While this one was only a 210-hp S trim (no LSD, big brakes), it is a quick car
Buying Experience (incomplete)
I went to Emich Volkswagen in Denver and had an hourlong meeting (including test drive) with the very helpful John (sales). He ran my info through a preliminary credit check (660, not as good as I’d like), and a VW Financing approval request. I qualified for a lease, my choice 3 years or 4.
I chose a 4-year lease to make things easy and that put the payment just at $400/month. At that point it was getting too real and I said I needed to think it over. I didn’t plan to go in and buy a car, cold. It’s just now how I roll.
I went in wanting to buy, not lease, but John said that after the typical 3-year lease and buyout, buying and leasing are within $100 of each other. I was skeptical, but I rolled with the lease because it is the more flexible of the two avenues.
I’ve read a lot of posts on car sites saying to lease a new VW instead of buying, because of reliability concerns. Maybe I was letting paranoia creep into my thought process. Whatever the case, I explored the lease option with my sales rep, and I must admit, I like the flexibility it offers. I like the idea of leasing and turning it in if the car is not reliable.
There’s not much else that Volkswagen could have said that would make any more sense than this. The company recently announced that it wants to get serious about growing its sales in the US.
There are plenty of reasons surrounding this announcement. First, there’s a lot of angry dealerships around the country to deal with. There are struggling sales numbers, including a 13 percent drop in the first quarter alone. The VW Passat is down 22 percent. It seems that the company has a number of lessons to learn in its road ahead to delivering strong US sales again.
One place VW could pick up some pointers from is from its own Audi division. The company has set a sales record figure for the 63rd straight month. The difference? Some would point to a total car experience. Yes, the Volkswagen models that arrive on our shores are practical vehicles, but Audis are witnessing demand that is based on the experience of their products. That is a sharp contrast to the vehicles that Volkswagen produces for the market. Therein lies the key to this conundrum. If Volkswagen desires increased American sales, they must begin to capture the imaginations and desires of American car buyers. First step, wipe the slate clean of the diesel cheating nightmare. Next step, start working on the types of vehicles and designs that are working for Audi. Electric vehicles may have a future, but the capability and design of the vehicles that the company puts out IS the future.
The good news for American buyers is that if the company pays attention to these facts, we may see great models emerge in the near future. However, it is possible that the company will follow the simpler track of competitive leasing and pricing options, with mild warm-overs of their existing cars. Another thing to consider is whether the company would want to impede on the success of its own child company by rolling out models with the same genetics that only have different badges on the hood. Time will tell.
The former Chief Executive Officer of Porsche Auto and the same company former Chief Financial Office were cleared in a German court of charges that they were involved in manipulating conditions prior to the takeover of the company by Volkswagen. The charges in question centered on the willful manipulation of market conditions that made the Volkswagen takeover easier. Prosecutors had outlined the case that the executives made misleading statements in the days and weeks ahead of the takeover. The true intent of the company was then masked, allowing for a larger stake of the company to be acquired and increasing the benefit received.
At stake was $869.5 million in penalties and the loss of freedom through prison sentences of 30 for CEO Wendelin Wiedking and 27 years for CFO HOlger Haerter. Five months into the case, the clearing means that the executives are free of the charges. Investors in the Porsche company reportedly lost as much as 5 billion euros and at one point, it was believed by most that Porsche would be the one to take over Volkswagen. High debt and external market conditions spoiled those plans, but the public was surprised when Volkswagen stepped up to take over Porsche instead.
Any news that doesn’t involve fines and lawsuits is fine by Volkswagen fans. The latest from the German car giant is a visually captivating concept car called the GT Ge. The car was announced during a conference call with reporters this week.
The car takes some design cues from previous vehicles such as the GTI Roadster and the Vision Grand Turismo, both released in 2014. Adding the story of this car’s stylistic appeal is how it was designed. Sporting super car lines, the futuristic design was created by Eljesah Shala an industrial and transportation design graduate as part of a sponsored thesis from the German car maker. A graduate of the University of Art in Braunschweig, Germany, Shala has been invited by the CEO of Volkswagen, Matthias Müller, for a sit down to discuss this beautiful design and what it would take to make the design suitable for production. What he shared with the designer is unknown, but a back window immediately comes to mind.
If the model ever comes to production or influences the direction of future Volkswagen vehicles, it is likely that it would be an electric vehicle. Volkswagen has been on a path towards increasing their electric vehicle development as many vehicle manufacturers are.
An entry from Portugal – But maybe it’s a good thing we never got this one. That is unless you reeeealllly like the styling of this unit.
This is a Sharan, built in Portugal under the VW banner. There are modern versions of this vehicle, but the classics are pretty interesting in terms of style. First off, they debuted in 1995, at the height of the minivan craze. In that haste, the model borrows heavily from the Ford Galaxy and something called the SEAT Alhambra.
Let’s run down some of the general features:
Seating for seven, a roomy interior, and slick outer styling tie the car together. But what makes it tick? The originals came with a 1.8 liter base engine. Additional and later models came with all-wheel drive and a 2.8 liter VR6 engine. The base vehicle was reportedly a true economy model, with very little to speak of in terms of ummmphhh. However, getting your hands on one of these (difficult as they are only European) might make for a strange project of sorts. The question is – is there anyone out there to take that on? Not holding our breath here. The US never got this model and part of that was due to an agreement with Ford Motor Company while part of that is due to demand (or lack of it here in the US).
Europe is home base for the worldwide car manufacturer Volkswagen AG. Doing well as a company is as important there as it is in any possible location. In the wake of the ongoing repercussions of last year’s emissions scandal, the company is focused on rebuilding consumers’ trust with a unique Europe-wide brand campaign.
The initial commercial spot features a sort of life story where a young boy is sitting in the back seat of his father’s VW Beetle. It then follows that same kid along his life until ultimately, he starts a family of his own. From the young red headed child, to his first date, to racing his pregnant wife to the hospital, a different Volkswagen model can be seen at each life-stage.
The commercial ends with a voice over that discusses how a Volkswagen is more than a car, saying “it’s a lifelong companion.” That’s a pretty healthy dose of nostalgia.
The campaign certainly tugs at the VW heartstrings. Many of us have amazing first and early memories of that Beetle, that Notchback, that Bug that we built with our older brothers, our fathers, and so on. There is nothing like nostalgia and a million similar life stories with Volkswagens in them to create a renewed brand loyalty.
There is no word if such a campaign is coming to the States just yet, but if this campaign is successful, you can expect it.
The Guardian is making this look like a bombshell. Eh. Any company would do this given the Dieselgate circumstances. The financial results had been due to be released on March 14.
Volkswagen has postponed the release of its financial results and annual meeting with shareholders because of the diesel emissions scandal.
The German carmaker said it was still trying to establish the cost of the emissions affair, which could run into tens of billions of euros.
The company has admitted installing defeat devices in 11m vehicles to cheat diesel emissions tests. As a result, it faces the prospect of having to pay out fines and compensation to customers.
VW had been due to post results on 10 March and hold its annual meeting on 21 April.
Volkswagen will set a new date for the publication of the annual accounts for fiscal year 2015 due to remaining open questions and the resulting valuation calculations relating to the diesel emissions issue.
It’s no secret that Toyota and Volkswagen regularly duke it out in an ongoing race to be the number one car company in the world. Volkswagen has taken a bit of a beating thanks to the Dieselgate affair, but they have also made some rapid moves to turn things around including developing electric vehicles, rolling out new models, and saying all the right things to try and make up for its error. Meanwhile, Toyota is the holder of 51 percent of Diahatsu and the latest news is that it could take full control of Diahatsu, which would further cements its position as the largest in the world.
Toyota Motor has announced its interest in buying out Daihatsu Motor Co. and making it a wholly owned subsidiary. It plans to retain the Daihatsu brand on mini-vehicles and make a bigger impact on emerging markets. – vcpost.com
Daihatsu and Toyota have worked together closely for nearly 50 years. Toyota has owned its majority stake in the company since 1998.
Toyota is not done there. Suzuki may have left the United States car market in 2013, but it still has a big footprint in a number of countries, especially India. The two companies appear ready to collaborate in an exchange of technologies and market, which would deliver needed technology to Suzuki, and needed market presence for Toyota (which happens to be one market weakness for Toyota).
The bottom line is that Toyota is staying on the offensive to keep its position at the top of the automotive world. Widening the lead across the board, especially in the growing market of Southeast Asia, shows the company’s drive within this campaign.
Volkswagen’s reinvention continues and the latest news has the company bringing two small size crossover SUVs to certain markets. The T-ROC concept vehicle pictured below is headed for production and a second, smaller car called the T-Cross will be unveiled as a concept car at the Geneva auto show in March.
Despite the different sizes, these sporty models are built off of the company’s MQB architecture and they are both smaller than the current model, the Tiguan. The Tiguan has been around for some time and the opportunity to deliver a hit in this class is a big temptation for the company. As the smaller of the two, the T-Cross is said to be close in size to the European model, the Volkswagen Polo. The T-ROC is similar in size to the Volkswagen Golf.
Volkswagen is aiming to keep the designs persistent between the new model, and will integrate familiar visual features into both vehicles. Being that the T-Cross is designed along the tastes of the European market, it is unknown if this model will make it to the United States at some point. However, if it becomes a success, there is always that possibility.