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Volkswagen’s Future: Das Old GM Page 2



I could go on and on, but Ill wrap up with the exotic brands. Bugattis exotic nature means that they can sell basically whatever they want, as long as they set trends or at least keep up with them. New technology to improve efficiency (even on big, exclusive engines) will be welcomed, so it will be a very flexible brand in the future. On the other hand, Lamborghini will have a horrible go of it. Their cars must not only be fast, but theyre generally not supposed to be practical, and they must absolutely have large engines. The introduction of a sedan is a possibility, as it could be a way to expand the brands customer base, but it would still require a large engine. It could also drive some customers away, because the brand may no longer be seen as the pure sports brand that it is today. Porsche could have an easier time, because its often seen as doing more with less. They turbocharge their engines and use V6s to compete with V8s. They also love to make their cars lighter, mainly for the purpose of speed, but it also increases efficiency. It still wont be a breeze for them, though, because very soon this wont be enough. People dont want their engines to stop when the car is stopped because they want to hear the engine note. I know Ill get letters for saying this, but I think its absurd. But if these exotic brands stick to their guns and keep their big engines going, their prices (both to buy and maintain) will rise substantially, and they may price themselves right out of business. If they dont stick to their guns, they run the risk of becoming dull. While I have no objection to a Porsche sedan (or hatchback, in the case of the Panamera), I think the Cayenne is akin to the Oldsmobile Bravada or Saab 9-7X. We all know what happened to Oldsmobile, and Saab could be dead before this is published.

I just think that while Volkswagen so determinedly pursues the coveted Worlds Biggest Automaker title, they should consider more carefully the history of GM, the company that held the title the longest. Some say that Toyota has already become too big for its britches, and its only held the title for two years. Maybe first place is not worth fighting so hard for.


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  1. I think that the investment VW made in Suzuki is likely to expand its market share in China and other emerging micro-car markets. The Suzuki Swift is a brilliant micro-car in Europe and it's shocking that Suzuki never brought it our shores here in the U.S. It would fit well on our streets of Chicago. The car is darn cute in person, with a sporty edge that's uncommon in the micro-car class. Side Note: Do I even have to mention that Suzuki has never fully capitalized on the positive connection it could make between its sport bikes and its cars? Maybe VW's popular advertising dollars can fix this too.
    The Seat brand is interesting. You don't see many Seat vehicles in Euro countries except for Spain, where they are widely popular. They feel like a VW and the interior uses the same quality materials as a VW but their body and interior designs are for the most part original. Their current styling is more edgy than the typical VW and I have to say that I would buy a VW over a Seat any day because of it. The Seat brand is currently built in an eastern European country (Turkey I think?) where it's less costly to build. In the future, I could see Seat going the way of the Monk seal since every one of its cars has nearly a direct replacement model in the VW brand.
     
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