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Coming Soon: 'More American' VWs


The Passat CC that new Volkswagen of America president and CEO Stefan Jacoby introduced this afternoon will be a good fit for American drivers' tastes and American roads, he affirmed. But there's more on the way.

In his introduction of the Passat CC concept, Jacoby mentioned that Volkswagen is currently working on new compact and mid-size models specifically catered to the U.S. market. Later, he elaborated that as part of a new plan to expand sales in North America the brand is looking to form a solid base of four main-line models that will sell in the 100,000- to 120,000-per-year range each, then supplement those lines with specialty models such as the Eos, GTI, and Passat CC. Altogether, the automaker is targeting 800,000 U.S. sales annually.

The company's presentation this afternoon at the Detroit auto show showed footage of Jacoby actually journeying, notebook in hand, around the U.S., interviewing urbanites in Boston and New York, an oil man in Texas, and a couple in California.

Jacoby confirmed after the CC's introduction that in his first four months in the U.S. he's been struck by the size of everything, from the size of vehicles and roads to the size of portions in restaurants — musing that he's gained some pounds in the process.

“We have to make our cars a bit bigger and they have to be more American,” he confessed, gesturing back to the CC and speaking of the differences in market demands on either side of the ocean. He also expressed regret for the Phaeton's premature departure from the U.S. market. The model is still on sale in Europe.

Jacoby said that when the Passat CC goes on sale in the U.S. later this year it will be called exactly that, rather than being given a new nameplate. Officials gave no word as of yet on how the CC will be priced or marketed in the U.S., but we can assume that it will be positioned at the top of the Passat range, occupying the space formerly relegated to the short-lived Passat W8 and filling the price gap between the Passat and the Touareg SUV. Provided the premium isn't too high, we can see a lot of Passat buyers stepping up to the CC and its sleeker, more sophisticated style.

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Comments (9)
  1. Camry on steroids....too bad
     
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  2. If anyone from VW reads this, I want the VW Polo TDI 4 door hatch like the one you exibited at your "Dieselution" exibit at the 2008 LA Auto Show! I hope I can buy the Jetta TDI "Sportwagon" for $20,000 or less. I will NOT buy another gas powered new car with the possible exception of a Toyota Prius if I can help it. Fuel economy is extreemly important with $5 "Bush" gas on the horizon!
     
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  3. Hello to any lurking VW product/marketing types.

    Please bring in a Tiguen TDI AWD with manual transmission. We're ready to trade our 2K6 NB TDI for one.

    Yea, I know most folks want an automatic, but there are a few here that really prefer a stick, and don't want to give up other features such as AWD.

    We'd like to stay with VW, so hopefully, another brand doesn't beat you to market with a comparable configuration.
     
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  4. This company is Lost, and has been for some time. They've lost the handle on their History and their Heritage. After over 50 Years in this market, they're "discovering" the USA? Herr Jacoby probably doesn't remember the the Westmoreland Rabbits. Or the Corrado. Or even the Phaeton. I long for the days when VW's were simple, straightforward, and fun-to-drive; not over-styled, over-complicated and "me too" marketed.

    The CEO is "interviewing" Americans? A joke.
     
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  5. This isn't a new concept, most Japanese makers have been doing successfully for years. Even in little Ireland where I live now there is a Nissan 4-dr saloon for sale here that out does everything else from other makers - and Nissan makes it extra special with trim and other items popular here. I'm a writer and if I don't assess the audience correctly my work isn't readable. What's the diff for car makers and customers.

    Good luck VW -- always loved the marque.
     
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  6. All the new products in the world won't matter if you have the same dealer attitude .I've had VW's since 1982-my 82 Jetta diesel was the best car I ever had-driving within speed limits on the highway,with a little effort,I could get 60 mpg.My 96 Passat Tdi is almost as good,but when I go into a dealer I see nothing that catches my eye.I do nearly all my own maintenance,since "dealer service" is code for stealing. A local VW dealer want >$500 to replace my glow plugs-about 100 each and 100 for labor. I got the parts at Adirondack Auto Parts 25 each + $8 for a socket and it took me 15 minutes. How can I trust these guys again ?The newer cars are almost impossible for a non dealer to work on,from what I've seen. They are going to have to earn my trust back,and it won't be easy for them.
     
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  7. I agree with comments that (a) the VW dealer experience is generally horrible, and (b) that VW is stupid to dilute its European character for the US market.

    The recipe for VW success in the US is dead simple: highly fuel efficient cars with european character. The TDI Polo would clean up in this market, as would a TDI Lupo (even a gasser Lupo would do well). VW is a world leader in small cars, and is already recognized as such by US consumers -- especially given the heritage of the Bug and Rabbit. Play to your strengths!

    And, if you're listening -- you MUST do something about the competence of your service departments, particularly their complete cluelessness when it comes to diesel engines. If you flood the US market with diesels, you had better hope your technicians know how to service these. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of horror stories about dealers putting in the wrong oil in TDIs, for instance. I own a 2006 TDI, and I do all the service myself. But I'm a true fanatic; most people are not.
     
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  8. I will never understand the theory of a German company making cars that are Americanized. I buy German cars because they are not water down for us. I want to buy the cars that they drive in Europe because they provide better handling, manual transmissions, and a true feel of being one with the road. VW all of a sudden wants to leave their roots behind and become the next Toyota (aka Japanese Buick). If I wanted to buy a dulled down boring American car I would buy a Toyota. To me, the real comedy of this is that GM and Ford are trying to make their vehicles more European feeling. The new Saturns are based on Opels, the interior of the Mercury Milan looks like it was designed by the Jetta design team, even the Mustang has a weird European feel to the interior. VW needs to stop thinking so much and start doing. Repair the awful dealerships, increase quality control, and get every damn diesel they offer in Europe over here to the USA.

    Ford is coming out with EcoBoost and is making such a huge deal about it. Direct injection, turbo charging, small engines with more power. VW is so freaking stupid! They have had the 2.0T with direct injection for 3 years, yet I bet 1 in 10 Americans never new that. Now, everyone sees Ford's new EcoBoost and Ford is gonna make big on it. If only VW had taken their great technology, given it a catchy name, and advertised the s**t out of it maybe they would be much further ahead then they are. Thanks to Ford's great marketing team, they actually have a chance at regaining some lost ground and being known for a great technology that has been in existance for several years.
     
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  9. I totally agree with those of you who say that we buy German cars because we love German design and technology. In our household soo far we've been loyal consumers of VW we love everything about VW's. However if a Japanese car comes along the way with German criteria handling, design and all, we'll probably buy that Japanese car. I very much doubt one will ever be made, in regards to VW dealerships service dept the closest one to our house sucks we go out of our way not to take our cars to that particular dealership for service that dealerhip belongs in a third world country, however there's another dealership further from our home and those guys are very professional they even provide us with a rental free of charge. We'll continue to be loyal the the brand as long as the brand keep producing cars that are true German technology, if we want unreliable American cars we know where to find them, or dull but reliable Japanese cars we know where to find those too.
     
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