Volkswagen Has What Others Need: New Cars Galore

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
volkswagen has what others need new cars galore

To develop a new car takes a lot of cash, with unsure payback in some 5 years. During carmageddon, most large automakers delayed or stopped development of new cars. These new cars are missing now, especially at GM and rival Toyota.

Volkswagen went through carmageddon relatively unscathed and never stopped developing. Actually, they approved a record R&D budget of $71 billion for vehicle development and to boost production capacity from 2011 to 2015.

A preview of what all that money can buy will be given at the Geneva Motorshow, to be held from March 3 through 13th. According to Automotive News [sub], Volkswagen will show and unprecedented total of seven concept cars at the Autosalon. These concepts are used to gauge the reaction of press and public, and to confuse the competition a bit.

Because it’s a long way from concept to showroom, Volkswagen will light one of their favorite “Modellfeuerwerke” this year. “Model fireworks” used to be a VW internal term for a barrage of new launches. It became part of the German language. In 2011, Volkswagen alone will fire a broadside, from their small UP! (finally…) to new versions of Jetta, Tiguan, Beetle and Golf Cabrio, all available in Europe this year. Audi will bring the Q3, the new A6, a 340 hp RS3, an A8 with W12 engine, an A5 refresh, and we probably missed some.

And they haven’t even started spending those $71 billion …

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5 of 18 comments
  • Neevers1 Neevers1 on Feb 02, 2011

    They need reliable cars, which we will have to wait and see if these are worth anything. Likely not.

  • Philadlj Philadlj on Feb 02, 2011

    Unfortunately all of my favorite VW models aren't sold in the US, and they don't have solid plans to sell them here, either: Polo BlueMotion, Scirocco, Scirocco TDI, Amarok, and Up. And I don't know why they never brought back the Microbus, but they just plain should. Anything would sell better than the dowdy Routan.

  • Redliner Redliner on Feb 02, 2011

    I don't understand what people talk about when they say VW is unreliable. I have owned cars from Jaguar, VW, Toyota, BMW, MINI, Subaru and Honda, and I can say that every single car I have owned had great reliability. (less than $300 unscheduled maintenance, less than $1000 scheduled maintenance per year) I drive about 25k miles a year in the DC area. So I simply don't believe people when they say that VW is unreliable. I think it has a lot to do with the driver.

    • Quentin Quentin on Feb 03, 2011

      I owned a 2007 GTI (ordered) for nearly 40 months. In that time, I had 58k miles and averaged over 31mpg. Considering those stats, it is clear that it was driven pretty gently and 95% highway. Are two AC compressor failures in 58k miles normal? What about the bass going all the way up when I'd turn at a certain stoplight? Cruise control stalk fail while driving cross country? O2 sensor failure? Paint chipping off the rear bumper (covered under warranty at 5k miles)? Clearcoat coming off the wheels? Parking brake handle breaking off in my hand? That doesn't even include the 4 recalls I had to bring it in for. As much as I loved that car, it was certainly not what I'd consider reliable.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Feb 03, 2011

    I've had friends that owned VW's over the last 30 years or so. None of them own a VW now. A couple of them still complain about the nightmares they had with them. They all had Beetles when they first started driving and thought the new one would be as good. That was a dream.