On Monday, the wraps will come off Volkswagen’s secretive NMS (New Midsize Sedan). Readers of Autobild in Germany already had first visual impressions of the car, we’ll know Monday whether Autobild was, well, given the right pictures. The car will be a bit longer than the Passat. It will be made especially for American tastes and wallets.
Wallets: The car will cost around $20,000, that’s $7,000 less than an entry model Passat. Tastes: “Inside, much cheaper plastic that in European vehicles will be used,” says Autobild. On Monday, we’ll also know what the car will be called, that’s the only thing that remained a secret so far. Some think it might be called Passat.
Volkswagen has high hopes in the decontented car. It will be built at a new $1 billion factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the first time Volkswagen builds cars again in the United States after they had retreated 1988 from New Stanton, PA, with their tails between their legs.
And now, they are back. “With typical bravura, Volkswagen executives say the car, will be at the forefront of a U.S. renaissance that will include more than tripling its unit sales to 800,000 cars by 2018,” writes the New York Times. “That, in turn, is part of the goal of Martin Winterkorn, VW’s chief executive, of surpassing Toyota to become the world’s largest automaker.”
Volkswagen needs the sales in the U.S. to rule the world. However, VW could never replicate their initial stateside Beetle success, and “for years, it has flirted with irrelevance in the United States,” says the NYT.
It will take much more than a bargain-basement Passat-a-like to triple unit sales in the U.S. Wolfsburg-centric engineers had overslept major U.S. trends, from cupholders to SUVs to minivans. “A striking lapse,” tut-tuts the Times, “considering that the Volkswagen bus was arguably the first family van.”
For certain families, at least.