Website Discloses True Lifetime Cost Of A Volkswagen - When It Works

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
website discloses true lifetime cost of a volkswagen when it works

When I was a young whippersnapper and did advertising for Volkswagen, we had a rule of thumb: “Over the lifetime of the car, you’ll spend the purchase price again.” In gas, oil, taxes, insurance, repairs, parts, you name it. We kept that rule to ourselves. We didn‘t want to shock the prospective buyer. Now, Volkswagen changed their mind. They are going for full disclosure.

Volkswagen’s UK agency DDB put together a website that “reveals the true cost of a Volkswagen,” says Campaign, the must-read for the propaganda professional. The site is part of the “Unbelievable Value” campaign Volkswagen runs in the UK. The Telegraph had choice words for that campaign: “In typically understated fashion, Volkswagen has just revealed its latest ‘Unbelievable Value’ slogan which must have taken an in-house VW wordschmidt all of five minutes to dream up and implement.” It wasn’t me. Two Ts in the end.

The website is one of those annoying Adobe Flash applications that take a lifetime to load. Once up, it presents you with a miniature modern village, populated with animated inhabitants, SimCity style. You can simulate lifestyle choices, and when it comes to cars, Volkswagen will tell you that the better choice is a you-know-what. The site itself is pretty boring, so if you have problems falling asleep, go for it. If you want to stay awake, the site will make you depressed with ever increasing numbers.

The site has a big enemy: Zonealarm, one of the most used personal firewalls. Wherever you go on the site, Zonealarm warns you not to entrust the site with any personal information. Of course, the first thing the site does is ask you for personal information. To sign up, it wants your name and email address. If you tell Zonealarm to shut up, and you complete the sign-up process, you will get an ominous “You’ll hear from us soon.”

Signed-up, I headed right over to the car part. Then the website crashed.

Never before has the customer experience of a Volkswagen owner been better simulated than on this site.

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4 of 14 comments
  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Sep 09, 2010

    That website sounds like my last experience in a VW service department. Except my ex was the "blockhead" with the sad face for getting a Jetta serviced at the dealer in the first place.

    • See 1 previous
    • Silvy_nonsense Silvy_nonsense on Sep 09, 2010

      I think Sajeev and other commenters have hit upon VW's biggest problem in the U.S. - its dealer network. While I'm sure that some of the U.S. VW dealers offer great service (I personally know of one in my area) most are just horrible. Terrible customer relations coupled with poor technical skills seems to be the norm for VW dealer service. I'm glad to see that VW quality and reliability has improved in the last several years, but I have not noticed any improvement in the dealer network. Sure, they've built many fancy new showrooms, but that cosmetic improvement was just lipstick on a pig. VW will never hit its aggressive sales goals as long as it keeps allowing dealers to neglect customers, treat them like hell and fail to fix things properly the first time, if at all.

  • Gimmeamanual Gimmeamanual on Sep 10, 2010

    I'm too lazy to Google the name, but there's a VW dealership in Plymouth, MI that's good, or at least they were with me. Also in Holland, MI is a nice one. I bought my GTI from the one in Plymouth and my test drive consisted of the sales guy, who was a little greasy/creepy and kept trying to "relate" to me at 26yrs old, tossing me the keys and telling me where the cops hang out to make sure I got as familiar as I wanted with the car without fear of being pulled over. He was nice enough, knew everything about the car and had an R32 that he let me take for a spin. So kudos to you, unattractive small man with bad hair and a nice car.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂