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Thursday, October 06, 2005


VW's Troubles

VW has always built cars with class leading handling and performance. The first car I ever owned was a VW Rabbit -- back in the late 70's and early 80's, it was the best handling/driving compact car on the market (in my opinion, of course).

Although its recent products are attractive visually and continue the heritage of "driver's cars" we think most of VW's problems with the launch of the new VW Passat and VW Jetta (see photo) have nothing to do with its advertising and more to do with its competitive positioning and product quality.

  1. VW price points are aggressive relative to its core competitors (Honda, Nissan, Toyota)
  2. VW design is competitive with the core competition, but it's word of mouth on quality isn't as strong
If I were actively shopping for a small, mid-size sedan or large SUV, VW would definitely be on my shopping/test drive list. With sales sluggish, VW dealers and VW may be willing to offer some good deals.

And, if I were VW, I'd probably run some aggressive test drive vs. the competition promotions with internet shoppers.

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