Blog: Dave LeggettVolkswagen brand - not so hot in the States?

Dave Leggett | 1 May 2003

Interesting feedback from my blog entry a short while ago about Volkswagen planning a low-cost mid-engined roadster. The criticism comes from someone in the US: "VW is always late to the party with designs and their quality is continually suspect at the best of times."

He goes on:

"I know so many people who have owned a VW at some point and they all said the same thing: When it worked, it was a blast to drive. But half the time they were at the dealer having it repaired or waiting from the surly parts manager for parts to arrive -- and it wasn't cheap.

"And to add insult to VW's injuries, without exception, all of those former VW owners have moved into Japanese cars/trucks/minivans because they realized their cars were just too problematic or didn't meet their changing needs. It's a company that's too euro-focused, it refuses to learn from the Japanese (even Porsche did that!) and it waits out trends until jumping into the market.

"Will they ever stop being so arrogant and short-sighted where the North American market is concerned? I doubt it."

Phew! What a difference the Atlantic makes. European ideas about the Volkswagen brand could not be much more different - at least in terms of quality. I've heard stories about the historically poor quality of NA VWs sourced out of Mexico (eg Rabbit) before, but maybe there's a bigger problem that surfaces in a market like the US where the standards are set higher than Europe in some respects. Or maybe this is all about perceptions? I'd be interested to hear more views on this topic. If anyone wants to e-mail me: If more comes in, I'll kick-start a forum thread.


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