Blog: Dave LeggettVolkswagen's shared platform problems

Dave Leggett | 2 October 2003

Yesterday's presentation to students at Hertfordshire University went okay I think. No-one actually fell asleep and there were some useful discussions to be had in the wide-ranging group (there are a large number of overseas students on the course offering varied perspectives). The discussion got quite lively on the issues of platform consolidation, model differentiation and brand overlap - with particular reference (unsurprisingly) to Volkswagen Group. Has Volkswagen, having pioneered the platform consolidation strategy in the 1980s when care was taken to differentiate the models sold under different brands, finally lost the plot? How does the Volkswagen customer experience differ from the Skoda one, or VW from Audi for that matter? Do Skoda and SEAT take sales away from VW now that the market perceives these brands as offering low-price versions of Volkswagen brand cars? The European sales data looks a bit inconclusive. It's a case of hypothesising that were it not for Skoda and SEAT, sales in Europe under the Volkswagen brand would be higher than they are now. But how much? There's a question.

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