By on November 12, 2010

Say what you want against Volkswagen, but they are moving the metal. In the first 10 months of 2010, Volkswagen delivered just shy of 6m cars to customers. 5.98m to be exact. In the same period of 2009, they had sold 5.32m, so that’s a plus of 12.4 percent. According to a message from Volkswagen HQ, the world market only rose 4.5 percent in October, the Volkswagen Group increased sales by 9.8 percent in the same month. That’s market share, baby!

“We are continuing to gain global market share. We expect this trend to continue over the coming months as we systematically progress with our model initiative,” Group Board Member for Sales Christian Klingler gloated today from Wolfsburg. “We are on track to achieve a pleasing increase in worldwide deliveries for the full year.”

I know what you think: Sure, they are selling cars to the Chinese, but what about America? What about America?

Deliveries during the first ten months grew 20.7 percent to 295,900 units in the USA.

Nice percentage gain, but the real action is of course in China. Deliveries during the first ten months grew 38.4 percent to a whopping 1.65m vehicles in China. Deliveries in the Asia/Pacific region increased 39.1 percent to 1.83m units.

Europe? Well, Europe. Up 0.2 percent in the first 10 months while the overall market contracted by 3.1 percent. Russia is on the mend again: 105,000 units delivered, up 31.8percent in the first ten months.

Back home? Don’t ask. The German automobile market contracted by 26.8 percent during the first ten months. The Volkswagen Group held its own and did shed only 19.7 percent in Deutschland.

Last year, the whole Volkswagen Group, including Scania, moved a bit over 6m cars for the whole year. They won’t outclass Toyota this year, they might even come in third again behind creative bookkeeper GM, but something in the neighborhood of 7m cars for the year is definitely in the cards.

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17 Comments on “Volkswagen Moves The Metal...”

  • avatar

    My daughter brought home her 09 Tiguan and I hand washed and polished with a new All-In-One polish KLASSE.
    Afterwards I drove it awhile and I gotta tell ya, this little CUV is fun.
    Handles nice and tight.
    Solid engine sound when taking off.
    A few too noises around the glass top, but not bad.
    Fun little thing.
    I guess the only cgood ompliment I can give a car is…I would buy another.

    • 0 avatar

      Klasse isn’t really new (~20 years?), but it’s all I’ve used for almost a decade. Fantastic stuff. Easily a once-a-year wax if your car is garaged.
      VW builds some really good cars, if only they’re truly ready for American Prime Time…in other words, affordable to run for 6-8 years, 10k-15k miles/year, with relatively minimal maintenance and semi-affordable parts for the average Joe. People tend to be really shortsighted when buying cars, like paying no attention to how much a set of 20″ tires might cost on their new truck, or playing dumb when finding out that synthetic oil changes can run 4x as much as dino when professionally serviced.
      I always tell people that our VWs are as cheap to maintain as Hondas* (*using DIY on the VW and dealer maintenance on the Honda!)

    • 0 avatar


      I meant KLASSE being new to me. I have always used another type

      Found it extremely easy and hopefully it last  half a year. I tend to do all my cars 2X a year.

      As far as do it yourself…I LOVE changing my own oil. I wish her Tiguan was out of warranty as every 10 thousand between changes seems awfully long.
      I use Pennzoil Premium Full synthetic. But VW recommends a weird 10W40 ,or something.
      I can’t seem to even find this.

  • avatar

    As much as I dislike the new Jetta, I’ve heard that VW isn’t having problems selling them. I imagine it will be a different story in 2-5 years when the happy new Jetta owners of 2010-11 are looking for a replacement that’s anything but a VW. Although maybe I’m wrong and they’ve drastically improved reliability of the new Jetta.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve seen a handful of New Jedi on the streets.  It is neither attractive, nor ugly; nor is it weird in the Japanese way.  Just a wall-flower, and completely forgettable.

  • avatar

    I wonder…who are buying all these VW’s? Most of what I read on TTAC is how problematic they are. If they are that bad, they wouldn’t sell. Period. So, what gives? Are they good cars or not? All I hear is hater stuff, which I simply dismiss. I want an EOS! I want THE TRUTH on VW. Anyone?

    • 0 avatar

      I can offer my experience owning three of them – two that belonged to the now-ex.  The engines are pretty solid, except for the 1.8T in the Passat – hers never had a coil pack problem, thankfully.  My 13+ year old VR6 5-speed B4 Passat has nearly 300k miles on it with only routine maintenance and repairs (including one water pump and a belt tensioner), and I don’t know why the 2.5L wouldn’t be similar.  I’m less inclined to think that the turbocharged engines will last that long, from any manufacturer.

      Where VWs are “quirky” is in things like door handles (I hope they summarily executed the engineering staff that approved that WPOS for production on my car), window regulators, sunroof frames, and electrical switches.  I think they have the window regulator problems under control these days – I sure hope so, as I’ve given up on fixing mine again (3 strikes and you’re out!) But bear in mind that my experience is mostly with a car primarily engineered in the late 80’s and early 90’s for the B3 Passat.

      Some people will bitch mightily about VW dealers, but in my experience good and crappy dealers exist in all brands.  I’d say the dealer I have worked with on service issues has been so-so.  A good independent shop can be your friend.

      What I enjoy about VWs is the way they drive and their nicer interiors for a decent price.  It’s enough better to me that I’m willing to put up with some “quirks”.  I’ll consider other brands when I can finally retire my car, but the VW Golf or GTI will definitely be on my list.  The de-contented Jetta, not so much.

    • 0 avatar

      I have an 08 Jetta (MKV) with 35K on it and, FWIW, would definitely consider the new Jetta when it comes time to replace it. The only issue I have had was a small leak from a radiator hose that was fixed within the first week of ownership.  The hose had a small cut on it that the dealer believes happened at the factory.

      Due to moving across country, I have used three dealerships.  They have ranged from “acceptable” to “truly outstanding”.  Prices have been reasonable too.  Synthetic L-O-Fs run about $65 although my first “major” service at 40K will be ~$500. My experience is that VWs require a little more care when it comes to maintenance (i.e. using Euro-spec full-synthetic motor oil, using the VW-additives in the “sealed” auto transmission at major services, etc.) and can’t be treated like a Honda/Toyota appliance. The VW has been a blast to drive, even with the 2.5, so I don’t have a problem spending a little extra on maintenance.

      All-in-all, I have been satisfied with the product and dealers and recommend them to people who don’t want an “appliance” to drive around.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      I’ve had VWs in the family since I learned to drive on Beetles and Type 3s in the 1970s.  I’d estimate we’ve put a little over a million kilometeres on VWs in those 4 decades.  Since the 80s I’ve owned a MKII GTI, MKIII Golf, B3 Passat, and a B5 Passat wagon soon to be replaced by a GTI.
      Only one of those vehicles in the last three decades was ever on a tow truck.  I’ll happily admit that Honda and Toyota no doubt have somewhat lower maintenance costs than VWs, but this blathering on at TTAC about VW reliability is grotesquely exaggerated.  Every topic that mentions VW or any other German brand generates a Pavlov-like response about them supposedly falling apart.  I’ve never parted with a VW that had less than 250,000 KM on it.
      My current Passat wagon has the supposedly troublesome 1.8T engine.  At 12 years old and 310,000KM it runs perfectly and doesn’t burn a drop of oil, but then I follow the maintenance schedule.  It’s being replaced not because there’s anything wrong with it, but because my wife is bored with it, doesn’t need as much space anymore and simply wants a GTI, so we’re getting one.

    • 0 avatar

      Zack: most of what you read here is of the following variety:  I owned a used VW Rabbit diesel 20 years ago in college, and although I thought I was cool, the car fell apart.
      Take it with a grain of salt.  I’ve owned 5 VW/Audi products since 1989.  The early years were somewhat questionable, but nothing like what you read about.  My last two have been problem free.  Probably not as reliable as a Toyota, but the driving experience is much more satisfying, in my opinion.
      My issue with VW is trying to understand what they’re doing in the US market.  On the one hand the old Jetta was too expensive, but it was their best selling car.  No one can afford a Passat, but they’re thinking of importing the Phaeton.  If you have 45 large you can walk away with a Tourag, or a modified Dodge Caravan.  These guys are all over the map, and who can figure them out?

  • avatar

    my opinion is biased, but I can’t discount what I see everyday.  better than 50% of our customers come back for a VW time and again.  And we would probably retain an even higher percentage if we weren’t competing with the Ford/Chrysler/GM fire sales and family pressure that people get in Detroit. 
    And having driven VW’s and Audi’s since I was in my early 20’s I can say that there was definitley a patch of really crappy years that we’re trying to get past.  But I usually dismiss comments about window regulators on your 2001 jetta.  Yes, the supplier of the components sucked.  And we’re two generations of car past that now.  Do you remember when Ford stood for Found On the Road Dead?  There are a lot of very happy Fusion customers that wouldn’t have the foggiest idea what you’re talking about.  I just find it very strange that the only place where VW seems to have this terrible reputation for reliability is here in the United States.  Correct me if I’m wrong fellow commenters from across the pond, but I rarely hear about constant problems from the countless Germans, French, and British nationals who come in to buy cars while the Supplier they work for has them stationed in Detroit.

    • 0 avatar

      Good point, the complaints about window regulators is 100x greater than it ought to be. But an afternoon of DIY is beyond most people, so they focus on the inconvenience and inevitable dealer cost of repair above all else.
      Many people chalk up VW “reputation discrepancy” (US vs Europe) to the US’s harder usage and longer average ownership. Yes, the Autobahn can be hard, but consistent high speeds are less stressful on most components than making 10-15 short trips every day for 10 years and expecting 100% reliability from things like windows, other electrical bits, ABS computers, control arms, EVAP systems, interior finishes, etc.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s no question that VW reliability was at a low point during the Mark IV Golf/Jetta/Beetle era, particularly the coil pack issue.  The Mark V introduction in 2006 improved things quite a bit, but since there are so many Mark IVs on the road, the horror stories of VWs being unreliable continues to make the rounds.  Consumer Reports (yeah, I know…) shows an overall improvement for the brand, although they still are well behind their Japanese competition.
      My Mark I GTI had one problem in ten years of ownership.  My Mark V GTI was flawless for the year I owned it before getting a Mark V R32.  Then the trouble started — a Check Engine Light that wouldn’t go away despite a recall and seven trips to the dealer.  The R32 problem was only for US spec cars, though, and related to the evaporative fuel capture system.  Fed up, I replaced it with a Mark VI GTI and it has been perfect this past year.  So, Volkswagen is improving, but it still has quite a bit of work to do before it shed it (deserved) reputation for poor quality brought about by the wretched Mark IV series.

    • 0 avatar

      The MK IV series had problems that went way beyond window regulators – that was just the icing on the cake.

      I had a MK IV Golf and Jetta and here were just a few of the problems:

      Bad interior parts: broken glove box hinges and arm rest cover hinges, visor light wiring breaks, peeling rubber coating on everything, broken seat return springs, broken window regulators (all of the front windows)
      Bad systems: Multiple MAF sensor failures on both cars, bad engine temp sensors, multiple secondary air system problems on both cars, power door lock actuator failures.  My Golf went through FOUR different brake light switch revisions while I owned it. Multiple premature O2 sensor failures on both cars.
      Cheap parts: plastic water pump impellers shattered at highway speeds on both vehicles – well before timing belt service time.
      Assembly problems: 2.0L oil consumption problems – blamed on incorrectly installed piston rings at the factory.
      Design issues: “sealed” transmission –  What lubricants have infinite life?  Surely a transmission service every once in a while is a good thing and doesn’t break the bank.
      And what was with the lighting systems in the MK IV?  Both our Golf and Jetta ate light bulbs like crazy.
      The MK IVs were absolute junk – and I don’t think one or two suppliers were to blame. There were way too many different problems with the MK IVs to lay the blame on anyone except VW.

      VW appears to have learned from that mess – I am the owner of an 08 GTI and it has been fantastic so far.

  • avatar

    the book on vw is that they’re good until the warranty runs out, after that its hit or miss, mostly miss on the reliability. I too like vw’s but I usually don’t buy new and that leaves me looking at used examples which are not inspiring in terms of reliability. Your best resource is probably truedelta, site has actual owner statistics and is pretty comprehensive providing there are enough people participating with that particular make/model

  • avatar

    I wandered into a VW dealership while my 370Z was being serviced. I had practically decided that the Golf TDI was a great next car for my wife, so I wanted to check on out in person. It’s got a DSG, making both of us happy, and I loved the Gen4 TDI when I drove it in Germany.

    Two problems leapt out at me:

    1. I thought the the new interiors were supposed to be *nice*. The interior buttons and finish felt like junk. The Mk4 Golf I drove felt like an Audi. Perhaps it’s that US decontenting. One of the big reasons for me to get a Golf over something like a Fit is the interior. Without that, I’m less impressed.

    2. The front cowl is almost as high as a Cessna. That is going to be a no-sell for my wife, who is not tall. It means one has to jack the seat way up to get in “command” seating position. I hate that. I realize it’s the style these days, but that style is pissing me off. Give me the old Gen V Civic packaging any day.

    *sigh* She doesn’t really need a car anyway.

    • 0 avatar

      It means one has to jack the seat way up to get in “command” seating position. I hate that.

      Your petite wife has to adjust the seat and that’s a problem for you?  I’m not sure i understand.

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