Two news items are unnerving Japan today: The ruling DPJ party seems to be heading towards a solid defeat at the upper house elections. And Volkswagen has lost all respect for the Japanese competition. The enemy Volkswagen now fears most is – dou shiyou –
“I have the most respect for Hyundai,” said Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn to Germany’s Focus Magazin. The Korean currency is low (as opposed to the Japanese …) and quality is high. “Hyundai now knows how to build good cars,” said Winterkorn.
That immediately alerted The Nikkei [sub] that headlines “Volkswagen Sees Korean Car Makers Bigger Rivals As Japanese.”
A few days ago, Korea attracted the attention of Volkswagen’s grand seigneur, the octogenarian honorary chairman Carl Hahn , who warned in an interview given to Korean Times that “Korea is in a position to have an aggressive price policy, which obviously won’t be possible in the long run.”
Japan is – how shall we say it – a bit ambivalent towards Korea. If the doitsujin think that the Koreans are worthier opponents, then this is indeed cause for alarm.
Or maybe VW is just making a strategic retreat from their Strategie 2018. Unseating Toyota by 2018? Nicht mehr nötig! Keeping those verdammte Koreaner in check is what counts now!