Winterkorn: "World Car" Dead And Buried

winterkorn world car dead and buried

The Financial Times reports that VW CEO Martin Winterkorn is dissing the darling of Dearborn and the apple of GM's eye: the "world car." "The days of a 'world car' are dead and buried," Herr Winterkorn pronounced. "Our customers in China or India expect us, as a global player, to offer entirely different solutions than we do in the US or western Europe." To that end, VW will be rolling out no fewer than 20 new models in the next three years– as it tries to oust Toyota from the top global sales spot. But Wolfsburg's ambitious sales goals may not have unequivocal support from its new owners, Porsche SE. According to the FT, there's division on the Porsche board about Vee-Dub's global strategy. Wolfgang Porsche, recently voted onto the VW board, is said to head a faction which wants an emphasis on profits, rather than record sales. This might explain the recent unpleasantness between the two grandsons of Ferry Porsche.

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  • Bancho Bancho on Mar 14, 2008

    Xebras for all my comrades!

  • Frontline Frontline on Mar 14, 2008

    I disagree with Herr Winterkorn. If Ford and GM had shared their European models with the US all along they would probably be in much better health. I see it as each market should have a niche product , such a micro car in Europe or a monster truck for the States, etc.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Mar 15, 2008

    I agree with Frontline. Then use the savings from more limited vehicle development programs (fewer models across the globe) to improve their quality. I know the current lineup is miles ahead of cars from 20 years ago but their are vehicles from the competition that are still miles ahead of GM, Ford and Chrysler... VW and Honda do this for example. Same products around the globe though not all models reach all markets (damn!)

  • Hal Hal on Mar 16, 2008

    Just to take midsize cars for example the reality is that the Accords sold in Europe are not the same as those sold in the US, the Toyota Avensis is not sold in US either. VW does offer the same Passat in Europe and the US and that's one likely reason for its poor performance as expectations and the competition are so different compared to the EU. So even if Ford invested and retooled a plant to produce the Mondeo in the US it would still likely find that it is too small and too expensive to be a real volume seller. It is probably true that Toyota and Honda do a better job of not duplicating effort when developing and localizing cars than Ford but, Ford has apparently been famously bad at doing things like sharing components across its range even just within the US market. VAG has cash to invest, if they quit screwing around, build a US plant or 3 and relaunch with a new range they should be able to put their image problem in the US behind them, they'll still have their awful dealer network though.

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