VW Reveals Poor Man's Mercedes, Backs Away From Sales Goal

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
vw reveals poor man s mercedes backs away from sales goal

Back in the day, VW decided to match Mercedes model-for-model. This strategy led to the ill-fated, brand-busting, $60k-and-up Phaeton. Judging from the new VW Passat CC unveiled at The Detroit Auto Show, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn is determined to get right back on that [dead] horse. The CC is a CLS clone, with the distinction of offering less visibility and more chance of rear passenger decapitation than the Mercedes version. At VeeDub's axles of white power stand (eye searingly white with blue lighting a la Apple), Winterkorn said the CC was part of the German automaker's "fireworks of great new cars" master plan to sell 800k cars in the U.S. Huh? That's a significant climb-down from VW's publicly stated goal of shifting one million units stateside by 2018. Ironically enough, VW gave us reason not to be optimistic re: it's not-so-great-anymore expectations. An introductory film revealed that Americans want three things from a car: reliability, durability and "fine design." Herr Winterkorn better hope that two out of three ain't bad.

[reported by Sajeev Mehta]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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