmshoak Posts: 3
    I would recommend getting the Passat now. Over the next month, you should be able to get a great deal on a 2003 Passat, as dealers try to make room for the 2004s. I picked up a fully loaded GLX with a CD changer and ESP for 300 below invoice and 1.9% financing. The Passat will definately cost you less if you buy it now. Every year VW tends to increase their prices roughly 1%. There are also rumors that Passat pricing points may increase more than that with the 2005 model because it will be based heavily on the upscale Phaeton. I would also be concerned buying the first model year of any significant redesign (VW or not).
  • james_cajames_ca Posts: 16
    Thanks for the advice Mike..VW 04 doesnt ve any change from 03. am I right?do u ve any guidelines as to from where to get the best invoice rates?edumnds?yahoo or credit unions?I live in CA.I assume the best time shud be SEP end for getting a 2003 one..
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The 2005 Passat (US) will probably be the SECOND version of the (Passat) model to show more substantive content and price. W8 was the first Passat model to make the march up market, Touareg next, Phaeton next and presumably next gen Passat next.

    I won't comment on first year stuff -- although I am sure others will chime in on first year experiences.

    I don't know what the deals are right now, but I would certainly consider a brand new Passat as potentially a bargain (4motion).

    Perhaps our friend Peter (aka VWGUILD) will educate us: I would think that a W8 would be a major major bargain -- no one has heard of it (VWoA "forgot" to market it -- damn I hate when that happens).

    Moreover, a Passat W8 6spd with sport package and the cool wing on the butt that I have seen on a couple here in Cincinnapolis would be so sweeeet.

    BTW would you please use the spell checker -- the meaning is lost somewhat with the e-mail short hand. No offense -- and thanks!
  • james_cajames_ca Posts: 16
    Wouldnt the 2005 model Passat be out in US markets by 2004 AUG or SEP??So there is defenitely going to be a good deal for 2004 concern is should I spend a good fortune on 2003 model or wait for 2004 AUG when the new 05 model to come out to grab the deal??lil' confused..because I dont want to wait that long also!
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    I’ve heard that the next Passat will not be substantially more expensive than the current model.

    The Passat will not be based on the Phaeton, which I believe is the A8 platform, and will not be based on the A6 platform, which it currently is. The new A6 will incorporate the Audi Space Frame design, which would not be cost effect in the lower priced Passat.

    I believe that the new Passat will be based on the Jetta/Golf platform (which was just introduced), though it does have styling cues from the Phaeton.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    I would wait. I've made many bad car decisions when I couldn't "wait". You'll end up having your "new" car for one year and then the new model will be out and you'll have yesterday's car.

    Though I do think the current design is one of the best looking cars out there; even better than most new ones. I would be more interested in drive train and content changes in the new model.
This discussion has been closed.