By on August 19, 2011

Volkswagen may have garnered a bad rap for being in the shop too much. Their sales performance however continues without a single breakdown. According to the July data (global, consolidated, all companies), the Volkswagen Group had a 16.3 percent unit sale rise in July (compared to July 2010) . From January to July, 4.75 million vehicles were sold worldwide, a 14.4 percent increase.

July deliveries were 665,600 (July 2010: 572,100). With a growth rate of 14.4 percent in the first seven months, Volkswagen performed better than the world market, which Volkswagen has at 5.5 percent plus. Volkswagen therefore gained global market share.

Jan-July by market:

In Europe: 2.20 million units, up 10.2 percent.
North America: 375,500 units, up 21.4 percent
U.S: 249,500 units, up 20.5 percent.
Asia / Pacific: 1.46 million units, up 19.2 percent.
China: 1.29 million units, up 16.4 percent

Jan-July by brand:

Volkswagen Passenger Cars: 2.95 million units, up 12.5 percent.
Audi: 758,900 units, up 17.4 percent.
Škoda: 523,200 units, up 19.7 percent.
SEAT: 215,500 units, up 19.7 percent.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: 303,100 units, up 28.2 percent.

Other brands not mentioned in the dispatch.

 

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50 Comments on “New Volkswagen Reliability: Consistently Good Numbers...”


  • avatar
    IGB

    Vanilla has always been and continues to be Americas favorite ice cream flavor.

    VW has finally decided to stop competing with pistachio and build vanilla. Bravo.

    I still prefer double fudge brownie and I’ll suffer the migraine that follows but that’s just me.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Quite the misleading (intentional?) title!

    As the owner of a 1997 Passat, I will refrain from saying anything more (except that since then I have bought two used Hondas for my DDs ;)

    • 0 avatar
      ...m...

      …as the owner of a 2000 new beetle, i too will refrain from saying anything more (except that since then i have bought a used lotus for my daily driver, with three-quarters lower maintenance costs)…

    • 0 avatar
      Urlik

      I own a 99 Passat with 150K and an 08 R32 with 30K. The R32 has been flawless. The Passat has been average for me with no issues at all in the last 50K. I’ve been fortunate with the Passat since I’ve never had control arm issues or ABS module issues which are common. Only the ICM and cruise control module have gone out on me. I do all my own maintenance though so I’ve avoided things like plugged PCV systems and always used synth oil to avoid the turbo turds(some call it sludge). The R32 has never had a check engine light while the Passat has only had one when the ICM went out.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Are there ANY car companies that don’t have a sales improvement over 2010?

    As I tell people: Go ahead and buy whatever you like. Just don’t call me when it breaks.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    What do sales figures have to do with reliability? If that’s the metric, then 1970′s GMs were the most reliable cars in the world at the time, and today’s Saab totally can’t be trusted.

    When VW matches Hyundai’s industry-leading warranty, then I’ll start thinking that VW believes its cars are reliable. This, followed by some years of TrueDelta data.

    My one data point of VW ownership tells me otherwise.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Looking at the numbers, one wonders why they really give a rip about what happens in the US as far as sales go. 249,500 in the first half of the year compared to the millions sold elsewhere? Wow…

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      VW can’t say they’ve conquered the (auto) world unless they’ve conquered the U.S. market too. To reach their U.S. sales target, they still have a ways to go. Rome wasn’t sacked in a day (the Visigoths took six weeks) and it’ll be awhile before VW reaches Toyonda sales numbers. Until then, they will definitely “give a rip.”

  • avatar
    mike978

    I am impressed by the SEAT numbers. They have been faltering of late, obviously turned it around in 2011 (so far).

    Reliability wise, VW have turned a corner, just look at the truedelta numbers for 2007/8 models onwards. Significantly better than 2001-2005 (albeit not that hard to do!)

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      “Good news! The failure rate of our cars has been cut in half. We’ve improved from atrocious to awful!”

      “Yaaaay! Free rounds in the beer garden for everyone!”

  • avatar
    klossfam

    That is a bad title for a Sales article…I was semi-interested as our household has two VWs (a 2006 Rabbit 2 Dr 2.5 & a 2011 Tiguan SEL). I think most would admit that in the last 7-8 years, the difference between the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ car maker reliability is minimal at best…perhaps less than 5% in the real world. We’ve had two minor (under warranty) issues with the Rabbit. Ironically the worst vehicle we’ve had in the last few years was a 2008 Toyota Highlander Ltd…Water pump shot at 50K, intermediate steering staff ‘clunk’, etc. We actually traded it for the Tiguan. The only bullet proof vehicle we have is our 2008 Infiniti G35xS – completely trouble free at 45K. I feel confident buying anything other than a Jaguar, Land Rover, SMART or Saab…

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    The problem with VWs recent reliability improvements are just that, they are too recent to draw any conclusions. From my last VW experience the problems really didn’t start piling up until 35-40k miles and then it went downhill fast. I am going to need to see at least 5 years of good data to believe the reliability issues are resolved. Regardless, I haven’t heard anything about VW improving the service experience which was absolutely atrocious in my experience.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    I blame CR for the sales numbers. I also blame CR for the purchase of an ’02 Passat. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I had the same experience. I went with a CR recommendation when I bought a 2001 Passat and it turned out horrible when the reliability numbers started coming in but by then it was too late.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I’m glad it’s not just me. VW’s reliability numbers looked good when I bought my 02 Passat, but then went downhill quickly. I had 12 unscheduled service trips in 3 years; my 05 xB1 has had 1 in 6 years – 24x better.

      But as Bertel points out, VW’s reliability these days is measured in its ever-increasing sales figures, not necessarily the quality of its vehicles.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    The big problem with the video clip is that while they don’t show a VW, it’s not because they are reliable, is that the movie makers don’t often use VW in their films to begin with and if you really want the truth, any car or truck can be made unreliable without maintenance to begin with, even VW,the trick is to make your car reliable while being maintained or without unusual maintenance tasks that can trip up the initiated.

    And I have to agree, get beyond the first 3 years then see how they hold up.

  • avatar
    eldard

    Most of those are the cheap ass Golfs, A4s and the $hitty Jetta without a lot of sophisticated features that can break down.

    And as I’ve said before once Hyundai and Toyota do their massive push into the BRIC countries it’s only a matter of time before the citizens realize how crappy their cars from Gee M, Foolswagen, Suzuki and Fiat really are.

  • avatar
    spyked

    It’s only in the U.S. that people think VW’s are unreliable. It’s actually only in the U.S. that “reliable” is even a concept. In the rest of the world it’s all about being “durable.”

    I see plenty of 40 year old Euro cars on the roads still. No Japanese cars.

    • 0 avatar
      eldard

      That’s because no one in their right minds would want to keep running a 40 year old plain looking appliance.

      • 0 avatar
        Philosophil

        I can’t speak for the reliability of the analysis, but here’s some interesting statistics in that regard. As you can see, there seem to be plenty of people who think it’s okay to keep an appliance for a long while. Who knows, maybe some of them will even hit the 40 yr. mark…

        http://www.autooninfo.net/SharesOfHighMileageVehicles.aspx

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      Reliability in the sense of the U.S. market is simply high availability, few breakdowns, with minimal maintenance cost over a reasonable lifetime of 15 years so so.

      This is FAR more important than ultimate durability in a country where access to food and jobs is essentially 100% dependent on access to vehicles and competent mechanics (as opposed to parts hangers) are incredibly scarce.

      Also, the capable mechanics who do exist have no desire, for cultural/social reasons, to live (or work) in immigrant-dominated urban and inner suburban areas.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Since I do my own repair work (except warranty stuff), I suppose that if “reliability” = “durability”, then most of my cars qualify.

      But I define reliability as not breaking down, not tripping the CEL, and not providing balky service. The ability to fix something doesn’t make the product reliable, only serviceable.

      You wouldn’t want to apply the “durable” definition to airplanes, for instance; I’d prefer reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Not many 40+ year old Japanese cars in the US period. In 1971 I think the Land Cruiser was still Toyota’s best selling US model. Incidentally, no one ever accuses them of not being durable.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Not many 40+ year old Japanese cars in the US period. In 1971 I think the Land Cruiser was still Toyota’s best selling US model. Incidentally, no one ever accuses them of not being durable.

        My first car was also an 85 Jetta. My mother purchased it new and It was neither reliable or durable at any time my family owned it. It has since served as the benchmark for crappy cars owned by myself and my family. That includes numerous mid 80′s FIAT’s which were marginally better and at least easy to work on.

      • 0 avatar
        eldard

        Muscle car owners tend to argue the same thing. Not many old Jap cars = overrated reliability/durability.

        These folks don’t use their brain cells very much. You don’t see 40 year old Corollas for the same reason you don’t see 30 year old Ford Lasers. Only a moron would want to be nostalgic about a half century old econobox.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Those were the original Land Cruisers, not the current Luxo Cruisers sold in the US …

      • 0 avatar
        Philosophil

        eldard: “Only a moron would want to be nostalgic about a half century old econobox.”

        Are you laying down the rules for nostalgia now? Nostalgia is usually a very personal matter, and to call someone a moron because they might be nostalgic about something that is otherwise ‘common’ is just a little condescending, don’t you think?

    • 0 avatar
      MrIncognito

      If you don’t see many old Japanese cars on the road, you don’t travel enough. The poorer the country, the greater the love for Toyota pickups, which are vastly preferred to their US and European counterparts for their tremendous reliability and durability.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        But third-world Toyota HiLux pickups are most definitely not the same thing as a Corolla, Camry, LS400 or even a Tundra — they are simple, rugged vehicles built for the conditions. And, yes, other manufacturers have similar models as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Rada

        Corolla, Camry are very simple and practical vehicles. There is no fluff, you can service most parts of them (oil, brakes, transmission) with just one or two wrench sizes. On my Corolla it takes 10 seconds to change the air filter – pop the two clips, remove the old one, insert the new one, close – that’s it.

        You make it sound like today Toyotas are some complicated unreliable machines – they are not, they are still very sensibly designed.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I think that even if you were nostalgic the bodies of most 40 year old Japanese cars have long since rotted away. I know that the 78 Carolla that was replaced by the aforementioned 85 Jetta in my household was running strong when it was traded in, however it was no longer safe to drive due to the fact the seats were no loner held in by any real metal. This was not a rust belt car either. It lived in the Southest and never saw any salt or snow.

        And as to the Luxo Land Cruisers we get in the US…I am inclined to agree. I think They died shortly after my 93 was built. I looked long and hard for one without leather power seats and wood trim. It is a serious truck though…Full floater axels and lockers…Now though we get an 80,000 dollar Sequoia with an LC badge.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I really don’t know what happened around MY 2008.5 (apart from the new TSI variant of the 2.0T), but starting in MY 2008 forward the overall reliability of VAG products has improved markedly. I can speak from the Audi side of things where I’m pretty keyed into the community – there is an incredible difference between pre and post ’08.5.

    There have been some big snafus, to be sure: water pumps on the 3.2/3.0T V6s that were detonating (recalled/fixed since June ’10); But all in all, I know of several very high mileage B8 A4s and Q5s (75000+) that haven’t visited the shop outside of regular maintenance. Anecdotal for sure, but a positive sign as compared to my previous ’00 Jetta and friends’ various VAG products earlier in the decade.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    I’ve been a consistent VW owner (both new and used) for a good 15 years or so and I haven’t hit on the reliability issues in the quantities I read about. My 2003 Jetta TDI is about to hit 200k miles and the biggest problem we had with it was a mystery CEL caused by an emissions valve and the flaky glow plugs and harness. I’ve done everything but timing belts on the car myself since the car was new. Our 2007 Passat wagon was purchased used in 2009. It has about 70k miles on it and knock on wood I haven’t had any big problems with it yet. A couple fiddily little things were handled under warranty.

    Now, in fairness I did have to put a gearbox in my 2003 Golf TDI after it consumed an internal bearing at about 100k miles, but considering I was putting 30k miles/year on it and it was chipped, I’m not all that upset about that one.

  • avatar
    wsn

    The rise of VW sales does not imply that the quality or reliability of the cars are better. Just that middle class people around the globe sank further on the wealth ladder. If you look at China, the best selling VW model is not Passat, but instead two decade old Jetta (the best selling Honda model is Accord).

  • avatar
    spyked

    I agree that increased sales doesn’t mean increased reliability. In VW’s case it at least means that people are realizing that Honda and Toyota aren’t any MORE reliable than VW, so you might as well buy what you want for your money. Proof is in the pudding – all these new Jettas aren’t being sold to traditional VW buyers if you listen to the whiners on the VW blogs. They are being sold to people that used to buy Corollas and Civics and decided to make a change.

    • 0 avatar
      Rada

      I don’t think VW are sold to former Toyonda buyers. Where did you pull this one from? Toyondas have the highest loyalty rating, and VW have the lowest.

      I have never in my life seen anyone who switched to a VW from a Toyota. I have seen plenty to do the opposite.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    I owned a 2010 Jetta TDI for 10 incredibly painful months. I would not urinate on that car to extinguish an inevitable electrical fire.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    Always love to read the articles about VW’s. If it is not about Honda or Toyota the VW haters come out in droves. I have owned or sold just about every car made that you can buy in the USA. Some were great cars and some were junk. Myself i have driven VW’s for about 25 years and during that time i have also owned Honda’s and Toyota’s. Some years were great and some complete junk. I look at it like the luck of the draw. After driving a Toyota or a Honda and the car runs well i will keep it for a while but i always get bored with them. Someone offers me a good price and i unload it. I enjoy a good car like everyone else but when the car handles like a 1948 Buick that i had as a kid i draw the line. Life is short and i have only been driving for 60 year. Today just about every car made is good. The manufacturer would not last 2 months if they were not. I own a 2009 VW TDI sedan that i use for our vacations and my wife drives a 2008 Volvo C30. Both cars are bulletproof. I also have a 42 year old Beetle that i use for local trips like to drive to the club house for the morning run or to use for shopping. Yes this car has approx 200,000 miles on it and is still running. After 42 years it needs a little TLC but it is fun to work on. On the other hand our newer cars other then normal service seem to just go on and on. As some one said drive more worry less.


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