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The Future of Volkswagen in the U.S.

rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
I was checking out the prices on some used VW Phaetons on autotrader and boy they are actually very nice luxury cars. You can pick up the V12's pretty reasonable. It's a shame VW, could never rid it's image of being a builder of just economy cars ?

What's the future looking like for this company in the U.S. if they aren't going to be able to sell higher-end cars in quantity ?



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,109
    VW should stick to what they do best. Leave the high end to their luxury division Audi. It would be the same as Toyota offering an LS type car as a Toyota. People that buy luxury cars do not want an economy car brand. VW is positioned very well right now with the best small diesel cars on the road. They are number one in the EU. If they resolve some of the reliability issues and get their dealerships more customer friendly they will make a comeback in the US. I loved the 2005 Passat diesel wagon I had. They need to offer the Jetta wagon in TDI. Drew VW that I used for service was great. I would have bought from them if they offered diesels in CA.

    They also need to offer a 6 cylinder TDI in the Touareg. Not many people want that fire breathing V10 TDI they have on the lots now. It is the only diesel SUV you can buy new in CA and the wannabe states.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Sounds like a good plan. ;)

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,647
    Volkswagen AG, not Honda was the first to expand from a maker of economy brands to a maker of high-content luxury cars.

    VAG introduced the Audi brand to the US in the early 70s, 20 years before the arrival of Acura, Lexus and Infiniti but apparently they need to relearn the lesson they taught the Japanese.

    Reintroducing the Phaeton at this time is foolish. If I were VW Group I would rebrand the car as a Horch or Auto Union because hardly any one could justify to themselves spending the big bucks on a "Volkswagen".

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,109
    Wasn't it the Audi Fox that first hit here in the early 1970s?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,647
    Wasn't it the Audi Fox that first hit here in the early 1970s?

    Audi's first US Model was the Audi 100LS, first exported to the USA in 1969, it was moderately successful, IIRC>


    The smaller Fox (nee Audi 80) was introduced to the US in 1973.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    Speaking of the Fox, VW should be going after the sub $15k market before they go after the Phaeton market again.

    If they could do a Fox to go after the Corolla\Civic\Focus market they will be getting alot of future Jetta and passat owners.

    BTW the Audi Fox in your picture proves that nobody makes a better looking sedan than Audi. 40 years later and it still looks good.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,647
    Sorry if I confused you but that is not a Fox in that photo, it's a '69 Audi 100LS.

    This is a Fox/Audi80 as it appeared '71-'74.>

    Rumor has it VW is preparing a sub-$15K entry, I 'spect it will be Lupo-based and made in Mexico or Brazil.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    that VW is realizing that it needs more of the cheaper cars. They now advertise that they have three under $17K.

    That is certainly where their traditional market used to be. I would think they'd do better following that and top off at the Passat.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    really have a future in the U.S.? Sales are go the reports. The Passat is new, yet sales are off. Some might say, way off. The professional reviews of the car aren't that great. The Jetta has been bargain-basemented in its second year after it stalled coming out of the gate.

    The New Beetle is going to be barely refreshed, and the name change for the Rabbit didn't perk up sales. It's always the same old same old at VW. The Euro-dollar exchange is going to hurt them for quite a while yet, I think. So where will they find new sales? When they say they can't make any real profits off Jetta and Golf sales, how are they going to magically pull big profits out of sales of a $14K Lupo knockoff? I would have thought a slightly federalized Polo would do the trick - they sell them in Mexico already and you see them in the southern states all the time, cute little cars, nicely priced. But even if they did that, I don't suppose it would cure what ails them.

    Then there is this big plan to finally bring back VW borrowing almost everything from Chrysler (including production of the chassis, right?), the North American leader in fleet van sales, right when minivan sales finally seem to be doing the slow decline that people have long predicted but which has only recently materialized.

    If I headed up VW, I think I might seriously consider pulling out of the U.S. for a few years and plugging away at the Audi sales, which apparently are very profitable, without any of the challenges the VW brand presents.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,109
    I think the only thing VW really has going for it is the diesel cars. They sold good when available. They are claiming a 50 state TDI by 2008. I would say that is their only real chance at success.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    You certainly ask a legitimate question and I think Gary has a plausible answer. Diesels could be the difference because they already have the engines.

    The nearest VW dealer to me - 20 miles away burned down in late 99 early 2000 and it still hasn't been rebuilt! They are now slowly building. I'd bet that if the same thing happened at the Honda dealership they'd be open in trailers the next day!
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    The single biggest problem for VW in the US is there is no word in German for parts and service. At least VW doesn't know of the words.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    LOL! :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    I don't think they have a word for reliability either.

    They win awards for creative electrical glitches though. Maybe that's what happened to old Lucas Electric..
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,875
    One problem that VW has, in addition to reliability and service, is the technology of its base engines. Basically, the VW Jetta engines are duds compared to what's out there today. The Jetta has a 2.5 liter 5 cylinder engine that makes 150 hp and has EPA ratings of 22/30. The Accord--a substantially bigger car--has a 2.4 liter i-VTEC that has 166 hp and is rated 26/34. It makes it less likely that someone's going to buy a Jetta now that gas is around $3 a gallon. And VW's used to be economy cars in all senses of the word--purchase price and mpg. Add on top of that a well deserved reputation for shoddy quality and reliability and poor service (I too knew my VW service tech by name at one point) and you can see why the company is in such trouble.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Yes, you knew him by name and every time they saw you coming they knew that would be able to afford to take the family back to Germany for their yearly Vacation. I will say that VW has earned their reputation in the US.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    When I had a Jetta 2.0 VR6, I couldn't even get an oil change at a non-VW shop. Why? The techs told me that VW wouldn't sell their filters to them at any less than retail, so no one bothered servicing VWs.

    It was a love-hate relationship... I really miss the way that thing drove. Fun, fun, fun.


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  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    I understand. I have had three VWs in three decade mostly because I have been told each time that VW improved. Yes they could be fun but the last time I discovered the word Farfinnugan or however it was spelled meant "sucker". If not it should have meant if you are thinking about getting a VW for daily transportation the thought should be Far--from---your Noggin.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,624
    I love the new VWs.. But, the base engine, as noted, is anemic and thirsty.. and their reputation for reliability, or lack thereof, is evidently richly deserved.

    All this and priced at a premium to the competition.

    They really have the best designs, though.. I would take a Passat, Jetta 2.0T, or GTI in a minute.. Also, the Touareg is the best looking SUV made..

    I really want a VW, but I doubt I'll ever get one.


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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    C&D this month is reporting the imminent arrival (Jan 2008) of the Jetta wagon, which apparently will pull 170 hp from the 2.5L base engine, without a decrease in fuel economy, so things could be a little less anemic in the base VW lines in the near future.

    Of course, the 5-cylinder will still be thirsty. But I suppose models equipped with it will also be fast-ish for compact cars, and the fastest cars in this size class, like Mazda3s, Lancer, and Sentra SE-R/Spec V, will all be just about as thirsty, and more expensive in some cases.

    edit...oh yeah, and I forgot to mention, DIESELS will be back at VW when the Jetta wagon arrives, and that's a 50-state diesel making 140 hp apparently. :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,647
    oh yeah, and I forgot to mention, DIESELS will be back at VW when the Jetta wagon arrives, and that's a 50-state diesel making 140 hp apparently.

    Now they're speaking my language! :shades:

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    even as much as I like the diesel idea knowing that VWs spend so much time in the shop will keep me away. And I will be needing another car by then. VW simply isn't a car for people who aren't interested in knowing the service manager by their first name. Like one other poster mentioned they reminded them of Lucas electrics.

    I will admit they are often good looking machines and they seem to handle pretty well. But what good does that do you sitting on a flat bed or waiting in the shop for parts. VW has got to be happy that Land Rover and Kia make vehicles so they aren't all alone on the bottom of the JD Powers list anymore. In another twenty years maybe they will catch Hyundia.
  • harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405
    2010 VW Beetle hatch(sporty looking car)....
    I'd seriously consider a VW(as long as it is not 20K+ msrp, that is).

    Only sketches, etc... still, very intriguing.
    take care/not offense.
  • harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405 -
    Not as far down the chart as they used to be, Kia.
    This was from 2006.
    I know, JD Powers...
    Still, some people like to see charts ;)
    take care/not offense.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Give America what it expects out of them, fun, sub-$30k vehicles, with an alternative German style.

    Scirocco needs to come back with V6 for around $24k.

    Touraeg needs to be brought back to reality, get bigger, yet lighter, and stay between $25k and $35k.

    Passat is getting too expensive as well. It should compete directly with Camry V6, and not exceed the low 30's.

    Imagine a cap at $35k, then build cars that will fit under that cap, without seeming decontented.

    Improve quality, if they have to leave Mexico to do it, so be it.

    I know there is a currency problem, all the more reason to trim their lineups so their customers don't have to pay for those issues.

    Just some ideas off the top of my head. :blush:

  • texasestexases Posts: 7,760
    Here are two good discussions from a mechanic on VW's design issues:
    article 1
    Article 2

    PS - I wish VW was better, I owned a '79 Scirocco and '83 GTI for 15 years total, great cars, no problems.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    I have often considered the IQS studies to be interesting but I prefer the three year reports myself. IQS is a bit like looking at a car on the lot. Absolutely nothing looked better than a old Jag on the Lot but as far as quality goes? VW and Kia are in the same quality boat and unless you plan on getting a new one every two years you will have to deal with VW service sooner or later. And that experience will keep me away for a very long time.
  • harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405
    well, I have a Sonata, 04, 42K miles, nearly 3 years old. it's running. It does the job that was advertised: get me from point a to b, without any major issues.

    Spouse's Scion(a Toyota)... tC, 05, 33months old, 80K miles. At 74K, the thermostat died... 200 dollars to be replaced,at Scion.
    2 weeks later( about end of March this year) at 75K....
    throttle body got stuck closed, and needed repairs. if not for our long term warranty we purchased... we would have paid around 1,100 dollars(on top of the 200...1,300 dollars, at around 75K miles).

    Still like the car, but... it's a Toyota built car,thus
    , it should never break ;)

    To be honest, without sounding like a jerk: I believe what I can see daily... either what I owned, or my neighbors own, or whatever.
    If I see them driving their car every day, 5 years in a row, never towed in, gone for week.../o explanation ...etc...
    I figure it must be a decent car.
    Like me, turn the key, Sonata goes.
    Been going 3 years nearly, 42K+ miles.
    I expect it to keep going another 3 years, 42K+ miles, w/o any major issues(no problems with the engine, electrical, tranny, wheel bearings, axles , etc).

    My 99 ran almost to 120K, and engine was fine, as was tranny.
    It had issues... but it ran, daily. 5 years.
    24K miles per year.

    I saw a old rio( before the new one came out in late 05?).... guy has had it 3 years.. owner's name is Dean(first name)... 56 years old(the guy, not the car,lol).
    Anyhow, he used to live by us(3years, his car is an 04, iirc)...and for 3years straight, he drove his 80
    miles a day, to work,..20K per year ...and he had 67K on it when he left last Summer, moved closer to work).

    He had no issues. Car did not sound loud, like muffler fell off, no smoke of any kind coming from the tail pipe,no rust, nothing.. He put the key in, started up every time, and off he went.
    It may not be everyone's "cup of tea"... but it worked for Dean.
    That's only 1 car I can verify, daily, with my own eyes, for over 3 years( 3 years, 47 days),
    and my cars.. yeah... 3 years, 5 years(99 sonata), etc..
    I can verify Nissan 200sx(97) or 90 Nissan Sentra xe, 3 speed automatic,87 Spectrum, 77 Camaro....

    Surveys mean little to me, to be honest.
    I want to See, Hear the thing, daily, like my neighbors car, my car, etc.. even in-laws vehicles.. they say what is wrong or not.
    I can see, drive, etc, the cars after 3 years.
    Survey may say junk... reality may be different.

    I dunno.
    Some say Toyota had sludged up engines ...and Toyota is taking care of any issues now.
    Our tC engine did not sludge up, but it seized(throttle body) up.
    Yet, survey says Toyota #1 quality, forever ;)
    My Sonata might have engine issues too at 75K. I can't say. My 99 did not.
    To each their own,ya know?
    take care/not offense.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    What's it made of? Plutonium?

    I would not be surprised if VW got me to nibble again. I've held out for 27 years now PR (post Rabbit).

    It's a shame they don't get it on reliability because their cars are a ball to drive.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405
    well, the spouse was on her way to work, and the car was acting up. She had to call off of work , and swing by Scion... to get the 20 dollar thermostat replaced.
    180+ for service, 20 for part, plus taxes... over 213 dollars.
    Another negative for owning a Toyota is their high service costs!
    They recommend , *every 5 thousand miles, to rotate your tires and oil change= 49.95 plus taxes!
    *I don't think so.

    Like I said: 33 for oil change at Toyota, Hyundai is 21+, or about 12 dollars difference.
    Sometimes $19 or $16 at Hyundai, if there's a special.

    Best for Toyota? Around 30 dollars ,with taxes, for oil change.
    VW... what shocked me, we test drove the Rabbit with automatic last July.... 20K, fairly loaded, and not even a sunroof added to the bill! It was decent 0-60 times, maybe 9 seconds or less.
    Handling was ok. But, spouse and I both thought the gas/brake pedals were too close. I hit the gas, when I meant to hit the brake, and so did she,(in a empty parking lot, of course,where we were checking out turning radius, etc).
    15-17K? Maybe. 20K? No Thanks.

    take care. not offense.
This discussion has been closed.