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2005 Passat



  • Appears to be somewhat gradual as you suggested, with the Phaeton being the first step -- look for 2005 to be the beginning of the beginning of the more widespread march upstream.

    In some respects this march upstream may be equated with the unintended acceleration problems Audi had in, 1985? -- it was a decade before people stopped talking about the 60 minutes story.

    If VW starts their upmarket march in earnest in 2005, it would not be beyond the pale for this evolution to take several years.

    However, POP onto the market from "nowhere" Acura, Lexus, Infinity -- and there were customers waiting.

    Perhaps the Touareg followed by the Phaeton followed by the redesign and re introduction of the Passat and the Passat+size over the next 24 months will accelerate the process.

    And, those of us in IT have been and still are "devastated" by the post Y2K downturn, implosion and widespread consolidation, outsourcing to India and the perfect storm of events that led to a major pull-back in IT spending starting in late 2000 and only just now starting to regain traction. Double whammy here in Ohio the third largest manufacturing state -- manufacturing was hammered and manufacturing was a huge consumer of IT services, products and infrastructure. Marketing certainly was hit by the recession and the overall economic conditions over the past 30 months, I grant -- but IT has found itself almost mortally wounded. Only now are we seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and only now are we starting to believe it is NOT another oncoming train.
  • In my town, the advertising field lost so many people, that the SF Ad Club, after 99 years of existence, went under due to not having enough employed members to sustain. This is like the UAW going under because no one made cars in the US any more.

    My fear is that VW and Subaru will simply go the "raise the price" route to luxury. Subaru will ride on the tails of the STi models as a justification to jack up prices. VW will look at the success of the Toureag as an excuse to continue with the price increases. Unfortunately for VW, they don't realize that the success of the toureag has less to do with the fact that it is a VW, and more to the fact that it's a TRUCK. Trucks/SUV's are in style now. Caddy has a truck and SUV, and even Saab will come out with a SUV (based on a rebadged GM).

    Imagine what would have happened if the gas crunch hit a little sooner, and trucks never became the rage they are now...people would be riding around in Mini's and hatchbacks with 20 inch rims with loads of bling-bling. And the folks at VW would be scratching their heads thinking "how do we fool everyone into paying $40K for a Lupo?"

    Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, just raising prices substantially won't automatically give them the prestige they desire. The examples are Lexus and Infiniti...they jumped on the scene, with no prior history, and made luxury cars at near-luxury prices. Has it gotten them anywhere? Infiniti hasn't really made an impact with rebadged Nissan's, until the G35 was created. And Lexus...didn't their VP say recently "emulate BMW?" Even they themselves admit that by simply making expensive cars, doesn't give them the prestige that come with building exciting, sporty cars with HERITAGE.


    PS...the latest VW news is that the Microbus slated for redesign has been pushed back because they can't find a way to bring it out at the price that the public wants. Myself and others filled out a survey online regarding their concept vehicles, and most people wanted a price like most minivans (this was before the big upscale push). They won't make that mistake again...notice they skipped asking the public what price the Toureag should have been.
  • All these discussion pertaining to VW's move to the premium class, that is. . . .

    I re-read some of the intereviews and articles about VW's MASTER PLAN to move to the "premium" class. While one can certainly infer and actually see the intent to have more expensive automobiles, I have not actually read that the plan simply calls for prices to be raised without some concomitant raise in "content."

    I agree -- simply raising the price won't fool anyone. The emperor has no clothes comes to mind. Yet the Phaeton appears to justify its price and the Passat+ does too. Other potential NEW model cars that are in the pipeline at least go part way toward justifying higher prices.

    I hope that VW doesn't simply crank the price up on a Jetta without some substantive content changes.

    If this is what happens, well, it deserves to fail.

    I basically have bought into the notion that VW will move both the car and the price upmarket. Indeed, I think there is some evidence to suggest that they might move the car upmarket a little bit faster than they move the price upmarket.

    From what I can tell, the Phaeton is the fraternal twin of the Audi A8 -- but it appears that it will be priced lower (and I would argue that since perception is reality, that they almost have to do this -- or end up discounting the car so heavily that it becomes a joke).

    VW will have to prove itself worthy of the Premium Class to which it strives -- if I have led anyone to believe that I think otherwise, I hopefully have corrected the message.

    Premium class and almost premium price will happen, but I doubt that it will come simply by jacking up the MSRP 10 - 30% without major substantive content changes.
  • most likely more so than sube will in their move upscale.

    I don't mean they will simply raise the price. As they release the new golf/jetta/passat, they will then increase the price. The Passat will have a 2.0T w/200hp (which is still below accord/altima), while the v6 gets up to Accord levels. But in the long run, it's still a Passat, just newer and slightly larger. Yes I know it will be better than the old but will the price be justified? One look at the interior of the soon-to-be released golf, leaves much to be desired (looks like they took a cue from Infiniti G35 - skimp in interior quality to save money).

    My question is, will the increase in features correspond with the increase in features. Keep in mind the cost of taking an existing 1.8T up to 200hp via chipping, and perhaps a body kit. Worth a 10K increase? 1.8T start at 23K (leather/AT)...soon to be 32K (my guess).

    All I have to say is, as soon as the coil packs fail on the $33K passat, people will be screaming bloody murder. Second, will VW finally step in and remove the "bad" dealerships? And if they do, will there be any left? And how will they (dealerships)treat the person bringing in their $23K 2004 passat in for service, now that they are a "luxury" brand? It's bad enough people have to bring their 40K toureags into a dealership that doesn't even know how much oil goes into the 1.8T engine (call 3 different dealerships, get 3 different answers).

  • The stuff I read in no way equates to a new body a 2.0T, a bump to 200 HP and $10,000 more.

    Now, however, I did read about more expensive Passats (again at the 80-85% level of a so-called comparable Mercedes). If the comparable Mercedes can be had for $40K+, then a $32K+ Passat is, apparently, the target price. How much MSRP is today's Passat V6 4Motion? Last time I looked it was in the ballpark. Only the W8 sport with every option (and there aren't many) can crest $40K, currently. The rumor mill says the W8 will not be carried over, instead there will be a 3.2L V6 twin turbo (think Audi A6 2.7T -- in terms of the stair steps up the price ladder, in that a 3.0 A6 is follwed, currently up the price scale by a 2.7T A6 quattro which is close enough for Jazz to $50K fully equipped).

    I think a new Passat 2.0T may be more than a 1.8T Passat, but I think, too: the power is higher, there will be more standard features than the current base line 1.8T.

    The movement will be, more or less, appropriate.

    Max out, today, a 2004 Passat (in all three flavors -- or all four depending on how you look at them) -- the next generation may be more than the current. But it is my understanding that the difference will be due more to maxing out the models than a capricious price increase justified thinly by "just" a new body style.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I guess I'm not grasping the exact intentions of VW's upmarket push. I thought they wanted a car in each segment of the market, not to push their main bread and butter cars (Passat and Jetta) upmarket too. If they intend to make the Jetta a 30K car and the Passat a 40K car with no lesser priced versions VW is just going to fail in the U.S. market.

    In theory I can see the appeal with having everything from a 18K Golf to a 90K Phaeton W12, but they have to keep their main cars (Jetta, Golf, Passat) affordable. Now they can do a premium version of each, if they just want a slow-selling halo car like the Passat W8, but to base the next Passat at 30K is ridiculous.

  • Merc1, I think your understanding is correct.

    I must be misstating what I have read.

    As I noted above, assuming there is a 2.0T Passat, it should come to market at about the same price point (content weighted) as is a current 1.8T Passat.

    I don't know if I have seen anything that suggests that Jettas will cost $30K -- PERHAPS there will be a way with engine and content to raise the price to $30K but I don't think the initial models will overnight go from $X to $X+$10,000.

    My point is to say that there will be content-creep and an associated price creep.

    Today there is an (unsuccessful) $40,000 Passat.

    We may argue that the content does not justify the price and/or that VW's total lack of Marketing, promotion, etc., of this model is at fault.

    There are also Passats that cost five figures LESS. The future models will move upscale is the spirit of what I have read.

    Moving to the Premium Market is what I have read. Nothing states that the price will just automagically go up by $10K in pursuit of this.

    The cars will by design, engineering, content and fit and finsh head north, however. This, then, will ultimately raise the price.

    I would not look for next year's base Passat to be $40K, in other words.
  • Chill with the babba-looey comments. I may be a Howard Stern fan, but you don't know me well enough to resort to name calling. Cool?

    Second, it's been well stated on most VW boards (I'm sure you've been there, since this IS a VW discussion) that the Passat will likely move from the 1.8 to 2.0 on the base models and the 6 will grow in size and power as well. This will be in addition to the new body style (based on the golf/jetta platform - VW is ditching the platform sharing with Audi).

    Also, the Jetta will move up in size somewhat to compensate for the size increase in Passat. There will also be a car positioned between the Pheaton and the Passat, and concept sketches have already surfaced on one popular "spy shot" site.

    One can you say "The stuff I read in no way equates to a new body a 2.0T..." if the whole purpose of this discussion is regarding the REDESIGN of the body, engine, etc. Are the sources you are reading saying that the NEW Passat will have the SAME body, engine, etc?

    Comments, anyone?

  • makakiomakakio Posts: 25
    All good points and all very entertaining. I had a look at the 2005 renderings at the link from post #1 and the new Passat looks incredible. Nice enough to get me to consider continuing to drive my perfect (but boring after all these years) 93 Benz 190.

    I've always been a fan of the passat (parrticularly the wagon) and I would expect the '05 to see an increase in price but like many here I'm not certain VW's gameplan is valid for the US market.

    Moving upscale to higher-margin product only works (IMO) if they can:
    1) successfully reposition VW's brand image,
    2) fix the reliability issues that are already less common to luxury german (BMW, MBZ) - not to mention upscale Japanese brands (and there are plenty of competitors from $38k all the way up through $65k) and
    3) offer some aspect that differntiates the brand.

    I'm not confident that a VW anything is going to outcorner or outsport a Bimmer, or that a VW is going to offer more prestige and solidity than a Benz, or be more insular, comfy or reliable than an Infinit or Acura or Lexus - at $40k, $50k or $60k.

    And seeing asa how those brands have been perfeting their craft for decades while VW has been perfecting the art of building massive amounts of (relatively) chreap cars, I certainly don't have much confidence that they can sweep all of those catergories.

    It would be a real shame to see a decently-appointed 2.0T Passat 'GLS' climb into $30k. I'd buy the Audi. Who wouldn't?!

    Please someone tell me why they would rather spend $35k or more for a VW when you can buy a BMW or Audi - or even a Benz - for that kind of money when the brand has had reliability issues, has never been a top-performer and while it has offered "great for the price-point" interiors certainly has not (again, IMO) turned out a design that beats a premium german brand. I. Don't. Get. It.

    I think VW had the right recipe with the first and second-generation Passats: offer FAR more attractive design and content at a *slightly* higher price than your competition. Sure, they have to make a gazillion units to make the same profits from slimmer margins, but they're moving into a market that I would think is much more volatile than they're giving credit.

    And yeah, I draw that opinion from my own experience as a consumer in the Silicon Valley, where things are certainly NOT as bad as the press would indicate, but where friends who were considering no less than a $35-$45k auto purchase (or lease) are now considering $28-35k because HEY - we've all been given a dose of reality and sensibility over the past 2.5 years, even if we have our upwardly-mobile, well-paying jobs and are optimistic about the future.

    I have to think that VW is messing with a really good philosophy here and the risk in moving up is pretty darn substantial as compared to heading down the path of perfecting the current model.

    My two cents.
  • My statement: "The stuff I read in no way equates to a new body a 2.0T, a bump to 200 HP and $10,000 more," stands.

    #1 a new body which is coming, plus a 2.0T engine, and a rise to 200HP coming too, will NOT be the reason and will not cause the price to jump $10,000.

    #2 I never said there was no new body, no new engine and I also never said that there wouldn't eventually be cars that will have a rise in price.

    My point was that simply changing the body and adding an up-rated engine in and of itself would not be used as justification for an automatic $10,000 list price increase.

    Perhaps I wrote without clarity, and for that I apologize, I meant it to be interpreted as an algorithm

    New Body + New Engine/HP is NOT EQUAL to a $10,000 price increase.

    I suspect you read it as either:

    New Body + New Engine/HP = $10,000 price increase

    or that I was suggesting that there would be no new body(yet a substantial price increase), although that would certainly cause the board and the dealers to react negatively and quickly.


    Are we saying that the Phaeton will have no takers?

    Are we saying that IF VW creates cars with higher MB like content and charges 80-85% of the MB MSRP that people will not consider the VW at all because the price will have risen?

    Are we saying that no matter how much "content" VW adds that they will have no takers (in the US) or so few takers that it is impossible to fathom.

    Isn't VW's approach sort of the Honda Acura approach? Theoretically Acuras (and it is not limited to this brand, I just chose it for the example) have "higher content" than their fraternal twin Honda models and they charge more for them.

    A Lexus ES 300 and a Camry appear to be cut from the same cloth, but the Lexus has higher content.

    OK the VW way is to apparently keep the name VW and add more content to some cars, introduce some new cars and work over a period of years to raise the perception that their cars are "Classic Luxury" cars that can in feature, function and content compete at the 90% to 90%+ level with similar MB's but charge 80 - 85% of MB's asking price.

    You can already see SOME of this happening now.

    The ad campaigns, dealers and VWUS have to all get into alignment with this move to Premium class -- it is no secret to those of us who participate here -- it has not yet happened. The Phaeton, coming very soon, will be the first true test of this attempt. The W8 for reasons I do not understand was a half-hearted attempt and the Touareg has apparently made a successful launch and is well regarded by folks such as Car and Driver.

    If Honda did it with Acura and Toyota with Lexus it is therefore NOT impossible that VW can do the same thing with the VW twist.

    I am rooting for them.

    And, contrary to what seems to be the theory I do not see the end of the "value" models overnight.

    And, I do not mean any of my remarks to be offensive to anyone -- on the contrary when I say "hold on Lucy you got some 'splainin' to do" or "hold on there Babba Louie. . ." I am referencing phrases from TV shows and cartoons that have come over time to have a widespread meaning . . . generally of humorous origin and meant to evoke at least a chuckle. We don't need no stinkin' name callin' on this forum. And, there's no crying in baseball.
  • markcincinnati-

    Toyota :: Lexus
    Honda :: Acura
    VW :: ????

    Yes, the answer is AUDI. That's the problem here. Why is VW trying to become a luxury brand when THEY ALREADY HAVE ONE?

    -Andrew L
  • But Baba looey sounded a lot like baba booey (of Howard Stern fame), if you know what I mean...

    I must have misready your post about your sources, and I agree with your many posts. You have a better finger on the pulse of VW than most around here, that is for sure!

    What I meant to say is that there will be a hefty price increase with the introduction of the new models, but was concerned that the jump will be view as justified to the amount of the improvement over the previous model. Will people accept a 30hp increase in power for say $5000 increase in overall cost of the car, if the previous model could go from 170 to 200 with a $500 chip? Current VW shoppers are already questioning the price difference between the 4 and 6 in terms of power/cost ratio. There are endless discussions regarding the value of the 6 compared to the turbo 4 on vwvortex.

    I believe their best strategy is to strive to build 90% Mercedes quality, but at the current price structure (plus 3%). This would allow them to overcome the current perception of bad quality (backed up by the JD Powers long term study). Similar to how Audi had to rebuild their reputation after the car lurching scandal of the 80's...Audi didn't just get back their luxury status overnight. Same with Caddy trying to revitalize themselves. They need to build up demand before raising prices. If there is enough demand for the new cars, then raise the price, ala the Miata.


    PS...I remember being at the auto show the year the Miata was announced. It was supposed to be their low cost entry. Turns out that demand was so high, they artifically raised the price and never looked back.
  • Andrew I completely understand and frankly I agree with the relationship you suggested Toyota/Lexus, etc., VW/Audi.

    From a certain point of view, perhaps somewhat lost on some of us in the US, Mercedes = Classic Luxury, BMW = Dynamic Sportiness. VW on the other hand has often been viewed (and I cannot dispute some of the conclusions) as a cheap German car ("the people's car" a car (wagen) for folks (volks) taking some liberties).

    I do not work in the automotive industry but I read darn near everything I can find about cars and driving (other than NASCAR "stuff", that is).

    Over the course of reading, I have found that premium cars have higher profit margins as do trucks and SUV's. Attempting to make very high value cars is apparently difficult to do well and profitably in America and Europe (thinking of the European brands that have targeted such high value cars to the US market).

    America quantitatively is, relatively speaking, a low volume market for many European (and here more specifically German) automakers. Yet, as Frank Sinatra says "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. . ." so the European makers strive to succeed in the US in part because of what it symbolizes and of course for what it [US sales] brings to the bottom line.

    Since BMW and Mercedes are the VW group's rivals and since these two brands apparently appeal to different customers, VW has chosen a divide and conquer strategy. Audi will (over the next X years) differentiate itself from VW more and more and target BMW; VW will share less and less with Audi and will target Mercedes.

    Audi will be morphed from "fancy" VW to a genuine rival to BMW. VW will move to the Premium Class (which as I understand it denotes, to a certain extent price) and within the Premium Class will morph from high value to Classic Luxury, the perch that Mercedes sits atop.

    Now, please note that the morphing will be much more tightly focused in the US than elsewhere. And this tracks well with Audi, BMW and Mercedes. In Germany there are "stripped down" Audis, BMW's and Mercedes. Our entry level A4 is way up the pecking order of A4's. I rented an A4 in Munich, its interior was naked, the windows were crank, there was no sunroof -- it did have A/C and a radio and it had a 1.6L non-turbo engine and 15" skinny tires -- it reminded me of a bare bones Jetta GL. This is not to say it lacked Audiness in terms of driving -- it was tight and was quite willing to sustain 160kph on the autobahn if you gave it plenty of room and time to get to that speed -- it was a dog dog dog; no such Neon-like Audi would ever be successful in the US.

    The other German car makers offer really low end cars in the European market, too.

    Funny, there are higher end VW's in Germany than are brought here. I saw some very high zoot Passats in Munich that we do not get here; in fact it was almost as if, in Germany, VW and Audi's models were reversed -- some VW's had higher content than some Audis; a phenomenon that would never happen here.

    So the good Dr. P says "we will move to the Premium Class with VW and with Audi to the much more Sporting Class" (which he seems hell bent to call "dynamic").

    This will happen over time but the beginning of the beginning of this move is happening in calendar 2003 and will begin to be more noticable with the MY 2005 VW's. The cry of "this will never fly" amuses me somewhat because I suspect people think VW will alienate its current customers and its current prospects and that therefore this strategy is destined to fail.

    Perhaps, but I doubt it. Here's why:

    Assume the 2005 Passat with its new body, higher hp 2.0T engine and some additional content is brought out with a $5,000 increase in price over a "comparable" 2004 model -- well, I hope we all agree that this would be about as successful even with a good marketing campaign as the Passat W8. I suspect VW knows this too. Now assume that the 2005 Passat comes out as noted above and is, for example 5% higher in price than a 2004 "comparable model" -- even if the 2004 1.8T was $30,000 -- which it isn't -- this would only amount to an MSRP increase of $1,500. Presumably the additional content and increase in performance afforded by the new engine would more or less "justify" this increase. Even 6% or 7% is not too big a jump in absolute dollars IF the content (which is a combination of "things" -- which is quantifiable -- and "quality" -- which is not quantifiable intially but is perceived as the fit and finish, the warranty, and the inclusion of "something" that is typically reserved only for classic luxury vehicles.) "Wow, I got this high zoot car for only a few bucks more per month than last year's economy version. . ." is not impossible to imagine an American customer remarking. And, as noted, if the warranty becomes Mercedes (or Audi) - like, and all maintenance costs are covered for X thousands of miles, well some of the quality and reliability concerns will be mitigated.

    Move on up the line, as Mercedes does in their C or E class and the price between the lowest level Passat and the highest level Passat could (and probably will) more than double. Sound familiar?

    A US spec entry level A4 is $25K+ and a top of the line A4 (which is called an S4) can exceed $54K.

    It is my contention that VW will move to the Premium class not so much by over raising the price (along with the other attributes mentioned) of the low end, but rather by raising the high end. Think A6 3.0 "bare bones" through A6 4.2 "maxed out."

    Then year after year at the speed of evolution, not revolution keep pushing the models up by the generous addition of content (power everything standard to start with, more airbags, ESP+brake assist, infotainment systems, ON*Star, Parktronic, Cruisetronic, and other electronic gizmos that add either luxury, safety or performance attributes to the "image" of the vehicle.) Simultaneously bring to market new, completely new models -- such as the Phaeton -- which can truly be compared with the Mercedes S class cars (but think 90% of the content at roughly 80% of the price). Hence a $64,000 VW could be compared to an $80,000 Mercedes and get away with it -- IF (big IF) the perceived value, quality and reliability accompany it.

    This is the job, for the immediate future, of the Phaeton, the new Passat and the Passat Plus. Over the next 2 model years, I predict the evolution will be very gradual when thinking of the traditional VW line (Jetta, Golf, Passat, New Beetle) -- the Phaeton and Touareg are already in the pipeline and their success over the long term is as yet unknown and unknowable.

    The dealer body, of course, will have to undergo an almost complete re-grooving and this, in my opinion, is an even bigger challenge than the product itself.

    Gosh this is exciting, I can't wait to see how it all plays out.
  • And, last but not least to those concerned that VW may alienate its current customers -- to a certain extent the current customers are NOT the desired future customers. But, more to the point the current customers will move up (in this economy, I know that is hard to imagine now) and VW wants to make certain that they can stay within the fold. And Audi is VW's rival when it comes to this, so suggesting that it's all in the family causes VW managment to bristle.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Gosh this is exciting, I can't wait to see how it all plays out."

    My thoughts exactly. I just want to sit in the first Phaeton to arrive. I hope VW doesn't go belly up trying to do all of this. Better still I hope they can recover if it all fails.

  • mark-

    I agree that VW might be able to pull this off. I just think it's stupid for them to take the huge appeal they have with young buyers (the very group that other successful companies are trying to attract) and throw it all away. As a college student, I know from interacting with other people my age that VW is on the top of the cool-car list among people in the 17-22 age bracket. That will not continue if you can't get a VW for under $25,000. So maybe VW can make it in a different segment -- my point is, when you already have one segment playing right into your hands, why mess with success?

    -Andrew L
  • I think there will be sub $25,000 VW's for several more years -- even today, however, when you go to a large metropolitan dealership here in small city Cincinnati, the number of VW's on the lot over $20,000 is growing.

    I maintain, VW management is/are not stupid.
  • I have never owned a VW, although my wife had a bad experience with a '96 Cabrio. I just test drove a '04 Passat GLX Wagon w/4 motion and loved it. It seems to have a lot of options for the money. I started doing research and came across this site about the 2005 coming out. My dilema now is that I don't want to buy the last model year before a major redesign. Any opinions would be helpful.

    Thanks, Scott
  • Last year of design = best year, fewest number of issues, problems, bugs -- lots of dealership experience with respect to maintenance and repair(implied is that the first year may have many bugs that will be worked out as the model matures).


    First year of design = best year. Latest and greatest technology; had the opportunitiy to "fix" previous generation's design "flaws," etc. Newer = better, i.e.

    I've done both and I can see both sides.

    I doubt that you will be unhappy with an 04, however. But if 6 - 10 months from now the 05 comes out and you are smitten, well, you'd be too far upside down to get out of the lease.

    Look at the "assumed" style, features, functions, engine transmission combinations, etc. This research can be done on the Internet and will have some degree of reliability. The final degree of reliability, however, will not come until first quarter (or possibly second) of calendar 2004 when the dealers begin to get their VWoA information.

    You pays your money and you takes your chances.
  • Thanks for the thoughts, Mark. The car will actually be my wife's daily driver, so I'm sure she would be happy with it even after the 2005 comes out, plus we need the car now.

    Any sites you know of that have more indepth info on what's coming in the 2005? Or is it mostly a guess at this point?
  • kinctkinct Posts: 59
    VW = Volkswagen = "People's Car" (meaning a car for the masses)

    maybe a new name??

    RVW = Reichvolkswagen = "Rich People's Car"

    Frankly, if VW goes up into the 30's, they've lost me. I've driven a lot of VWs:

    73 Super Beetle (Dad bought it for me as a fixer-upper first car)
    72 Super Beetle (borrow from Dad)
    87 GTI (213k miles)
    86 Golf (took over from the wife when she got a Volvo wagon)
    99 Passat (current car @117k miles).

    I love the cars, but they can't price'em into the stratosphere.
  • Goes into the $30k's? The '04 GLX 4 motion I just test drove has an MSRP of $34,180. But I see it as a discount to an A4. Granted I'm not as well versed on VWs but those are the two cars I'm comparing (Passat v. A4).
  • No one has ever suggested that VW will "overnight" go upscale, although I believe they will begin in earnest this year -- but I maintain it will be volcanic -- the first explosion was small the W8 Passat, next the Touareg, followed by the Phaeton then some injections here and there across the entire line. The lava is starting to flow, that is.

    The cars as they move (or perhaps march or "slog") upstream, upmarket, upprice -- will add both content and "quality" (or else) as they increase their average MSRP.

    If you don't want a $30K car that is fine -- but to automatically exclaim that you will not ever buy another VW as they move up the price ladder is somewhat confusing. Is it just because the cars, in your experience "ain't worth it?" Or, is it that you do not believe that ANY car -- for you -- is worth $30K?

    If you do not want a 30K car that is OK-fine with the world as far as I know -- none of us, yet, know if VW can pull this (move) off.

    I say again: I'm rooting for them -- they aren't stoopid!
  • kinctkinct Posts: 59
    Sorry, didn't mean to suggest I wouldn't buy ANY VW if they start selling some vehicles over 30k. They've actually been doing that for a while now.

    If the VW I _need_ (read Passat, as I have 5 people to haul about) is over 30k, they've lost me as a customer. Unless of course I become suddenly very wealthy.

    The "core" of VW cars must remain affordable. That's the whole point of the name "Volkswagen". They still do have reasonably affordable cars at the lower end of the scale.
  • Well, the Chairman has been oot and aboot giving speaches and more speaches and even more speaches each one intending to add clarity to VW's intention to move upscale.

    It seems that it is likely that the Passat and certainly the Passat plus will move above $30K -- BUT, 100% Audi-like warranty and maintenance and service will be included (which some feel is worth between $1500 and $2400 over a three year period and more for 4 years. Moreover, the base model will be upcontented -- more like the current top o the line versions and the W8.

    I dare say that VW will, if this is true, still be a value leader. Your willinginess to pay $30K or more for a car aside, it appears that these are "good things" for the intended future customer-market.

    Perhaps a one-year old $36,000 "new" Passat will be below $30K and will still pique your interest.

    Time will tell.

    I bought my first high buck car (a 1987 Audi 5000CS turbo quattro, with every option and in Pearl White) in late 1988. I got it with new tires on it for $25K -- kept it about 30 months, and it more or less hooked me totally on the brand.

    You may find yourself in the same situation.
  • There may be something we are all forgetting...

    We assume VW wants to be the highest volume dealer in class in the US. They have not attempted this yet, I doubt they would start now. From an analytical viewpoint there is no reason VW should sell as many current Passats as they do, given the excellent offerings from Toyota and Honda. Yet they do! People pay more for a less reliable car in the Passat than they do for other imports. Why?

    Because VW appeals to different senses and sensibilities. It's partly their very successful marketing plan. They ARE different, or at least perceived as different in the US. They appeal to people who refuse to be sheep. People who don't want the Toyota or Honda, because their parents and every other Joe Schmoe has one.

    I suspect there are many people who fall in this category that associate Mercedes with stodgy old conservative lumps. I for one, am a type of personality that enjoys flipping off the establishment. This is what VW sells! There are many people out there that want luxury without the image that many luxury brands like Merc, Lexus sells.

    I believe this is where VW is headed. They are not really trying anything new. They are taking a tried and true marketing strategy and aiming it at other targets. Namely Mercedes and Lexus. For all you BMW buyers out there. Relax, you're not the target. This is what AUDI is for.

    I'm not saying they will be successful by every measure. But, look at it this way. If they sell slightly more than half the volume at slightly more than double the margin, they have gained substantially. Now throw in the other part of this equation....

    If VW can establish itself as a player in the luxury segment to any amount of success, even minimally, it makes their (relative)economy offerings that much more appealing.

    So, to sum up...

    If VW sells even a few high end models, enough to break even or slightly better, and this relates to an increase in sales for the Jetta, Golf, etc., VW wins big.

    We assume that winning involves being #1, or top 3 in volume. VW has never aimed for this, they won't start now. It is a well-thought out strategy in my opinion, to take a successful recent past and translate it into greater profitability. That's the bottom line here.
  • The VW's have the best styling right now and that alone allows them to charge more than the Accord and the Camry, but people are not going to forget that the Passat was sompared to the Accord and Camry.
    In order to add to the price each Passat would need to be priced based on what it would cost to add ammenities into the base price that are in luxury cars like power seats, leather, and wood trim. The Benz C230 starts at $26K so the Passat isn't that far off in the current model starting at 22k.
    VW shouldn't charges more than 30k to get a 240 hp V6 when Honda, Nissan, and Toyota offer 240,240, and 220 hp engines. People are going to remember the "nicer than a Toyota but not a luxury car" image without some serious bells and whistles.
    The current Passat is a nice car, but its a little overpriced. I like it the way it is now except for the way it performs in comparison to other midsize sedans with V6's. If VW wants to make a couple grand at my expense I don't blame them, but in the process I should be faster than anything cheaper and comparable.
    The only people who would want to buy a $40000 VW are doing it to get an everyday undercover sportscar that doesn't cost like a BMW.
    Nifty little features like keyless go and navigation systems should be available for that kind of money too.
  • I agree with the notion that if VW takes too many of it's models into $30K range, they will lose a lot of people. I do believe, however, they will keep dropping the prices on some models. Take the Jetta for example: A base GL is about, what? Invoice at $15.8 and MSRP at $16.5. And the high-end GLX tops out at about $26K. That's a wide range and gives many people a ton of choices in one model. I remember when the new model Jettas came out in mid-1999, they MSRP-ed at about 18K. Same with the Golf. When I was looking for a Jetta, I saw an 03 Golf (brand new) GL two door stick for $14,100. Compared to other VW's that's a steal and is much better quality than any Kia, and better looking than any Saturn at that price point.

  • larscalarsca Posts: 60
    The dollar is falling and it most likely will keep falling for the first part of '04. That means US export is booming, but anything imported will see slight price increases.
  • wmartowmarto Posts: 2
    The Jetta, Golf and Beetle all start well under $20K, but the reason you don't see manufacturer's competing for those dollars is that they are dollars too hard earned.

    These manufacturer's cannot compete with the Korean brands that are filling that price point. People buying a 4-door midsize sedan for under $20k are willing (or forced) to do with less.
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