By on January 11, 2010

In your dreams. Picture courtesy whenpigsflyetc.com

Volkswagen has grand plans for the U.S.A. Volkswagen wants to “increase sales and market share in 2010.” Ok, who doesn’t.  Now, for the delusions of grandeur part: By 2018, Volkswagen wants to more than triple annual car sales in the U.S. to 1 million a year, with  Audi accounting for 200,000 sales, reports the Wall Street Journal. Seen any flying pigs lately?

Why 2018? By 2018, Volkswagen wants to rule the world, and trounce Toyota in unit sales, profitability, customer satisfaction, innovation, and most likely size and quantity of cup-holders also.

Everybody in the company has to do his or her share for the grand plan.

Volkswagen Group China already made a huge contribution. More than 1.4m vehicles were delivered to Chinese customers in 2009, an increase of 36.7 percent from 2008. “Based on our excellent performance in 2009, we are confident about achieving our objective of doubling the sales to two million vehicles, laid down in our Strategy 2018, much earlier than planned,” said Winfried Vahland, President of Volkswagen Group China.

Jacoby doesn’t have numbers like that, but he has tall predictions.

Jacoby prognosticated that Volkswagen will be profitable in the U.S. in 2013 , when annual sales will be between 450,000 and 400,000 vehicles.

In 2009, VWoA sold 297,537 vehicles in the U.S., down slightly from 313,581 the year before. Considering the bloodletting of other brands, this was a heroic effort. Market share rose to 2.9 percent from 2.4 percent the year before. (If you go back to the WSJ article, you will see different numbers. The WSJ only counts Volkswagen brand sales and forgot about Audi.)

According to the WSJ, “growth in the fiercely competitive U.S. market is crucial for Volkswagen’s long-term expansion plan in coming years.”  We beg to differ.

Volkswagen’s lackluster performance in the USA (the highest group sales in the last 10 years  were 424,496 units in 2001, and it was steadily downhill from there) cushioned VW from the debilitating effects of the American carmageddon. Toyota on the other hand was hit hard. ToMoCo’s sales dropped to 1,770,147 in 2009  from 2,217,660 in the year before, down a painful 21 percent.

For all of 2009, Volkswagen had been feted as second largest manufacturer in the world. Last November, it was reported that Volkswagen had already passed by Toyota. Toyota demanded a recount, and nosed ahead of VW. We’ll see what OICA will have to say when they release the official 2009 tally.

Depending on how creative everybody gets with their bookkeeping, VW already could be king of the unit hill.  They bought 20 percent of Suzuki, and with Suzuki ‘s 2.36m units a year added to VW’s more than 6.2m units, Toyota would be toast by a wide margin.

Unfair? More than a million of the 1.83m Chinese GMs sold in 2009 have been made by the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture that specializes in cheap trucks and vans, popular in China’s countryside. GM holds a 34 percent stake in the joint venture, but counts 100 percent of the sales as theirs.

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38 Comments on “Volkswagen Wants To Triple U.S. Sales By 2018...”


  • avatar
    Disaster

    Volkswagen needs to improve it’s quality if it expects to increase it’s market share in the U.S.  It isn’t just worse than the Japanese.  It was worse than Chevy in the 2008 Consumer Reports reliability study.  Sad thing , their Chrysler rebranded mini-van wasn’t even their worst model. In 2009 they moved up to 21st (from 25th in 08′) but they still have more cars below average than above. Their Rabbit has done pretty well. If they could only get that same kind of reliability across the rest of their models….

  • avatar
    th009

    I don’t have a WSJ subscription so I can’t tell whether the content is the same — in Automotive News, Jacoby is projecting 400-450K sales in 2012-2013, possibly in a market approaching 15M (“medium term” market size), so that target market share isn’t actually much higher than VW had in 2009.
    http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100110/ANE/301109991/1193/emailweeklyANE02
     
    Doubling that again is a whole different thing, though.

  • avatar

    Volkswagen needs to improve it’s quality if it expects to increase it’s market share in the U.S.
    Jacoby won’t dare to say that to Winterkorn. Winterkorn used to be head of QA. Whoever said that customers satisfaction and sales would rise if the damned quality would just go up shortened his career.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      And there’s the problem with the German brands in general: you can’t improve until you admit to your problems, and you can’t admit your problems because that would mean admitting you had problems in the first place, and weren’t an infallible god-among-men.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Same banishment to Salzgitter happened when someone suggested to “Herr InOrdnung” that they needed to close the “cup-holder gap with the Americans”…

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    It’s iffy. Upper mgmt has been executing rather well lately with pretty good brand mgmt. Probably the best in the industry. Good.
    Murphy dictates and history has proven that that won’t last. It’s a fragile situation and I bet that the executive suite won’t look the same in 8 years. Can they still do it? Will there be a Piech at the helm? Will Porsche drag them down? It’s been quite the soap opera the last few years and it looks like that has tempoarily ceased but no bets for the future.
    My money’s on the next gen screwing things up and we’re back to the usual Volks dysfunction. I know, so cynical. Past history proves me right.

  • avatar
    brettc

    VW really needs to get a complete line up in the U.S. before they can expect to attain their goal. Where’s the pickup, and where’s the small car (the Golf is no longer small). Bringing over the Amorok and the Polo will probably help them. They also need to work on their dealer network and overall vehicle reliability. People don’t generally buy VWs and expect Toyota/Honda reliability, which is sad. It’s now 2010 and they’re still making cars with electrical gremlins, and dealers still can’t figure out what oil the current 2.0 litre CRD TDI engine requires. It’s not hard to figure out… Until they can remove the uniform suckiness at their dealers and improve reliability across their lineup, they’re going to be a minor brand in the U.S.

  • avatar
    ash78

    “the highest group sales in the last 10 years …in 2001, and it was steadily downhill from there.”

    So people liked VW better before they started selling Toyotas? Not that my parents’ Camry…er…06 Passat is a bad car, but it’s definitely lacking in the character, styling, ergonomics, and slightly better affordability of the previous couple generations.

    As a lifetime VW owner (so far…), I have always thought the brand worked better as a niche in the US. Their home market domination strategy won’t work here–not only because expectations and needs are different here, but because the decontenting of the cars will most likely lead to dilution of what made them a popular niche brand to begin with. Volvo is still following the track that VW used to (and probably ought to).

  • avatar
    likenissan

    You write … “[VW] bought 20 percent of Suzuki, and with Suzuki ‘s 2.36m units a year”

    To me it would seem logical to then add 20% of Suzuki’s sales total to VW’s numbers.  And apply the same logic to the GM-SAIC situation.

    But I guess that would be too easy ;-)

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Sadly, VWoA is an anvil to VW’s success over here. Evrything good thing that has happened to VW in the last few years has happened in spite of them not because of them. Poor policing of the dealer network is only one of the hits that we have to look forward to.

    The lack of a pickup has been a plus to my mind. It’s the only real dominate segment that the domestics do well in and that isn’t going to change. The only thing that bringing over the pickup will do is give the dealerships a VW branded parts truck.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      To be fair to VWoA, corporate back in Europe is the reason they’ve had the problems that they do.   VWoA has the impossible job of reconciling VWAG’s requirements against the realities of the North American market.    If VWAG would acknowledge that you can’t treat the American market like bigger, less affluent version of Germany, VWoA would probably make some headway.
       
      Of course, that would mean admitting that some swinging dicks at VWAG were wrong.  See Bertel’s post above and my response about that.

      Interestingly, VWoA could learn a few things from Opel on how to better sales and quality by giving their corporate parent the finger.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @psarhjinian, “Interestingly, VWoA could learn a few things from Opel on how to better sales and quality by giving their corporate parent the finger.”
       
      Opel has indeed done some good things, but it’s not reflected in the sales figures.  Even ignoring the disastrous 2009, the Opel/Vauxhall sales were down about 10% from 2004 to 2008 while the European market grew slightly.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    VW tend’s  to do that branding jump around that confuses customers, Golf ? Rabbit? GTI? Then several cars I can’t pronounce? Then CC? What the heck is a CC? Up market? Down? Do I buy it if I out grow my Passat?  Then the fact that everyone I know with a VW post-2000 has constant problems.  Pretty cars…most of them  I’ll give them that.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    Bertel, thanks for the great belly-laugh this morning (re: the photo). 

    Volkswagen executives are totally delusional. 

    First, they have to hope (pray) that the new masters of the world (Chinese) don’t simply decide to liberate Volkswagen from 50% interests in both “joint ventures”. 

    They also have to pretend that 20% of Suzuki’s numbers, most of which come from Suzuki’s J.V. in India with Maruti, holds up and that competent competition, such as Hyundai above them and Tata below and above them don’t eat into their sales percentages (which they will, inevitably and already have started doing). 

    They have to discount the fact that Suzuki is no longer selling the highest selling car in Japan, but that Toyota’s Prius has taken that spot away from Suzuki’s Kei car Wagon R.

    They have to get quality and reliability consistently to Camcord levels across a disparate line-up built in multiple continents, keep costs down, start up a new American factory, and fend off strong competition worldwide such as the fast growing Hyundai-Kia group.

    Aintgonnahappendotcom. 

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Referring back to that earlier topic of counting sales in part-owned subsidiaries … the fast-growing “Hyundai-Kia Group” only owns 40% of Kia, so it shouldn’t be counting (all of) the Kia sales, either.
       
      Of course that doesn’t make Hyundai or Kia any less of a threat, for any of the other manufacturers.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    As the happy owner of 5 VW’s since 1984, I’d say VW has no chance in hell of achieving those numbers. They’d have to underprice the Japanese car companies at the same time start producing reliable appliance type cars. Neither of which can/will happen in that time frame.

  • avatar

    Yeah, the photo is great.  Are those TDI jet engines? The weird thing is that except for the poor reliability issues VW cars are actually very nice.  I would really like to have that Golf Wagon…if…

  • avatar
    xyzzy

    +1 to the posters who say they have to solve their reliability problems first.  Judging from what BS said about Winterkorn’s background, that looks unlikely to happen any time soon, sadly.
    I have never owned a VW but there’s never been a time there wasn’t a VW model I admired from a far and would like to own if harsh reality weren’t a factor.  Usually some incarnation of the GTI, and lately Eos and/or TDI models.  A TDI Eos would tempt me sorely.
    BUT… I will never take the plunge until I’m convinced they’ve solved their reliability issues, and it’s going to take some convincing.  I live in the sticks and commute 30 miles to town and my wife works in a different town than the one I commute to.  What this means is that even if a car had a million mile bumper to bumper warranty, getting it to a shop for anything more involved than a lunchtime oil change  (or scheduled maintenance that is planned well in advance) is a major logistical undertaking for me and I’m not interested in dealing with it.  This is one of the many major reason why I continue to soldier on with my nearly bulletproof 1998 LS400.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I don’t think this will happen, and largely I think that because VW’s plans for North America largely surround the building of lower-cost (for VW) products that address the premium price North Americans are not willing to pay.
     
    The problem is that when your products (the NMS, NCS and NCC) are cost-control exercises first and real cars second, you’re going to have problems, not the least of which are that a) not even Toyota can decontent without pain and b) VW will be going up against companies who have much more experience making low-cost products that North Americans will buy.

  • avatar
    Extra Credit

    Volkswagen certainly has ambitious objectives.  If time shows us that they can only accomplish 80% of their goals, does that prove the B&B are right and Volkswagen is a failure?

    Let’s turn the table for a different perspective.  If Volkswagens are not competitively priced and frustratingly unreliable to own, then how did they ever become one of (if not the) largest car company in the world?  Is the rest of the world desperately seeking the enlightenment of the US market, so their vehicle purchases can begin to follow the US market’s lead?

    Everyone seems quick to dismiss Volkswagen’s lofty goals.  I enjoy seeing anyone set an aggressive long term objective and take the steps necessary to attempt to achieve it.  It’s certainly more interesting than following other car companies whose primary “lofty goal” is to remain solvent.

    To Bertel Schmitt: Kudos on the graphic – definitely an entertaining eye-catcher!

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      The main problem I have sometimes with the B&B is the dismissive nature of changing the status quo it seems in the automotive world.  Chrysler will always be crap. VW’s fall apart at the seams and the Camcords are the messiahs.
       While yes, at face value this could seem like a joke. But to dismiss that VW could possibly do this would to take the same path as those who laughed at Hyundai a decade ago… now Tokyo is shaking in their boots.
      In terms of global sales, VW has set themsleves up to take full advantage of the emerging markets, markets that will be the forefront of economic as well as automotive growth.
      I think that VW also may have the right idea with future US growth, with lower priced products, VW would be able to take advantage of the coming trend of downsizing. Gas will get more expensive, thats a matter of fact, and this recession (in my opinion) has reshaped the priorities of people. Expensive cars and large cars may not be one of them, especially with the coming increase in the price of gas.
      In terms of reliability, I think that VW may have acknowledged they have a problem with the MK IV products. The MK V’s seem to be leagues ahead of their predecessors in terms of reliability. I think Micheal Karesh could point that out on his site.
      Its a long shot, but its not certainly out of the question.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      But to dismiss that VW could possibly do this would to take the same path as those who laughed at Hyundai a decade ago… now Tokyo is shaking in their boots
       
      The distinction is that there’s absolutely no mea culpa coming out of Wolfsburg for their fumbling of the North American market for the last thirty years.  Hyundai admitted they didn’t make good stuff, implemented a plan to gain customer trust, and moved on.  Hell, even Toyota has admitted their tactical failures.   VW has done nothing of the sort, short of partonizing comments about how they’re dumbing down their product for an unappreciative market.
       
      What VW is trying to do is more akin to General Motors’ bluster and arrogance than Hyundai’s very simple “Trust + Value = Sales” equation.

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      I do not disagree that VWOA has some deep set structual issues in terms of management. But I don’t think they are GM. Jacoby it seems is either a puppet or out of touch. Fresh management wouldn’t hurt, maybe some one with some zeal. But i disagree with the idea that downsizing and frankly decontenting is necessarily a bad thing. Price will be the main consideration in the future and getting the Jetta and Polo priced below the competition, will help them achieve the bread and butter sales they are after.

  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    Love them or hate them VW’s stated intentions are the clearest indication yet that we (TTAC’ers) are not the only ones thinking that ChryCo or GM is going to go under (or reorganize into something completely unrecognizable) within the next few years.
     
    They’re putting money on the end of the Big 2.5 in the NA market and a more European manufacturing marketplace – which is an environment that they’re pretty comfortable operating in.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    VW has some lofty goals there, to be certain. I’ll offer up some other things that I believe to be certain as well.
    - Chrysler won’t be around. When a company can’t afford to badge engineer old product for the old market and resorts to decal engineering for an auto show, well, then the show is over. If Saab can’t keep their doors open selling 22000 units in a year worldwide, there’s no way Fiat can keep Chrysler’s doors open selling 20,000 Fiat 500s in the U.S. Advantage VW.
    - GM is still losing money. In nearly 50 years, they have yet to release an entry-level/economy car on the U.S. market that could be remotely called “good.” The same people are running the show there. Why would now be any different? Advantage VW.
    - People still have a lot of concern over the quality of Korean-made cars. Sales didn’t take off at Hyundai and Kia stores until massive warranties were put into place. Take away the warranty, and who looks good? That’s another point for VW.
    - I’m reminded of a conversation I had many years ago with a neighbor who once worked at a car dealership in metro Atlanta. The dealer always ran ads in the paper to hire salesmen. So they’d hire people knowing that friends & family are terrific sources for sales. Not just sales leads, mind you, sales. As VW expands the number of employees who work in the U.S., they’ll be at an advantage over their German colleagues at Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Too wit, the VW employees will can actually be able to afford to drive their employers products. And so will their family members. And friends. And neighbors. And friends at church… And so on.
    So although VW’s claims appear pretty darned lofty, and they are lofty, they are not off-the-charts as one might think.

  • avatar
    George B

    I’d strongly consider buying a Volkswagen if they offered it with a Hyundai warantee.  The advantages of Volkswagen TDI diesel engines and DSG transmissions are enough for me to risk the inconvenience of time in the shop, but Volkswagen needs to cover repair cost risk.
     
     
    Volkswagen also needs to offer either high quality cloth seats or leather seating surfaces.  The Jetta’s black plastic seats are a deal breaker in the hot summers of the southern US.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    I just had an hour long conversation over lunch with an ex-BMW/Datsun/Subaru dealer who started with BMW in 1964, adding Datsun in 1968 and Subaru in the early 1970′s. 

    He said that his Subie mechanics always seemed to have a tough time making enough hours – in plain English, the cars were so reliable, they simply didn’t come in for warrantee work.  (Yes, we all know, they did rust just as other cars of the era did). 

    So, Subies have had a reputation for being “bulletproof” mechanically for what?  Almost 3 decades now.   I distinctly remember reading car tests in the mid 1970′s which already established this fact about the cars (and which I foolishly discounted, sticking to my – gulp – AMC and Chrysler junk-heaps). 

    Toyota’s reputation is just about as long.  Honda’s reputation is approximately as good and as long lived. 

    Volkswagen ONCE had a similar reputation – “back in the day” when VW’s were air cooled and the engines hung over the back of the car. 

    Sure times change. 

    I change my mind when new facts come along. 

    IF VW can bring it back, all power to ‘em.  I just don’t see it happening.   Certainly not in the USA, anyway. 

    Why?  Americans have different expectations than do people in Europe or Central/South America or 2nd and 3rd world countries.  We expect near perfection from our cars because we’ve been able to buy near perfection – if we look and listen and aren’t too proud to change our preconcieved ideas (as I used to be re: import cars). 

    Europeans travel much less far than Americans on a yearly basis, and especially in Western and now Eastern Europe, there is a VW dealer just about on their doorstep – everything is crowded together.  So a “less than ideally reliable” car is not as much of a hardship there as it is here in the Big country with dealers far flung (and far between, especially for import cars). 

    All of us can be blinkered and forget to change with the times.  I bought some Michelin Ice-X snow tires and my car-guy pal berated me and said “huh, I thought you said Nokian Hakkapalitta snow tires were best”.  I replied “they were – in 2002.”  “oh”.  “Things change, brother!”  (chagrined “um, yeah”). 

    • 0 avatar
      Disaster

      Very nicely put.  I’d add that American’s depend more on their cars as basic everyday transportation…to get them to and from work, than do Europeans.  In countries with good public transportation, autos are used more for leisure.  In the U.S., if your car breaks down you could be late for work.  If it happens to often you could be out of a job.
       
      All this is aided by, 1.  Generally poor public transportation.  2.  Low petro costs.  3.  Low vehicle taxes.  4.  Good road system (as in huge…not necessarily the best upkeep.)
       
      “Why?  Americans have different expectations than do people in Europe or Central/South America or 2nd and 3rd world countries.  We expect near perfection from our cars because we’ve been able to buy near perfection – if we look and listen and aren’t too proud to change our preconcieved ideas (as I used to be re: import cars).

      Europeans travel much less far than Americans on a yearly basis, and especially in Western and now Eastern Europe, there is a VW dealer just about on their doorstep – everything is crowded together.  So a “less than ideally reliable” car is not as much of a hardship there as it is here in the Big country with dealers far flung (and far between, especially for import cars). ”
       
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      Fusion

      There is a lot of stuff in your posts that might seem logical from an American perspectiv, but which just is not true.
       
      IIRC the amount of miles driven per car does not differ as much as is usually proclaimed. (Numbers as I researched them with google just a minute ago): American vehicles travel about 12k miles/year, German Vehicles about 9500 miles/year.  Not that big a difference (might have something to do with Americans having a lot more vehicles/person – while the American travels a llot more, his cars do not). THere is some difference, but that can hardly be the reason for that much of an image difference.
      Also, while there might be good (or at least some) public transportation in Germany, that certainly does not mean that anybody is ok with leaving his car in the shop for a few days a year. Nobody who owns a car goes shopping by bus. Small towns and villages usually all have bus connectiosn, but they are maybe hourly. In fact, due to the fact that german households usually have less cars than americans (average is 1.1 cars per household, with two thirds of households owning one car or less), having to get by without a car might actually be harder than in the US.
       
      I do agree on the rather spotty dealer network for the european (well, one might as well say german ;)) makes in the US.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    The first thing VW (or any other manufacturer) needs to do is offer reliable products. After that they need to wait a number of years for those reliable products to be acknowledged as commonplace in the market. In the meantime VW needs to have products that appeal to the mainstream market, something they aren’t even close to with their current line up in the U.S. As successful as VW is worldwide they are equally unsuccessful in the U.S. for those two reasons, a lack of reliability and a product line up that keeps their vehicles off the shopping lists of most U.S. buyers.
     
    VW to date has been completely clueless about the U.S. market and coupled with their very  poor reputation for quality they are a perennial also ran in the U.S. If they introduced relevant product tomorrow it would still take a number of years to substantially increase their U.S. marketshare. I don’t see VW ever becoming a dominant player like Toyota in the U.S. Another thing to keep in mind when referencing the Hyundai/Kia turnaround in the U.S. is their total sales numbers are still a very small fraction of Toyota or Honda. So while Hyundai/Kia has turned around their reputation and offers a great product line up today they are still a far cry from competitive with Toyota or Honda in the U.S. in terms of marketshare.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    VW can improve its performance first by more appealing cars in the US, even if the quality is not all that it should be.  Chrysler made a lot of money (a LOT of money) with this formula in the late 90s-early00s.  Fashon buyers are very forgiving so long as the car is really appealing.
    But this formula will only go so far.  When the market turns down or when there is a misreading of the market (or a styling mishap), the fashon buyers will disappear and into the tank you go.  Chrysler again. 
    VW had a surge in the 70s (Rabbit), and in the 80s (GTI & Jetta during the Farfegnuegen years) and again in the late 90s.  They may be making another surge now.  But every time, the company has left a trail of disappointed consumers who have to listen to all of their friends and co-workers tell them “that never happened to my Honda”.  In order to grow, VW has to get past the VW (and european car) loyalists and go after (and keep) customers from Toyota, GM, Ford and Honda.   This is where the volume is. 

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    “Everybody in the company has to do his or her share for the grand plan.” KdF in the land of the KdFmobile?

    And this market pre-eminence is projected to last thru at least 2118, or thru 2030, or perhaps (but less likely) never…

  • avatar
    Omoikane

    Volkswagen Über Alles !  :)
    Overpriced and overrated.

    Terrible reliability and expensive repairs.
    In any market where mileage is higher then 15k/year (USA, Australia…), VW is a miserable failure.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    On the plus side: VW has a defined goal, and sorta knows what needs to be done to achieve it – and they seem to have bench marked the top competitor, Toyota.

    On the minus side: The goal is numerical.   As Deming used to point out (paraphrasing) why not set the goal 50% higher and the date for achievement 50% sooner?    And why didn’t they do it 5 years ago?   Making up numbers d0esn’t get you where you want to be.

    The goal should be Toyota like reliability (or Honda like) and Toyota like efficiency in production.   Add to that, constant improvement.   Those three things will lead to more market share and higher profit.

    On profit: VW is taking advantage of NAFTA.  How can they not make a profit with Mexican labor rates?    It would seem impossible.

    On content: If I were running VW, I wouldn’t even consider decontenting – not unless Hyudai and Kia are going to do likewise (fat  chance).

    On Price: The base Jetta, for example, is higher than Civic, Focus, Mazda3 or Corolla, but lower than Sentra.    I don’t know how much difference the price makes to people when most folks finance for at least 5 years – e.g. are the monthly payments excessive because of the higher price?   I suppose it has to be decided on a case by case basis.

    Their sign and drive event, which they have periodically, makes them very price competitive – even a decided advantage.     No money down, nothing due at signing.   I don’t know if they are giving up their profit margin to put cars in driveways, but it’s pretty hard to lease any of the competitors for $259/mo, and nothing due.

    On reliability: True Delta shows the Jetta/Golf/GTI all being green light rides since 2008.    The 09 Jetta has 29 trips/year per 100, compared to say,  the Civic,  with 18 trips/year per 100.   But the ’08 Civic had 32 trips/year per 100, so an ’09 Jetta is bit more reliable than an ’08 Civic.      IOWs VW doesn’t seem too far off from their competitors.   Maybe not quite there, but not so far back as many people are making them out to be, and apparently improving.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

                      Honda and Toyota’s reliability reputations are due to low cost of ownership of older cars, not just few trips to the dealer in the first year or two. The luxo Euros somewhat skirt that issue by heavy reliance on leases and people who trade before the warranty is up, essentially living in a bubble where few new-car MB/BMW/Audi buyers are aware of the long term reliability of their cars. People shopping for VW’s aren’t so insulated, as more of them move in social strata where they may risk running into someone with a personal experience of repair costs of 5+ year old cars.
       
                      Looking at that warranty thread about that woman being floored by a $7500 repair bill for the good old fashioned torque converter auto in her out of warranty X5, I wonder what it will cost to fix a 6-7 year old DSG when it breaks. I’m guessing, probably a lot more than some massively ubiquitous Corolla tranny, or to be fair, a TSX one. Same thing for when things start going downhill with those turbo charged direct injection motors, versus Honda’s 2-2.4L 4s and 3-3.5 6s.

  • avatar
    stuki

                    And “World Leaders” want to cut CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. And Obama wants the budget balanced by sometime after he’s dead. And the UN wants world peace by who knows when. Or at least enough people believing they do, to let them get away with some more Oil for Food like scams again. Or something.
     
                    Hint to carmakers: Hire people who want to make great cars, and have some possible ability to follow through on those wishes. And fire people who want all kinds of other fluff. Or who don’t have the sense to keep such childishness to themselves. Do that for long enough, and sales will take care of itself.


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