By on April 17, 2014

2014-volkswagen-golf-gtd

Despite promises of the Volkswagen Golf GTD making its way to America, Automotive News is reporting that the prospect of VW’s diesel hot hatch arriving in America is looking like a dim prospect.

According to AN, the high output version of VW’s 2.0L TDI engine can’t be built in Volkswagen’s Mexican factory that supplies the engines for Golf in North America (though it does build the standard TDI engine). Although VW wouldn’t elaborate, the cost of the GTD (factoring in the engine, which would have to be imported from Germany), would make the GTD cost prohibitive for North America.

On the other hand, VW will have no less than three additional hatchbacks for North America: a lower priced version of the Golf TDI, a TDI Golf Sportwagen and the Audi A3 TDI Sportback. Given the small market share for diesels, it’s possible that Volkswagen is satisfied that these models will sufficiently cover the diesel hatchback market in America.

Previous, VW was projecting that the GTD would account for as much as 10 percent of Golf TDI sales. But it’s possible that VW was scared off by a last-minute product plan change over at Audi. The A3 TDI Sportback wasn’t initially planned for America, but enthusiast demand apparently spurred Audi to import it to America.

The A3 TDI will likely run close to the GTD’s projected $27,000 price tag – close enough that VW may have been worried about cannibalization between the two cars. Unlike Europe, America has neither the demand for diesels, hatchbacks or manuals (the A3 TDI is only offered with a dual-clutch transmission) to support two similarly priced entrants with little differentiation.

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17 Comments on “QOTD: Volkswagen Golf GTD Looking Less Likely For America – Is The Audi A3 To Blame?...”


  • avatar
    hreardon

    I suspect the A3 TDI will base price closer to $33 than $27. In fact, I would put money on the VW Group looking at the numbers and figuring that they will be able to sell every A3 TDI at a higher profit margin than they would the GTD.

    While the GTD is ‘neat’, I get the feeling that once the initial surge of buyers from The Car Lounge and VW Vortex ended, there would be few additional takers.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      I was in the market for a hatchback a couple years ago. So I started pricing out GTI’s and A3′s. The A3 was actually cheaper then a GTI when adding the autobahn package. Which at the time was the only way to get dual climate control, and a leather package. The Audi A3 came standard with leather and duel climate control. The A3 had the same 2.0 and it handled better without the harsh ride of the GTI. And the Audi had upgraded materials and I’m sure a better trade in value over the VW.

  • avatar
    vbofw

    We’re also getting a Golf-R.

    http://media.vw.com/release/599/

    0 to 62mph (yes sixty-two…weird) in 4.9. Can’t wait to test-drive and not buy one.

  • avatar

    Don’t forget that our EPA requires that each body, engine and transaxle combo be individually certified. (a low to mid six figure sum per model, not counting the company’s time) This is why a company will look at a limited interest car, or a manual, estimate that there will be 2% of takers, do the math, and not certify that car, or more commonly, that manual transmission, even if the company sells them in other markets.

    This is why our manuals are slowly dying off…you can discuss chicken and egg all day, but some MBA is staring at a spreadsheet now, and figuring total estimated sales, a percentage, and you are done.

    They’d have to certify the GTD motor, which is different from the base TDi engine…then in manual and automatic. Add the cost of the euro-built (and then imported) motor to the cost of a hecho en Mexico engine…

    No GTD for NA, then….

    I don’t think the A3 buyer and the GTD buyer would be too close. One is sports-car guy, and the other would be someone looking for a “small luxury car”.

    The only thing the A3 has that I’d want in my TDi would be the power seats with memory…but that is only because my wife and I have very different seat arrangements.

    Interestingly, VW has already split the difference here in the US, having given the Diesels the Golf “Sport” suspension here in the US. Definitely stiffer than base, but not quite as firm as GTi….

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      If VW won’t bring the actual GTD over, I’m sure Malone/APR/etc will have decent tunes available for it not too long after the new 2.0 TDI shows up widely at dealers. Not quite the same as a VW engineered GTD engine, but pretty close.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    When I was looking at a A3 TDI in 2011 it cost a lot more the a TDI Jetta sports wagon , about 6 grand more, option mostly the same way, the Audi gave you more toys but not a lot more, same engine and tranny as the golf TDI To rich for me I bought the sports wagon. No way will the new A3 be under 29k and more than likely not under 33k on a lot

  • avatar
    klossfam

    This would suck as we were looking at the GTD to replace our 2011 Mark VI GTI…

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I can’t say I am all that surprised, VW has a long history of slightly missing the mark on product. The A3 would probably be perfect for most target GTD buyers if they would just offer a manual, I cannot fathom why they don’t do that.

    But really, the regular TDI with the sport suspension is likely a better choice than the GTD anyway. It’s cheaper and works better on our less than perfect roads. And those who want GTI or better level of handling can easily swap out the springs and dampers, there are plenty of tuning options to get a little more power out of the TDI and most of those even improve the MPG as well.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    US Golf sales are miserably low and on the decline. YTD sales for the entire Golf lineup (Golf/R/GTI) are less than 5400 units, a decline of 37% over the prior year. (In comparison, the overall vehicle market grew by 1% over the same period.)

    A GTD would merely cannibalize GTI and Jetta TDi sales. It was never a good idea, and this year’s numbers make the plan look even worse — investing in more hatchbacks for the US market is not a particularly bright idea.

    • 0 avatar
      Charlie84

      US Golf sales have fallen off of a cliff because they stopped manufacturing the Golf VI and the new model has yet to go on sale in North America.

      Sales of the Golf family of models will recover once the new model is available and consumers discover that VW has a hatchback that is more than competitive with the Focus, Impreza, Mazda 3, etc. Consumers who want a VW sedan will still buy a Jetta, but there are plenty of hatchback buyers in the U.S. to justify the Golf’s presence here.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Part of the problem with the Golf lineup – apart from Americans despising hatchbacks – is pricing, particularly on the lease side of things. You can get a similarly equipped Jetta or Passat for less.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    This news kinda makes one wonder whether we will in fact see the Sportwagen with TDI, AWD and MT.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    My guess is 2 out of 3 with AWD not making it in the next sports wagon


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