Volkswagen intends to become the world’s largest auto maker. Selling far more cars in the United States would accomplish this goal. Euro-spec cars haven’t been doing the trick, as too few Americans have been willing to pay the resulting semi-premium prices. So VW engineered a new Jetta compact sedan and a new Passat midsize sedan specifically for American tastes and budgets. Confident of the latter’s success, they’ve even constructed an all-new factory in Chattanooga, TN, to assemble it. Should the UAW’s latest targets expect to be working overtime? Today’s review evaluates the 2.5-liter five-cylinder gas Passat in SE trim, while Wednesday’s will compare the 2.0-liter turbodiesel in SEL Premium trim.
So Volkswagen took the wraps off its first (well, since the late 80s) Made-in-the-U.S.A. car last night. The name of the New Midsize Sedan had remained a matter of high suspense until the last minute. But didn’t we offhandedly mention that “some think it might be called Passat?” That’s what it will be called. “Volkswagen says it will keep the Passat name for its new midsize vehicle that will be built at the company’s new U.S. plant in Tennessee,” reports Businessweek.
Meet the Volkswagen value meal, designed for Americans: Bigger, beefier, cheaper. (Read More…)
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. (Read More…)
You might need to click through to the gallery to fully grasp the stunning blandness of its New Coupe Concept, which just debuted at the NAIAS. Volkswagen has said again and again that it plans to take over the American market by screwing its loyal followers and selling out for mainstream appeal. The NCC is the apathy-osis of this philosophy, showing an approach to the sports coupe genre that makes the business of car look like a less glamorous offshoot of the packing materials industry. It’s a hybrid. It’s a “poor man’s A5.” It’s a dust bunny to the Scirocco‘s sandstorm. Most of all though, it’s a sign of how misguided VW’s approach to the US market really is.