New VW Golf Cheaper, Start-Stoppier
There's an interesting juxtaposition in today's news about the forthcoming VW Golf. Motor Authority reports that Volkswagens sixth-generation Golf will offer standard stop-start technology in its efficiency-oriented Bluemotion versions. VW director of powertrain research Wolfgang Steiger reveals that the the Bluemotion is shooting for a 30 percent gain in efficiency, begging the question of whether Bluemotion trim will bring a hybrid drivetrain to the table. VW has reportedly ditched diesel-hybrid plans for a cheaper gas-electric unit. But Steiger only mentions a new range of 1.0 and 1.2-liter compact gas engines, with a possible forced-induction three-cylinder in the works. Either way, it's all a bit academic. Future US-market Rabbits will be developed separately, on cheaper platforms. Which is funny, because Auto Motor und Sport reports that the new "too-pricy-for-the-states" Golf costs nearly $2k less to produce than the outgoing model. Even with rising steel prices and a strong Euro, VW has managed to realize savings by reducing material costs, increasing volume and producing on a four-day work week. So, despite reducing the cost of building the new Golf, VW will be challenging Toyota in the US market with an even cheaper replacement for the Rabbit? With the diesel Jetta already behind the Prius curve, VW should bite the bullet and bring the Euro-Golf stateside, and proliferate stop-start across its US model line. Or give up its goal of taking on Toyota NA for volume sales.
Landcrusher on Jun 10, 2008
VW has done well selling two kinds of cars in the US. The cheap and simple (old beetle), and the value conscious german import car (their existing line up in good years, and the diesels). Most people cannot fix their cars these days because they are no longer simple. So reliability means more. Reliability is also important to the value equation. I would say that they would do better to upgrade the Golf and Jetta back to the point that people who want a european driving experience at a lower cost will buy them again. Bring over a lower end hatch stripper to go after the value buyers if you think it will make you money). The other formula might be to keep the Golf and Jetta cheap, but bring over the euro versions in another form (GTI/GLI, another name altogether, etc.) They will never get back to selling Passats without fixing the reliability thing. Never. Edit: And lastly, mxfive4 nailed it pretty well on his post.
NetGenHoon on Jun 10, 2008
Put me in the camp with ingvar and blankfocus, what company sells its best products in the US market? Reference C2 Euro Focus vs ADM warmover. Also, quality reliability. Americans (in general) don't want any new technology. This extends beyond automobiles into cell phone, electronics, drugs, anything really. American market == cheap and safe sell. The mass market is not willing to pay more and the litigious culture makes it suicide to take chances here.
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