On Monday, Volkswagen Strikes Back. But Will It Be A Hit?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
on monday volkswagen strikes back but will it be a hit

On Monday, the wraps will come off Volkswagen’s secretive NMS (New Midsize Sedan). Readers of Autobild in Germany already had first visual impressions of the car, we’ll know Monday whether Autobild was, well, given the right pictures. The car will be a bit longer than the Passat. It will be made especially for American tastes and wallets.

Wallets: The car will cost around $20,000, that’s $7,000 less than an entry model Passat. Tastes: “Inside, much cheaper plastic that in European vehicles will be used,” says Autobild. On Monday, we’ll also know what the car will be called, that’s the only thing that remained a secret so far. Some think it might be called Passat.

Volkswagen has high hopes in the decontented car. It will be built at a new $1 billion factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the first time Volkswagen builds cars again in the United States after they had retreated 1988 from New Stanton, PA, with their tails between their legs.

And now, they are back. “With typical bravura, Volkswagen executives say the car, will be at the forefront of a U.S. renaissance that will include more than tripling its unit sales to 800,000 cars by 2018,” writes the New York Times. “That, in turn, is part of the goal of Martin Winterkorn, VW’s chief executive, of surpassing Toyota to become the world’s largest automaker.”

Volkswagen needs the sales in the U.S. to rule the world. However, VW could never replicate their initial stateside Beetle success, and “for years, it has flirted with irrelevance in the United States,” says the NYT.

It will take much more than a bargain-basement Passat-a-like to triple unit sales in the U.S. Wolfsburg-centric engineers had overslept major U.S. trends, from cupholders to SUVs to minivans. “A striking lapse,” tut-tuts the Times, “considering that the Volkswagen bus was arguably the first family van.”

For certain families, at least.

Join the conversation
2 of 122 comments
  • Cabriolet Cabriolet on Jan 09, 2011

    Always like to read these posts when it concerns VW. It is suprising how many are posting with so called facts that VW's are so costly to repair and are always in the shop and that the dealers are so bad. From my own experenses i have brought both new and used approx 14 VW's and received very good service from them. I admit i do my own service and repairs if required but in the end i have always received great service from my VW's. I have also owned a few Toyotas, Honda, & Mazda's and american cars and have always gotten great service from the European cars. To be honest replacements parts are cheaper for american cars but Toyotas, Honda & Mazda can be quite costly. My tale of woe with two Mazdas that i purchased for my wife i will not repeat but i will never buy an another Toyoda, Honda or Mazda. Talk about dealers they are the pits. My father in law was taken over the coals so badly by a Toyota dealer that i had to get involved to settle the matter. After leaving the dealer i had to go home and take a shower to get rid of the smell. Calling a VW dealer bad after these bandits is like calling the pot calling the kettle black. We just traded in my wifes 2003 Volvo V40 that never gave us a minute of trouble for a new Volvo C30 that she is quite pleased with. A great little car. I am driving a 2009 VW TDI that runs great. Great mileage, nice power and a really nice car. One type of VW's that i keep away from are the ones that are owned by kids with really loud radios and various speed equipment. These cars can be a nightmare to keep on the road.

  • Kita Ikki Kita Ikki on Jan 09, 2011

    I prefer the NMS over the Euro-PASSAT. When everyone is trying flaming surfacing and fluid sculpture, a plain, boxy design is actually distinctive. Better get the base model steelie wheels too and remove the plastic wheel covers. Black-painted steelies are cool when everyone else has blinding chrome-clad "Dubs."

  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
  • John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??