Has Volkswagen’s US Market Plan Failed?

Has Volkswagen’s US Market Plan Failed?

Several years ago Volkswagen launched an ambitious new product strategy for the U.S. market. It has failed.

That at least is the conclusion drawn by a report in 24/7 Wall St. outlining decreased sales of three percent in the U.S. compared to the same period last year. Through September, the German automaker has sold 314,833 vehicles compared to 323,090 last year. It’s a disturbing statistic considering the rest of the American automotive market has grown over eight percent in the same period.

SEE ALSO: Volkswagen to Sell Electric Cars in the U.S. in 2015

The general perception of Volkswagen in America isn’t gleaming either according to the J.D. Power Initial Quality and Dependability Studies. In the Initial Quality Study, Volkswagen is ranked below the industry average with 120 problems per 100 vehicles – the industry average is 113 problems. In J.D. Power’s Dependability Study, Volkswagen was well below the industry average of 126 problems per 100 vehicles with owners reporting an average of 174 problems.

A major issue with Volkswagen’s plan in America is its lack of diversity in its models. The German automaker’s current lineup in America consists of three sedans, two compacts and two SUV models. It’ll be interesting to see how Volkswagen continues to push in the world’s second largest car market as it strives to become the world’s largest automaker.

GALLERY: Volkswagen e-Golf


[Source: 24/7 Wall St]

Discuss this story at VWForum.com

  • smartacus

    VW hemorrhaged $2.2 Billion on only 367 deeply discounted Veyron supercars.

    The weight of VW’s golden welfare is saddled on the backs of all those young and low income workers who purchase all those decontented Golf and Jetta strippers.


    VW built the Bugatti Veyron cus nobody else could. they proved they can make anything, from the supercars to high mpg. standard stuff. they make some of the most iconic best stuff available. My GTI is flawless and FUN and high quality inside and out 86K miles and feels GREAT. My last VW Jetta VR6 GLX only went 316,000 miles of comfortable fun


    VW makes the highest mpg vehicle in the world, and the most practical TDI vehicles, and the highest quality #1 reliable sports car PORSCHE, they do it all. GM makes a Cruze and other assorted garbage.

  • Bug S Bunny

    I’m not sure their market plan has failed so much as their cars fail. Let’s face it: Volkswagens are junk. My daughter’s VW has something broken or requiring repair ALL THE TIME. Just when something gets fixed, something else fails or breaks. When the owner’s manual specifically states that blown light bulbs should be changed by the dealer (and the bulb number is not provided in the owner’s manual)? And they seriously wonder why VW sales can’t gain any traction in the U.S.?

  • Lucian

    VWs drive better then your Toyotas, Chevys, Nissans etc and their designs age better too. You have to pay over 30k to buy an American or Japanese car that drives like a VW. Not sure what discounts you are talking about. You can call VW cars many things but discounted cars isn’t one that comes to mind.

  • smartacus

    Well, what else can i say, but discounted cars SHOULD come to your mind because if you could have afforded to buy a Million Dollar Veyron, you would have instantly saved $5Million over the actual price of the car.

    VW does the opposite to Golf and Jetta. I read it here not that long ago how they started to save pennies by stripping them of a few standard features and make you pay extra to get them back.

  • smartacus

    fact check:
    *VW has been dangling the “highest MPG vehicle in the world” XL1 in front of our noses since 2002 (11 years) and will be priced at $100,000.

    Young and low income VOLKS need not apply for this WAGEN.
    It is reserved for the wealthy who are somehow desperately scraping together the rent by saving those few pennies on fuel.

    **Porsche owes no thanks to VW for their “high quality and reliability”
    If it weren’t for the recession; Porsche would be the rightful owners of VW.

    **VW certainly resembles GM with all those brands under
    their umbrella and sliding sales lately. (I’m not talking about the brands
    under AUDI’s umbrella).


    Only Lamborghini is under Audi. i think. The XL1 is in production, no one else has anything like it. GERMAN superior engineering. VW and Porsche have been working together for decades, it’s all teh same family Piech Porsche….all related. Audi is a Piech stuff, Quattro…if not for VW Lambo and bugatti wouldn’t exist. they also own Mann and Scania trucks….nothing like how GM made teh same junk, with differetn stickers, VW brands are not teh same, GERMANS are too smart for that stuff.


    VW will probably own Alpha romeo soon, and bail that brand out too.

  • smartacus

    I can’t share in believing VW will own Alfa Romeo when they can’t own Suzuki (and they own some of Suzuki)

  • smartacus

    -AUDI owns another Italian company besides Lambo.
    -Can you afford an XL1? I know I can’t.

    -The closest Porsche and VW got to working together was the 944
    -Bugatti indeed did not exist for a while until VW bought them.
    -VW should stop copying GM “different stickers” as you said it; and stop badge engineering SEAT and SKODA and VW.


    Audi own Ducati motorcycle now also. On the move to conquer it all. Every car brand is similar not the same. GM was clueless. I have Audi and VW driving experience, totally different cars, they share things they are not the same car. A6 2.7 Bi Turbo what a slick car! A4 S line GTI GLX VW Passat Tiquan, Golf, not the same. Over the lst 30+ years I’ve had a dozen VW brands, models, before that ll kinds of GM Garbage, one ride in a Rabbit decades ago, i couldn’t believe how much BETTER, controlled, supportive seats versus at the time my Chevy Monte Carlo, which was not a low end Chevy, but it was GARBAGE, the cheap lowly RABBIT was more comfortable, no back aches it sold me, I have never left VW, never will, also from same dealer, excellent service, sales and support. GM dealers blew chunks, would tell me it was normal for the front end to shudder when brakes where applied at 18,000 miles Pontiac garbage! Shared components different feel entirely. When I handed that car back in, I began to tell them what junk at lease end up, they didn’t want to hear it, I never touched a GM since, drove away in my old VW Golf…and it felt better than a Pontiac Grand Prix. Wake up


    15% of Suzuki, but from what i read Suzuki is being a bunch of dickwads. they have pulled out of us. VW needs the really cheap cars for 3rd world places, Suzuki ain’t gonna survive without VW in there. Suzuki don’t want to listen to VW. VW knows more about cars than Suzuki, and Suzuki is being stupid. Fiat needs deals too, they will deal with VW. Every brand VW took over has prospered due to excellent management and products.

  • Alfie

    That was poignant… and poetic!

  • Honest Abe

    VW does do a decent job of differentiating its cars.. except damn near everything has the same 2.0T


    @.0T is amazing engine! Love it. In GTI its rated 200Hp and whatever torque, in the Audi A4 S line it’s 210 and more torque, in NEW Golf R its 296 and gobs of torque, in other Audi it’s even more, that thing is versatile! New version for N.A. is now coming from Mexico new engine plant, with some changes in exhaust manifolds and intake manifold, probably a cure for sometimes carbon buildup issues, due to direct injection, no fuel across intake valves…direct injection improves a lot mpg power etc, but can cause a carbon buildup issue on valves, they need then to be cleaned off, lots of work taking off manifold etc. great engine mine has 86K on it, smooth powerful mpg hits 36!! On long cruises, much much much better than old VR6 more power much better mpg, instant response. 4 valve it breathes!


    And my last 3 VW’s all highway driving always get 100K miles per brake job!!! The brakes are big for the small size car, big rotors, big calipers dissipate heat better, on GTI and GLX models, regular models have much smaller brakes…it matters.

  • smartacus

    Napoleon was also on the move to conquer it all. Stay away from GM cars. Even if VW is made in Chattanooga, it’s still German.

  • smartacus

    VW Group wanted Suzuki’s small engine technology.

    That’s why they bought Ducati when they couldn’t absorb Suzuki.

    VW should buy Hyundai / KIA.

  • smartacus

    That’s good. Big brakes are good. How much extra are the GTI and GLX models compared to the stripper models with the small brakes?


    Yup, small engine technology. Even though they have the highest mpg TDI 3 cyl i think in a Polo or smaller car some 70mpg on the road, not an experiment TDI hybrid I think. Hyundai is selling more and more stuff here. Better deal than a TOYota or Nissan, if you want such type of cars. Not for me. They out warranty TOY and under price, but then over time they raise prices once they get in the market, same thing TOY did and Nissan…TOY is imploding with junk and recalls, 2014 Corolla is horrible crash ratings, recall after recall on dumb stuff.

  • smartacus

    I am neither pregnant nor polemic… i just smell that way

  • smartacus

    VW should bring that TDI 3cylinder here in the new NewBeetle before Hyundai/Kia start putting diesels in their cars


    GTI on golf and GLI on Jetta, GLX Jetta hasn’t been around in a while GLI is the best Jetta. is quite a bit more than the lowest stripped golf or Jetta, but over a Jetta SEL maybe $5 or $6K depends, but it also have much better tighter suspensions, better supportive seats and side bolsters. all around totally different car than regular Golfs or Jettas, GTI and GLI are the way to go, I think GTI probably out handles GLI Jetta cus of shorter over hang in rear, with similar suspensions and engines. 6 speed manual only way to go. Auto even DSP ain’t for me. I convereted a friend from a Jetta SE to a GTI bought CPO, he loves it! totally impressed with GTI, peppy, handles GREAT, glued to road..his Jetta had over 120K miles I think it got rear ended, so he needed a replacement, totally different car GTI sport suspensions versus standard Jetta stuff, night and day differences. Really, Try a GTI you will love it!


    yup, lots of European models we never see here. Golf R in Europe, not here yet 296 HP out of 2.0t and 4 motion! Extreme golf even over GTI


    My Jetta GLX was Mexico, was flawless, also GERMAN management, been in Mexico since the 60’s! TN is also the new VW model for factory around the world, energy efficient etc. No body else in car making has as efficient a plant as the new VW in TN. All kinds of recycling and stuff. Mexico is getting an Audi factory, and extreme upgrades in Pueblo factory. New factory in Brazil, 7 factorys in China, VW/Audi etc VW is on the move.

  • smartacus

    i know two people who owned GTI’s. But they both crashed them.

  • smartacus

    They should bring over the vw up
    Bring over the up! with 4Motion

  • smartacus

    Will someone buy the tooling for the old Bus from the Brazil factory or for the old beetle from the Pueblo factory? They can still get at least a Billion out of it.

  • GregoryRoss111

    I say lower your prices , work on the safety of the lineup , and design some better looking cars… Take some body design tips from the japanese


    compete with Benz Smart, tiny cars that thing with a 2.0t 200HP would be a trip! If it would fit?


    up, finally had to stop. can’t meet current safety standards, finally have to stop making em, Bus been made for like 70 years!?

  • smartacus

    The Smart was originally co-developed with VW. VW Polo was born from some of those parts too. Do you know what happened?

    The very first day that Ferdinand Pïech became chairman, he stopped development partnership with Swatch. So Nicholas Hayek, the guy who invented the Swatch watch as well as the smart car had no choice but to go to Mercedes Benz.


    interesting, did not know that. Cool

  • James Hamel

    I drove their highly different, updated and much more appealing 2014 lineup and this next model year will see a change I guarantee. Their new 1.8 liter turbo base engine turns the Passat and Jetta into leaders and possible best in class. And their new diesel is a revelation.

  • Earl Grey

    I guess my 2000 jetta with 400k plus miles is a farce?

  • smartacus

    no, 2000 jetta with 400k miles in NOT a farce.

    Paying off the $2.2Billion lost on 367 Veyrons, by selling decontented Jetta stripperz to all those young kids and low income workers is the farce.

  • Allan H

    1.8 Jetta was available 7 models years ago , pulled off the market to push V6 and the 2.0T.
    Withheld effective lobbying for the diesel; self sabotaged the Phaeton to push the Passat in 2006 and 2007.
    I have not just driven but owned or leased a model year of each class of VW from 2004 to 2012 including Touareg- the ship of the line. Quality has suffered in the rush by VW to “be like” everyone else instead of “distinguish from” everyone else. I have switched to Volvo- at least Ford makes to effort to make you feel you aren’t driving just a platform

  • hamish

    The American market just doesn’t get or like diesel unless it is in the form of a truck(pick-up style) My wife has a 2008 2.0 TDI Passat with 260K km on it and I have a 2004 R5 Touareg with 340k km on it. Both have been and are fantastic vehicles, both have been very reliable. I’m in Aust. so pricing is a problem, and spare parts outrageous. I was quoted $3500 AUD to do the drive shaft hangar bearing on the Treg!!!! that my friend is daylight robbery and if it is happening in the U.S. then that will be a major set back for VW there. (Incidently, thanks to this forum, I changed it myself for the princely sum of $499.00 exchange shaft and bearing) My wife just spent $450 to replace a wiper/washer bottle on the Passat(mice chewed a whole in it) that also is ridiculous.
    If I read between the lines VW need to charge like that for spares etc to make up the shortfall in new Car profit. The car industry worldwide is the most subsidised beast known to man. Every country subsidising their car makers to compete. To me that is where the problem lies, If you’re propped up by something you’re not going to fix the shortfalls in production to be profitable, instead you’re going to cut a few corners here and there and compromise product and rely on the prop-up to make up the rest.
    Unfortunately I don’t have the answer because it would take all counties who make cars to change the way the do it and that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

  • vwchadw

    The dumbing down of the product quality is catching up with them. The zest for capturing market share through lower prices and lesser quality vehicles has turned off the true VW enthusiasts. It was a good volume push in the short term but, people are starting to open there eyes and see that VW is not producing a better car anymore. It use to be a entry level Audi but, now it might as well be a Chevy….

  • Bro

    After sales service and honesty regarding warranty issues is what hurts them.

  • twogates

    in the old days with every vw imported vw brought in x amount of replacement parts for shelf stock which was a convenience u paid for in u’r purchase.thats why the parts that thy sold more of, u would think of reduced production cost would be cheaper insteadt it would be more expensive to pay for the slower moving items in stock .i’m sure there’s other factors these days as well the strong euro ,freight cost etc.which is reflected in most european cars .only thing thy forget is a thing called buyers resistance with the internet people are much more resourceful.when things are over the top.

  • DHL

    VW historically has the worse marketing staff such as naming the golf ‘rabbit’ and importing the worn size cars to U.S. while they are already available in Europe such as the Vanagon, Golf-Plus cross-over. Instead they came up with weak product like Tiguan which is an odd size car, not a cross-over nor a mini ute like the Ford C-Max. I think they are just a bunch of stupid marketees making all the wrong choices.

  • Dennis

    Most people don’t know that most Volkswagens sold in the USA are built in Mexico. Most car magazines don’t recommend any cars built in Mexico because of the very poor quality.

  • Dennis

    The reason your VW breaks down all the time is because it was built in Mexico. Cars built in Mexico are very poor quality. When you build cars in a 3rd world, low wage country, you get 3rd world quality.

  • Bug S Bunny

    But naming the Golf, the Golf was not smart either. When people hear the word Golf they think of the sport, not that the word represents the Gulf Stream as VWs have historically been named after winds.

  • Bug S Bunny

    Hmmm, so how long has Germany (which is where my previously-owned Rabbit was made) been a third-world country?

  • Vincent

    This 1.8T is brand new. It’s not the 1.8T you are thinking

  • Finn

    I always like reading comments from VW ‘owners’ who say they are junk. Forty years driving them and the only reason I’ve had problems (twice) was because of bad mechanics. One at a VW dealewr, and tghe other a privte shop.
    NEVER have a VW dealer perform work on your VW, the dealers (most) are horrible – find yourself a good, independent, KNOWLEDGEABLE shop.
    Now as a VW owner for all that time, the worse part about VW’s marketing is VW itself, who couldn’t market their way out of a paper bag. The secret VW hasn’t figured out yet, but has people screraming in they’re collective ears in the states, is the model range in Europe.
    The think thye know what we Americans want – we tell them all the time and they don’t give a crap. They are consistenet at least – in ignoring what we ask for. A ‘micro-bus type van’?>> They give us a piece of crap Chrysler re-badge.
    I’m half german, and I can say that the VW management is an arrogant bunch of idiots that DON”T LISTEN and seemingly don’t care. Oh, the last VW ‘bus idea’, the tiny ‘Bulli’, was designed in size to competre against the Scion Xb. When Toyota announced it was to be discontinued, VW soon announced the Bulli was cancelled – now that’s Ferdinand Piech’s (the crazy kraut-mechanic-genius idea of marketing – he is largely responsible for VW’s direction; That’s why VW is s t e w p u d.

  • Jerry D

    Chevrolet makes the “highest quality #1 reliable sports car” for the money, it’s called a CORVETTE and it will still outperform any street legal Porsche.
    My 1985 Honda CRX HF still gets 63.8 MPG @ 75mph on gas fuel thru a 3 bbl carb!

  • Jerry D

    I’ll stick with my 58 VW panel van. It doesn’t ever leave me stranded like my Daughter’s 2010 Beetle.

  • benzvr6

    IMO, the guys running the show in the tall shiny buildings,
    in closed offices, wear 2000$ suits, should all be thrown out of their office
    for a long time. They should spend a week in each and every VW model available,
    and they should all write up a commentary on each ride. Once that’s done, you
    send the same group to 3 or 4 factories where those models are built; one in
    Germany, one in NA, one in Mexico, and another anywhere else in the world. While
    at the factory, they will perform a different assembly line task each day, and
    again, write up a summary. After that, let them study the warranty claims, read
    some emails from irate owners, spend a day on the toll free line listening to customers
    gripe about their investment. Once all this has been completed, and they’re still
    around, then stick back into their closed office, and let them figure it all

    VW should standardize
    the fleet across the world. (Standard fleet equals lower build costs, no
    customizing, etc…) Why are certain models allowed in the US and not Canada? Why
    does Europe have the TDI Polo &Tiguan? Why can’t we get every model with
    optional 4Motion? Why do we only have a few engine options in NA, whereas they
    have dozens of engine options in Europe? Why?

    I’ve asked myself these questioned for years, and yet, not
    one person can answer them. I’ve asked at the dealer level, both sales and
    service sides, I’ve written to VW Canada and VW America, I’ve even sent an
    email to VW GmBH in Deutschland, and, here I am… still waiting…

    If they want to become number one, well, you need to start
    be acting like it. Make your brand stand out, make it so no one is in direct
    competition with, offer every single power plant available. Give the choice
    back to the customer, let them choose which engine he wants. As it is now, you
    got the 4 cylinder, the other 4 cylinder or the diesel 4 cylinder. Seriously???
    (Look at the German VW website, their base golf has 7 trim levels, we have
    three. The Tiguan has 4 gasoline and 3 diesel engine options – only one is
    available in NA. When will we see the Scirocco on this side of the pond???)

    The insanity if not only limited to the NA market. If you
    look at the Scirocco being sold in Europe, it’s only available with 3 engines,
    4 cylinder diesel or a 4 cylinder 1.4L or 1.6L gasoline. No 6 cylinder? I thought
    they were replacing the Corrado VR6??? Anyway, if I was charge of the “FunkenGruuven”
    department, that thing would have a 2.8L VR6, or 3.6L VR6, and if I could
    squeeze in the 4.2L V8, I would do that too. Throw in 4 motion, and a 7 gear
    manual gearbox… but hey, they air is too clean in my neighborhood, so I can’t think

    It seems to me that each and every model is always missing a
    little “umf” to make it stand out from the competition. Maybe the guys running
    the place are afraid to push the envelope, or they’re afraid the teacher will
    rattle their knuckles with a ruler. I don’t know. Tell you what, I really wish I knew!!!

    Anyway, those were my cents. Have fun out there, and be


    VW XL1 over 200mpg.. PORSCHE is Rated #1 by CU JD Powers, all of em most reliable, most fun, look it up! there is no substitute. Honda lawnmowers and generators are tops, the cars blow. Horrible dashboard chaos, horrible feel, cheap and tacky.


    A Corvette is a GM product, which means it’s a piece of garbage. Designed by accountants and non car people. PORSCHE is the #1 sports car around, unless you go rally high end VW with Lamborghini or Bugatti, Bugatti is another world…PORSCHE nobody doesn’t like their PORSCHE, anyone i ever met, one you drive a PORSCHE, you drive nothing else.


    VW makes a PROFIT ya big dummy! PORSCHE div is the most profitable car company going, and they build the most reliable and fun cars. GTI is not stripped at all, fully loaded and fun, high quality interiors fit and finish that makes a Corvette a joke


    I have had around 12 VW products since 86′ From SAME dealer always. My lst VW Jetta VR6 GLX only went 316,000 miles…great car..current GTI even better, and will go 500,000 probably. 2.0T is a great engine peppy, great mpg, smooth, and responsive. 87,000 on it now not even broken in yet.


    that’s right and the new version of 2.0T is changed from “old” version, they changed intake system for carbon build up issue, and changed exhaust manifold…it’s even better with less part. Out of new Mexico engine plant Audi is also building a new factory in Mexico. High quality stuff out of Mexico at reduced prices. Current GTI is Germany, they have to keep prices down.


    All car mfg make money off of PARTS!


    Tiguan is on a Golf chassis, we have/had 2 a 2009 SEL replaced by current 2013 SEL also with all teh goodies nice nice car….leather all the goodies, doesn’t handle like my GTI but its still better than anything GM trys. Has 35series 19 in tires on 2013 compared to 2009 where 45, it does handle better. Black on black is a beautiful thing. Panoramic roof, 4 motion nice.

  • Well said!

  • Beckola

    But also $35-40k for the fully loaded version. Or about $8k less than a Q5. And in this case thats not apples/apples. That extra $8k buys a lot more car.

  • Bill

    I do not think that Mexico itself has much to do with it. The Ford Fusion (previous model at least) is/was built in Mexico. Consumer reports had it as recommended and “much better than average” reliability. I am more concerned about made in the USA.

  • benzvr6

    Thanks a bunch QStar!!! Greatly appreciated!!!

  • benzvr6

    Hate to say this, but, it must be said… I saw a lot more 1982-1992 VW’s on the road then I did 1993-1998 VW’s this week end. I wonder why… Oh yeah, not made in Germany… Feel so sorry for the poor people who purchased anything VW from 93-98 that was made outside of Europe – myself included… You would think the salesmen would loose some sleep over that? How about the suits in the closed offices at headquarters? Who am I kidding??? Like I said in my previous post… Some one needs to figure it out… and soon… no way you can become # 1 in the world using old ideas, old methods, and not being innovative, or not thinking outside the box…

  • benzvr6

    I don’t know about that one. My main worry is what day of the week it is, and how close to the end of the month it is – that’s what will probably affect quality… If its the 27th day of the month, and your 250 cars short of your goal, guess what… something is getting cut, and I’ll bet its not your output quantity…

  • benzvr6

    The American market doesn’t get Diesel for one simple reason – generally, diesel in the US is almost as expensive or more expensive than 93 octane gasoline. So, its now becomes a numbers game. If you travel to Europe, you will find every single car is running on diesel. What’s even worse, you will find American cars there, and they’re diesels, whereas on our side of the pond, not even a chance…

  • benzvr6

    Here’s a little brain teaser – ask yourself why we’re not driving around in more electric cars. Look up the 1996 General Motors EV1. GM built over 1000 copies. Apparently, the oil companies kindly asked GM to kill the project – which they did, and crushed all but 20 cars. The non-crushed cars were donated to museums, under rule that they never be driven or activated. Strange, we had electric in the 90’s, but it was killed… Oh yeah, but, now we have CNG, propane, and Natural Gas. Hmmm… read the second line of this post… makes you wonder… who is running who…

  • Twin Hairdryers

    Poor trade in value, bottom tier warranties, and above average cost of ownership. After putting 45,000 garage kept, pampered miles in 6 years on my Passat W8 I had racked up more money in repairs than the the trade in value of the vehicle. That car lost 75% of it’s value in that time. I would love to have a CC, an S4, or an R32 but I just can’t pull the trigger on another VAG vehicle after that loser.


    SEL is teh only version I want, it’s filled with STUFF, fit and finish is superb, still made in Germany. but a new smaller SUV could be coming to TN. or Mexico. They have to to keep prices down. Tiguan SEL is terrific, flawless, as is my current GTI. as are the two Audi had an A6 2.7 Bi turbo STICK! current family member has 2012 A4 S line flawless. fit and finish and it FEELS glued to road, comfortable great stuff, if it ain’t GERMAN it ain’t a car.


    Volvo is CHINESE! Wake up


    Japanese body designs, are you high? camry and that ugly crap.


    Lamp numbers are on the LAMP! DUH, changing lamps is easily done, unless you are inept. I think you may be clueless and think everything is a major issue. Lamps burn out, gas is used, anything else, ya have to change the oil also!


    My previous Mexico assembled Jetta GLX VR6 only went 316,000 miles…Mexico factory is modern up dated all the time.

  • Michael Jez

    To that person who said he feels sorry for anyone owning a 90s VW… Why would I feel sorry when my German built Passat TDi has 454k miles on it and keeps on running? I actually had many newer VW while I had the Passat, I can’t bring myself to selling it. I just had it repainted and restored the interior. Car gets 50mpg easily and with a 21 gallon tank it’s a highway cruiser.

  • Your comment just put a smile on my face from ear to ear! As a current [modern] TDI owner, I feel your attachment to the vehicle.

  • Brian

    I have a 2010 Passat and when I went back to the dealer for my free oil changes I was in shock how badly they’ve downgraded the interior of the 2012+ model (aka the VW NMS). Absolutely nothing was improved.

  • Rizzo

    +1 Bro. Ive had 4 VW’s and 3 of them had major problems. Transmission grenaded on the wifes new beetle at 40k miles. I ordered a VR6/4mo CC in 2011, it took 6 mos to get here and when it did, the non retractable pano roof squeaked so badly it could not be fixed despite VWNA sending “techs” out and gluing the trunk braces (?). Had to get a lawyer involved. Really a shame…but now I laugh at the failure they deserve and caused with poor service.

  • Jason

    w8 is a rare niche vehicle. They are expensive to maintain and that was obvious when they were brand new

  • Christopher Brown

    Does VW have any plans to release the Passat AllTrack wagon in the US?

  • Matt Butler

    This article and the wall street 24/7 report is completely screwed up. “A major issue with Volkswagen’s plan in America is its lack of diversity in its models.” WRONG. That is what makes VW better than its American competitors, better as is in PROFITABLE. The American companies, with their huge diversity of models, are dependent on government handouts. But for the bailouts those companies might not even exist today. Under those circumstances VW would be selling cars left and right. If you want to blame anyone for why VW sells less cars, blame the US Govt. for collaborating with US Autos and their unionized workers. VW does not need to become like bankrupt govt. handout co’s with dozens of models, because they WON’T get bailed out by the US Govt.. For the time being they can suffer 3% y/y declines. I LOVE my VW.

  • Karl

    Speaking specifically of the US plan for the current Passat, there is no wonder it is failing.

    Take a great German made auto “make it mainstream for the US market” and hope it sells?
    The reason I have purchased Passats is for the euro feel and manufacturing. The current model is a Vanilla Toyota.
    I’ll keep my 2006 Passat going at any cost.


    I bought the 5 cyl Passat new in October 2012. My wife and I had to drive several cars before we bought. We have a 2001 and 2002 Passat’s 1.8 turbo. We wanted a new 2002 Passat because the 2013 Passat is like every other car sold in America. Both of my older Passats have taken a lot of money to keep running but Honda customers pay more. They both are quicker than my 2013, they both a take sharper corners than my 2013. The best quality of the 2013 is the back seat it is a lot larger than the older Passats and that is why I bought the new one because I am disabled and the only way I can travel in a car is to lay down and I am 6′ 1″. I have a lot of people asking me about my car because it looks so unique. My first VW was a one year old 1972 Beetle and I used to scrape the inside of the windshield every winter driving to college. I will always buy VW’s no matter what anybody says. I guess I was one of the lucky VW owners since my Passat is one year old with 15,000 miles and nothing has ever went wrong. To be honest I liked the looks of the new Malibu and I was going to test drive it the same day I test drove and bought the 2013 Passat but while I was doing some recon I found out that most of the car is made in China and just assembled in the United States so I never went to drive one. My Passat is built just 2 hours north of my city of Johns Creek, GA in Chattanooga, TN.

  • Ty C

    While I agree VW losing sales is not a good thing, we have no clue what said “marketing plan” really was aside from certain gimmicky commercials, I have a few theories of my own to contribute.

    1. American Auto Industry reborn. A lot of American consumers want to support their own and are buying more Ford’s, Chevy’s and Chryslers to support the rebirth of the American industry. I would bet that Ford itself, who has taken no bailout money and done a ton to innovate it’s product line, has taken a big chunk out of VW’s market share.

    2. German Car Perception. Although in Europe VW is perceived more like Chevy in the US. In the US it’s the opposite. German Engineering, is perceived as some advanced level technology and viewed as an imported premium. Americans like simplicity, this is why Honda succeeded for so long, in a Honda you can open the hood, and know what’s going on. In a German car, well, you better be a real engineer if you want to understand your car. This is also why we negatively view the amount of faults VW’s have in the US.

    3. Why is VW focusing too much on a market where it will never gain a majority share? I know in Europe VW’s are a dime a dozen, and while they aren’t the premiums they are in the US, they sell so much that i wouldn’t even so much as flinch at a 3% loss in the US market. Know where your strengths are. Those of us who like a VW will get one in the US, but those of us who want a decent car to drive in the US won’t look at VW first.

  • Fred Swenson

    It appears that you actually have a working brain inside your skull. Would you consider running for President? Of the United States, I mean.

  • Geoff Morgan

    I don’t believe the problem is the variety of vehicles, I feel that it is the overall poor quality of the vehicles and the devious dealers that compose the network. The “sealed for life” auto transmission (2.5 liter Jetta with 6 speed) failed at < 120K miles. VW should require changing the ATF at about 85K and should make changing the fluid much easier instead of the silly sealed system with the (supposed) requirement to have the dealer "pump". This is typical of the sad "value engineered" approach to design that VW insists on pursuing. Toyota doesn't play many tricks like this (they cover their mistakes quietly and quickly, VW just refuses to acknowledge any mistakes). VW parts are available on the same level as Honda (I respect Honda, but I would not own one) in that one must know the VIN, the engine code, and often some other "secret" numbers to get the correct parts, and most all of the time they must be ordered (applies to Honda as well). The myth of German engineering is decomposing with complete lack of maintenance forethought and far too much plastic. The accessory drive belts are impossible to access and fail on a regular basis. The Jetta handles well and has plenty of speed, it is simply designed to go about 150K and then disintegrate. If you must have a European car settle for a BMW or a Mercedes, the new C class is priced competitively, just know that maintenance on these cars is expensive too, I would hope that reliability is better than VW. My wife has a '02 S430 and it has less overall problems than the Jetta.

  • pony

    We had a 2009 passat wagon that gave us everything. Reasonably priced, plenty of umph. great gas mileage, comfortable. But then 100 miles after the warranty expired. Death.

    Calling VW on the phone for a tow was a joke. They were like “Hah ha ha, your warranty expired. Too bad, so sad.” I paid for AAA to tow it to the local dealer, who was great.

    They comped a bad fuel injector but said next time, it was $1300. Each cylinder. Traded that dog in toot sweet.

  • benzvr6

    Hello MJez. I’m guessing your referring to my comment. If so, if you read it, it clearly state that anything that was non-German made in that time was not well built. In your case, your Passat is German built – so you got a good one. Just wanted to clear that up. Tks, take care, be safe.

  • benzvr6

    Hello Fred. I’m tempted… But, seeing corporate America runs the house & senate, I would make a lot of people angry, surely ruffle a lot of feathers… But thanks for the vote of confidence!!! Take care, be good.

  • Barb Drolson

    I bought my VW new in 2003. It now has 180K miles and going strong ! It is the best car I have ever owned as far as dependablity. No problems!! I have aways bought new , usually ever 2-3 years. Have found no reason to get another one yet. Maybe that is why sales numbers are down because dependablity is up!!! And…..the gas mileage keeps improving!

  • Barb Drolson

    I Love my VW!

  • Strokendiesel002

    I am disappointed in the interior of my ’13 SEL Premium Passat TDI. Not as nice as my ’03 🙁

  • Radames Pera

    I leased a 2001 New Passat wagon, which I loved so much that I purchased. I drove the car for 10 years as my work vehicle (Home Theater design and installation), took several multi-state trips in it, changed the oil every 3000 mi. and the car gave me zero (0) problems incurring only routine maintenance issues. Oh, wait, there was that annoying turn signal wand issue that cost $350 to replace, but that was it!
    In 2011, I traded it in for a new Jetta TDI Sportwagon. Consistent 42 MPG and the torquie power of diesel consistently put a smile on my face.
    Fun to drive!

  • Underhill

    There are really 2 things working against VW. Their dependability, which has been discussed here at length, and their insistence on brand division.

    If VW wants to be competitive they need desperately to deal with this reliability issue.

    Then they need to work on making their cars better. Make the base models all about mileage (bring over the 1.6L from Europe where they get 40+mpg). Make the midrange about handling. And give the GLI’s and GTI’s world beating power and handling. And offer something more. Offer a VW badged de-optioned RS6 AWD world beater that the masses can afford.

    If I had to guess, I think much of VW’s problem stems from Audi or the limitations placed on them by Audi. They think they can’t make the cars handle too well or have too much power. AWD on a inexpensive VW? Can’t happen. All because it might cut into Audi’s market.

    But this is what happens when you try to have a premium line that covers such a wide range from performance to luxury.

    Compare them to GM. Chevy has the full range of performance cars as does Cadillac. The difference lies in the level of luxury. The mistake VW/Audi is making is in trying to make the difference one of performance and luxury.

    Brand identity is crucial. And right now VW is in serious danger of it’s cars being labeled as boring when compared to the vastly improved competition.

  • livi

    I avoid dealer’s repairs like a devil the cross.
    Find yourself a god private guy. It is easy.
    A friend of mine, who works in one – they steal some expensive or important parts while you came to change the oil. Or they drive the car in and straight out to the back. That much for an oil change.
    Have many more excellent service tips like that..

  • Vil

    “rare” means it has to be poor quality?

    I feel sorry for you.

  • VideoboyMatt

    I have bought 3 VWs, a 2002 GTI VR6, a 2007 Jetta Wolfsburg and 2010 Tiguan Wolfsburg. With that said..I now own an Audi A4. I think what the issue was..when it came to replace my Jetta when it was totaled it was obvious that they downgraded the car to Camery level..and not the “almost BMW” level it once held. Everything about it was just cheaper..little things like no carpet on the trunk lid, no air-conditioned glove compartment, cheap hard plastic dashboard instead of soft touch. I just felt ripped off. My mom was in the market for a small SUV and looked at the Tiguan, as she liked the one my Ex had bought..the new updated one is uglier..and more expensive reaching upwards of $30k+, putting it in competition with the BMW X1. VW seems somewhat Schizophrenic these days, not sure if it wants to be premium, or bargain. It used to be known in the 80’s as a cheap European car..and then the early ’00s as “premium for not a premium price”. I found the new cars are expensive to buy, expensive to repair, and underwhelming stylewise. I figured I might as well get an Audi A4, as I was going to spend as much..and now I have everything I wanted. The traditional VW buyer isn’t going to buy a Huyndai or Camery..they want something nicer. Hyundai and Toyota buyers don’t buy VW because they are afraid of repair costs. VW needs to find it’s core again..either make boring cheap cars, or make fun affordable premium cars, but they can’t do both.