By on April 24, 2008

You can argue who makes the best car in any given segment or genre ‘til you’re blue in the face. As for who has the best auto ads, there isn’t much debate: Volkswagen. Once again, the Boys from Wolfsburg have commissioned another Clio candidate. This time ‘round, it’s a talking (if ironically immobile) Bug named Max, starring as a talk show host. [Max ad not shown here; above is a vintage VW ad] The new ad, devised by Miami’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky agency, sums-up the automaker’s gestalt even better than “de-pimp my ride” and “Fast"– and not in a good way.

The first thing that stands out about the new ad: the fact that the host is a Beetle. Roots, rock, reggae be damned. At the risk of stating the obvious, the Beetle isn’t even made anymore. Not here. Not Mexico. Nowhere. CP+G know what they’re doing though; in her more lucid moments, even Lindsay Lohan recognizes that old thing. The Bug’s iconic shape is an instant attention-getter.

Yes, but, to what end? Why would VW want to remind its U.S. customers of a car whose looks, personality and market positioning better suit American car buyers than anything VW offers them today? Lest we forget, there’s a NEW Beetle out there, somewhere. What’s old is new and what’s new doesn’t count? Strange logic.

Anyway, if you think about it, despite the backup band, Max really isn’t really a talk show host. On the subconscious level, Max is a therapist. You know, one-on-one chat. German accent. Piercing questions. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar– and sometimes it isn’t.

The funny thing is, if anyone should be “on the couch,” it’s the Beetle. Here ist ein volks wagen designed by a budding sports car maker (who ended-up building tanks and ass-engined hedge explorers) at the request of a failed artist who never learned to drive or met a country he didn’t want to invade.

Contemplating VW’s gleaming representation of past glory, the new ad raises enough uncomfortable questions to keep Dr. Phil busy for, oh, two episodes or so. For starters, how does Max feel about the fact that his children and grandchildren have lost their way? With some notable exceptions (e.g. the European Golf), grandpa’s progeny have misplaced and/or abandoned their ancestor’s world-beating strengths (not to say polluted their genetic advantage): reliability and frugality.

Nowhere is this more true than in the U.S. For much of the 1960s, the VW Beetle WAS the American import market. None of the Bug variants were fast. Few were pretty. Their handling would have been a scandal (if such things had been scandalous) and they had ergonomic “issues.” (One ad featured a snowplow driver driving his beetle to work; off-camera, he’d lit himself on fire to keep warm.) But Beetles were cheap to buy and even cheaper to keep running. 

And then Toyota and Datsun proved they could build appliances every bit as well using engineering that wasn’t 25 years old. Cute couldn’t keep the Beetle afloat forever (so to speak). The Bug’s children were in and out of rehab for years, guzzling gas, lost, never really finding a purpose in life. 

Dr. Phil would also ask Max how he feels about his parent’s move stateside. While Max might give Mama props for being the first U.S. transplant, the [not a real] Doctor would confront him with the fact that the relocation was an unmitigated disaster. In fact, a discussion of the quality of the resulting products might be better suited for the Jerry Springer show; at the risk of offending the good people of Pennsylvania, we’re talking total trailer trash.

Rabbit production at the Westmoreland factory was so god damn awful– and expensive– that the resulting products single-handedly destroyed VW’s U.S. reputation. Mama? She eventually fled for Brazil. So, Max, how does THAT make you feel?

Given the Bug’s world domination, getting Max out of denial is hardly a foregone conclusion. But we could arm Phil with some stats. VW sells 200k cars per year stateside. They’re now aiming to sell 1m. How? By reintroducing the Phaeton? Isn’t it time Max strolled into the boardroom, stare his inheritors straight in the eye and, Mommie Dearest-style, said “Don’t fuck with me fellas”?

Clearly, VW’s not-so-mad Max ad campaign is a huge mistake. It reminds people of what VW should be, but isn't. Other than making a car that doesn’t break and providing dealerships that don’t piss on customers from a great height, the ad highlights the fact that VW still doesn’t know where/what they want to be in the US market.

Until Volkswagen returns to the characteristics that made it great in the first place, until they get reality squared away with their image, they will continue to fail in America. It’s one thing to celebrate the past. It’s another to do so while ignoring its lessons. 

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40 Comments on “VW’s “Max” Ads Miss the Mark...”


  • avatar

    They are great commercials but this editorial has it right, it doesn’t matter how good the commercials are if the cars don’t deliver.

  • avatar
    AKM

    Clearly, VW’s not-so-mad Max ad campaign is a huge mistake. It reminds people of what VW should be, rather than what it is.

    But isn’t that the point of advertising? It may bring to light what VW (and therefore its drivers) would be.

    Until Volkswagen returns to the characteristics that made it great in the first place, until they get reality squared away with their image, they will continue to fail in America. It’s one thing to celebrate the past. It’s another to do so while ignoring its lessons.

    VW of America has the following huge problem: VW of Europe is now a premium brand, below the Holy trinity (Audi, MB, BMW), but above Renault, Peugeot, Fiat, Opel, Ford…
    The golf sells at a premium, and so does the passat. Although larger cars have mostly failed, VW clings to that image, and the public generally agrees.

    Not so in the US where, as your edito points out, VW is still mostly seen as cheap and cheerful. So selling premium cars to a cheap and cheerful audience is not easy.
    And when the board goes all Korean and announces objectives about as realistic as Rumsfeld’s assessment of Iraq, well, the brand’s in trouble for sure.

    I actually admire VW of America’s managers, who are doing a decent job while stuck between a rock and a hard place.
    Now if only VW’s styling was hip again, instead of looking like plump versions of japanese cars, that’d help.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    The ads are strange, but they do feature Heidi Klum.

    Much better than the one with the dude with the chainsaw. What’s that about?

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Would any of those twenty-somethings in VW’s other ads even recognize a VW Bug?

  • avatar
    DETmktingprof

    Interesting piece. You may not be alone in this assessment:

    http://www.autoextremist.com/current/2008/4/22/rants-442.html

    hmmmm

  • avatar

    DETmktingprof :

    Interesting piece. You may not be alone in this assessment

    hmmmm

    Your point being? Mr. Dederer and Mr. Lorenzo reached the same conclusions. Great minds think alike. Period.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Good editorial. VW has definitely lost its way, and it’s been that way for years. Sure there have been some good years, especially in the late 90s/early 2000s. VW really needs to get back to its roots in the US in particular.

    Where is the entry level car to compete with the Fit/Yaris/Versa? Where is the compact pickup? There are a lot of people that would love to be able to get a modern Rabbit Pickup (aka Caddy). They’re finally going to have a mini-van that’s more in line with what North Americans want, but they’re about 10 years late on that, and it’s a friggin’ Chrysler. They were also late on the SUV front, and when they did bring the Touareg over, it was priced too high. The Tiguan might do OK, we’ll have to wait and see.

    I hate the look of the current Jetta. It looks like an inflated Corolla, and people that buy German cars typically don’t want a bunch of chrome. That crap belongs on a Buick. I love the look of the new City Jetta and City Golf that only the Canadian market gets. I have no idea why VW isn’t selling these cars in the US to at least have some sort affordable entry level model.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    The ads are strange, but they do feature Heidi Klum.

    Much better than the one with the dude with the chainsaw. What’s that about?

    Whaa? I like that ad.

    “It’s hot in here.”

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    The current Rabbit ain’t bad folks. Entry level car comes with all the basic amenities that we feel are important these days and starts at about $14K. I priced one just like I want it yesterday online and it was $18K. My CR-V was $20K in ’99!

    The Rabbit I priced had the upmarket wheels, sunroof, 5-speed, four doors, not the basic color, good stereo, power accesories, etc. And 150HP. The engine was the only thing that I wasn’t crazy about. VW is responding to compliants that it’s 115HP 2.0L engine was too slow. I have that engine in my current ’97 VW Cabrio and it does fine. It has alot more torque than my CR-V with has more ponies but less torque and 2K to 3K RPMs.

    I don’t think that VW is missing the mark at all. I think they have a lack of promotion – at least around here. People notice the VW Beetle but how many of us want a Beetle. Aside from that product what else do they have? For alot of people I know that draws a big blank stare. For one thing the nearest dealers are over 100 miles away. Too many folks I know are dependent on dealers for all their needs. Strike one for VW here.

    My retired father tried toc onfirm with me that the average VW was REALLY expensive. Like $28K for an average VW. Needless to say he was shocked when I told him that the base Rabbit was $14K and still not a stripper car – it still comes with the same equipment as the average Civic.

    VW appeals to a certain part of America and that’s where VW advertises. Everybody else around here get’s their VW news from a rare friend that has a VW or knows somebody who knows somebody owns a VW. We’re still coming off the SUV bandwagon. Once that problem is put to rest with high fuel prices I think the CAR companies will again have a better toe hold in America.

    Like I said I like the Rabbit but I don’t need a 150HP 5 cylinder. I would be happier with a four cylinder turbo or even just a plain four cylinder. Whatever combination gets me better than 29 mpg on the highway. My goal is 35 mpg for our family average. Right now we’ve got a 25 mpg CR-V and a 34 mpg Cabrio.

    Maybe I need a Polo/Fox more. Smaller car, better mileage.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    It’s kind of hard to take an advert like that seriously when you see the shoddy reliability of German cars in general (let alone VW).

    As for a good advert (and I may be repeating myself here) this link is, for me, the GREATEST advert Toyota ever made with the best tagline they ever had. The advert showed how classy the vehicle was, the music was right, it was simple, but most of all it highlighted the CAR and not anything else. It didn’t need a celebrity or any other gimmick.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlchMEQ9nB4

    As for VW, if they can get their reliability back up to snuff, then maybe they can go back to their “If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen” adverts. You wanna talk about a company that’s lost focus, VW is a prime candidate. It’s cars used to be cheap, reliable, of decent quality and accessible. Now they’re 20% more expensive than a Japanese car, the reliability is poor and their cars are a little mis-aligned (i.e Golf and Golf Plus, why?). The one thing they’ve improved is the quality of their interiors. They are good. It does make me wonder how they lost focus when the clue was in the name of their company….

  • avatar
    AKM

    Like I said I like the Rabbit but I don’t need a 150HP 5 cylinder. I would be happier with a four cylinder turbo or even just a plain four cylinder. Whatever combination gets me better than 29 mpg on the highway.

    That would be a GTI! :-D

    It does make me wonder how they lost focus when the clue was in the name of their company….
    two words: Ferdinand Piech.
    The previous gen Golf and Passat were great cars that sold at a premium because of high perceived quality, good looks, good dynamics, and great interiors. VW’s execs then thought that based on that, they could take on the world! And instead of starting by a car one class above the Passat 9i.e. 5-series equivalent), they went streight for the top with the Touareg and the Phaeton, with the results we know. Good vehicles, but poor marketing policy.

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    I’m really not a fan of the “Max” spots and I’ve seen three different ones now. They may create a little bit of buzz but like some other folks I think more emphasis on the product would be nice. Personally I prefer clever ads that don’t bore me or make me want to change the channel, but are they selling me anything? Probably not. Oh, and I own a 1970 Beetle and they definitely do not talk but they are terrific.

  • avatar
    Ryan Knuckles

    My first thought when I saw the Max ad, and every time since, was the episode of Family Guy where Hitler has his own talk show – ala Rosie O’Donnell. The voice is remarkably similar.

  • avatar

    The Toyota guys must have watched the commercial you’re using as illustration. “Hey, worked for VW, will probably work for us, what do you think?”

  • avatar
    Pch101

    It’s pretty clear that the marketing people and the product planners don’t talk to each other.

    There’s no coherent message, and there is no plan. They don’t really understand the US market at all. I doubt that they ever will.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    Stein X Leikanger

    (Best Robert DeNiro Impression) You talking to me….?

    I thought the Toyota advert summed up the car nicely. VW adverts are still playing on the “reliability” angle despite evidence suggesting that maybe their reliability isn’t as good as they think….

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    Let’s talk about reliability. I have owned four VWs and worked on a good many more. More of my cars’ failures were leaky gaskets and broken plastic bits. Nothing expensive.

    Are we counting interior trim on one brand vs transmissions on another brand as 1 black mark each?

    Just curious…

    Most of the domestics I know have had big things fail like engines, transmissions, axles, a/c compressors, etc.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Those unpimp my ride ads were the BEST! I mean, it was hilarious and with the Prison Break star, the parody of the popular (and stupid) TV show, it was totally relevant to young people.

    These new ads, an old car interviewing old ass people, is completely alienating. VW is just trying to hard to be hip.

  • avatar
    James2

    VW should do like Mercury: hire a hot babe to push the product. You (still) won’t buy the car but you will watch the ads. :-)

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    Busbodger-What, no electical problems?

    In fact, to be stereotypical about it, who do you trust more with computers and fancy electronics-the Japanese or the Germans? The more that cars become less an engineering feat of engines and transmissions and more a computer on wheels, the more the Germans will fall behind, reliability-wise, to the Japanese.

    That’s the answer. Maybe one could argue that VW is more reliabile than the domestics (although the trend for VW is down and the trend for the domestics is definitely up), but the Japanese beats both so who cares.

  • avatar
    SpacemanSpiff

    Busbodger:
    Our 2001 Golf TDI’s automagic transmission destroyed itself at about 40K miles on I-40 while my wife was driving home from work. We had noticed some occasional weird behavior from that transmission almost from the start, it would refuse to shift into gear sometimes from Park. Thank goodness that car had the 100K drivetrain warranty.
    We’d noticed no weird behavior from the 2nd transmission before the car was rear-ended and totalled last year at around 85k miles. The car did experience all the normal VW MAF and related problems that triggered the Check Engine Light, usually about once or twice a year…

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    Geotpf :
    What, no electical problems?
    Who do you trust more with computers and fancy electronics-the Japanese or the Germans?

    Yes electricals are a weak point for them. So far though my car’s problems have been simple. So simple I wonder why the even come up consistently enough that I can find other people with the same problems on the web.

    My OEM stereo finally quit. The volume knob potentiometer has worn out after 10 years. The display is also going bad or I’d consider fixing the OEM radio. Replaced it with an “obsolete” Balupunkt Bahamas stereo. Because of the brand it plugged right into my existing harness.

    My cruise control has died too. Actually that was going out the day I bought the car (at 102K miles). It would work and then quit. Worked just fine for 100K miles except somebody picked a relay that wasn’t up to the job. If that relay had been a generic on the fuseblock relay then all would have been easy. Unfortunately for the owner it is instead part of a module and soldered to a circuit board hidden in a little aluminum can. The module itself takes about 30 mins to replace. The module costs $240 though at the dealer. I left mine broken for the past 50K miles. If I could have purchased the right relay the fix would have been $10 and my time. Unfortunately even scouring the Digi-Key catalog I could not settle on the right relay. Instead I’ll be sending my module to a repair service called AutoECU and getting it fixed for a flat $75.

    Okay next comes the ignition switch. The car is magnitudes more complicated than the early 70s Beetles but the 1997 ignition switch is almost the same design as the 1972 switch I replaced once a long time ago. Dumb. It needs to be uprated to something more substantial or the materials need to be uprated. The soft nylon eventually wears so that the aluminum tab that connects it to the ignition lock quits rotating it far enough. In my case though heat from the current passing through it distorted the switch until it was junk. $14 from NAPA. Takes hours of frustration the first time you take it apart and about 15 mins any future times. The problem is that the factory manual procedure requires VW only tools that I couldn’t get locally.

    Then, I found a grassroots procedure on VWVortex that takes no time at all. Instead of pulling a pressed on bearing race at the top of the steering column per VW, just lossen the u-joint between the pedals per VWVortex and remove the entire shaft. If I can get 100K between replacements I’ll be satisfied. Honestly EVERY VW I have owned and a few more that I work on for friends have this same problem. MY CR-V also had a recall for it’s ignition switch at 40K miles. At 158K miles it is still working fine. I won’t dare left the dealer screw up my vehicle.

    Two remaining problems. The first is a dirty throttle body with auotmatic idle speed control. Took me alot of head scratching to figure that out. Only occasionally comes up when idling on a very hot day, never with the a/c on the car almost stalls. Increase the idle speed by 300 rpm with your foot for 5 seconds and the problem goes away. Need to diassemble it and clean it.

    Last problem is an airbag light that is on constantly now. Maybe it wants to be inspected and reset by the dealer or maybe there is a real problem. I don’t know. Don’t really care much either b/c airbags should be optional on a car to me anyhow. I’ll eventually get around to checking into it. Prob sooner than later.

    Like a previous poster mentioned buy a Ross-tech OBDII scanner and you’ll pay for it in about one or two trips to the dealer. The local Chevy dealer charged my grandfather $65 to tell him what I had already figured out. Bad EGR valve on his Lumina but I did not have a scanner to prove it.

    There are other gadgets available to scan codes but few really are as detailed as the Ross-tech. I have seen a couple others. I also recommend looking into Freediag

    http://freediag.sourceforge.net/

    Yeah, that’s right a free OBD scanner. Some assembly required.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Is that really a new ad? Or is it from the ’60s ?

    It sure has the look and feel of their ’60s ads.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    SpacemanSpiff :
    Our 2001 Golf TDI’s automagic transmission destroyed itself at about 40K miles on I-40 while my wife was driving home from work.

    Yeah that would piss me off. My Cabrio may be on it’s second tranny. Not sure. If it is then the 5 speed was done at some point before my ownership. Judging on a number of other maintenance items I think the two POs weren’t kind to the car.

    There just isn’t much excuse for something major like a transmission or engine to fail in 2008. We’ve had a rear axle fail in a Dakota, a 5 speed in a Chevy, a rear axle in a Camaro, and a tranny in a Chrysler minivan, CVT tranny on it’s last legs in a Saturn Vue at 80K miles. These are in the immediate extended family. Mostly domestic cars in the extended family. Many more vehicles domestic and import doing just fine.

    There is a one year old Jetta in the family now, purchased new. Am anxiously tracking how it lasts under the guidance and care of my sister-in-law who is firmly in the turn the key and just go camp.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    When the current products aren’t that good, you look back to the iconic past and advertise that.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    uhhmn, so the point of the ad was that the last reliable product VW made was a ’64 Beetle? Actually, by modern standards, they weren’t that reliable and very short lived too. I do miss my bugs though. One of the endearing things about my 88 BMW is that it uses the same GBC type ceramic fuses the Beetles did. With the same gremlins too, I might add.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Count me as odd, but I think the new ads work in getting people to think about VW again. They have a big consideration problem in the US and they need to stand out in the crowd.

    This isn’t the kind of campaign which by itself moves the metal. It is a corporate image campaign which then needs to be supported by more make-you-buy advertising.

    It also signals a shift away from trying to market to the young, cool hipsters, which demographic often doesn’t have the money for new cars anyway.

    I found a cute “making of Max” short on YouTube:

  • avatar
    Eric_Stepans

    Bring back the “Unpimp” ads!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv157ZIInUk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCIF6JF1O5U

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I0WfnhVs2s

    I just can’t get enough lampooning of the whole “Import Tuner” and “Urban Street Cred” phenomena…:-D…

  • avatar

    I do like the Max ads, even though I know where Mr. Dederer is coming from. More to the point, Dr. Phil should interview damn near every historically significant car and ask them how they feel about today’s mess.

    1. Model T: your successor is made in Mexico on a Japanese platform, so how does that make you feel?

    2. ’86 Taurus: Imagine yourself thirty years from now. You’re now boring, based on a Volvo and nobody loves you. Need a hug?

    3. ’55 Chevy: Your bowtie is rebadging Daewoos around the world…your thoughts?

    4. ’64 Impala: These past forty years have not been good to you. Sorry to bring you the news, but nobody else will. And its time for you to stand up and do something about it!

    5. Chrysler 300: now you are part German and fading fast. And the only thing more beancounted than your interior is Cerberus’ management of your company. Thoughts?

    6. Accord: You used to be small and super efficient, now you can fit in the trunk of your successor. Cool, huh?

    7. Camry: It was always an uphill battle for you, but now you rule the world. This just proves that if you stick to your guns you will succeed. Good for you! (applause)

    8. Buick Electra: Hey, I mean you’re totally popular in China. Sometimes its okay to feel like David Hasselhoff. You can overcome this!

  • avatar
    seldomawake

    Mr. Metha, thanks to you I now have Quizno’s Sammies stuck up my nose. Well done. Well said.

    …ow.

  • avatar
    Mullholland

    Look at us, we’re talking about VW! That’s kind of it though. Makes for a rather short, expensive, ultimately pointless conversation. These ads have great potential. Almost as engaging as the Dr. Z ads. Nein!

  • avatar

    seldomawake : Mr. Metha, thanks to you I now have Quizno’s Sammies stuck up my nose. Well done. Well said.

    Thank you, I’m here all week…try the Chicken Carbonara on wheat.

  • avatar
    Tredshift

    I kind of liked the ad. The car brought back some memories.

    My first car was a ’64 Beetle, my Mom bought it new (I think she paid around $1,700.) and I got it in ’67. When it worked, it was fun to drive as long as you didn’t have to go up any sort of incline (and I mean any sort!!! It had only 40 hp). The heater and defroster NEVER worked, and of course there was no A/C. It had a push button AM radio which my friend promptly broke.

    It did have a gas guage. That was a big deal for the Beetle, because they had only started putting gas guages in these cars 2 years before. Imagine, before that you would have to remember to check the gas in the tank using a dip stick every time you drove. It was sort of like a horse and buggy, without the horse.

    I remember the clutch going south on that car at least twice while I had it. The good thing was that the car was so light that you could push start it by yourself, just get it rolling, jump in and start it in 2nd gear. Reverse also went out on me. The starter also died several times.

    Once I had 12 people in the car at the same time (we were all a lot thinner then), it was a sort of game where you would see who could stuff the most people into the car.

    My sister-in law has a 2007 Jetta. She likes it.
    A co-worker has a 2007 New Beetle. She “won” the car in a local radio contest. Actually, what she got was a 2 year lease (10,000 miles per year) paid for by the radio station (and by the way, they sent her an IRS 1099 stating she had a $12,000 income because of the lease). The VW dealer charged her $98.00 to do an oil change at 3,000 miles and $250.00 for a 7,500 mile service which consisted of an oil change, tire rotation and “visual inspection”. Nice of them.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “$98.00 to do an oil change”

    Hopefully that was with synthetic oil, in which case the price is about normal for a dealer synthetic change. I believe VW specifies a 10k mile interval on synthetics.

    I never take any of our vehicles to a dealer for routine services. Most of them for most brands rip you off. Many times they add unneeded or even not recommended services like dubious fuel additives, etc.

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    You’d think after about 10 years of marketing to flaky Ikea-lifestyle types, VW would maybe try something new. But then again, people that would buy particle board furniture are probably also the same people oblivious to mechanical reliability in their cars. It must be about first impression and not well-thought out purchases. [See Apple].

    Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda have eschewed Gedde Watanabe for similar talk show host entertainment; wonder how those cars are going to sell and hold up.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

    Very late to the thread, if anyone reads this..

    When stated before the VW has tried and succeded at placing themselves somewhere above Renault, Peugeot, Fiat et al ahahahahahahahahahahahahha

    How stupid. People may be slow, but they’re not that stupid. VW’s market share in Europe has taken a hit, and I predict it will continue fallling. C’mon, A Rabbit is worth more than a Focus (European spec)???? By what measure??

    VW is deluded. Hope they die and go away.

    FWIW. In Brazil, they are behind Fiat and, incredibly, GM, after dominating the market for 30+ yrs. They still have the best selling car, the Gol. But that’s just because Fiat can’t produce the Gol’s main competitor fast enough, due to the fact that the market here is red hot and Fiat is producing 24/7 and don’t have any more capacity.

    But they must be hurting. Even their top seller is now being sold at a discount (yes, below the Fiat’s price!!!And the Fiat is sold at full price, and historically amazing a full price which is higher than the VW’s. Think Honda Civic vs. competition in NA and the situation is the same). And though almost every other car maker is running at full spedd, they still have excess capacity!

    Way to go VW.

    Full disclosure: I have a Palio, the Gol’s competitor and have owned another 5 Fiat cars over the yrs. Though I was brought up on VWs. Due to their lack of any perceived quality over the competition NO ONE in my family has a VW and NO ONE has had any for, oh, over 5 yrs. My dad was the last one who did, a top of the line Rabbit. Sold it after a long trip when his back was hurting so bad due to the misaligned pedals, wheels, seats.

    The current tally in my immediate family is Fiat 3 (and my Mom’s getting another one soon), Peugeot 1, Renault 1, Ford 1, Nissan 1 (which will also be probably substituted by a Fiat, brother’s ride). And oh yes, my dad has a VW company car (he had no choice, it came with the job). Which he lends to other people in the office as much as possible and gets a Fiat rental!!!

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Too bad they don’t inspect them after a few thousand miles. How about the light bulbs? Every VW I see has a taillight or headlight out.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Busbodger said:
    I told him that the base Rabbit was $14K and still not a stripper car – it still comes with the same equipment as the average Civic.

    Yeah, but in case you don’t know, even the Jetta is inferior to the Civic.

    Fit > Rabbit
    Civic > Jetta

  • avatar
    wsn

    FromBrazil said:
    FWIW. In Brazil, they are behind Fiat and, incredibly, GM, after dominating the market for 30+ yrs. They still have the best selling car, the Gol. But that’s just because Fiat can’t produce the Gol’s main competitor fast enough, due to the fact that the market here is red hot and Fiat is producing 24/7 and don’t have any more capacity.

    That’s exactly what happened in China.

    VW was the first foreign auto make in China and at one point, it dominated > 50% of all Chinese market share. It has since been surpassed by GM and some other auto makers.

    You cannot fool everyone forever. Eventually, the VW craps will stop moving from their dealership lots, in US, in Brazil and in China.

  • avatar

    Why are they pushing diesels when the damn things won’t be on sale until this fall?

    http://www.vw.com/vwhype/heritage/en/us/#/Tomorrow

    Oh, and don’t buy into the “VW diesels last forever” hype. They don’t all last forever, as evidenced by my experience.

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