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America's roads are finally getting the long overdue fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf, and already there's talk of its demise. The new-look hatchback began arriving Stateside in GTI trim in February, but it has been navigating European roads since 2003. And now there's talk that a replacement will hit showrooms beginning in the fall of 2008. Of course, that version is likely to take a while to filter over to U.S. shores, but pulling forward the sixth-generation Golf by two years has been deemed necessary for profitability's sake.

According to AutoWeek's article, a source within the company has pegged the current iteration as "horrendously expensive to produce," and currency fluctuations are also putting a crimp in per-unit profits. That's easy to believe  if Wolfgang Bernhard's statement about its built times is accurate: "For the production of the Golf in Wolfsburg we require two-and-a-half times the number of hours required by the best of the competition." The aim with the sixth will be to improve streamline production costs and times, but VW will need to be careful about decontenting and quality-control if it intends to stay competitive.

Read more about the future design and hardware direction of the next Golf by clicking through to the article.

[Sources: AutoWeek; Volkswagen]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      I hate the new body style. The new front end looks good on the pasat, but on the Golf/GTI it looks dumb. Girls seem to think it's sexy, but I hate it. The Golf/GTI is too short to have such a sloping front end. The snubbier "bulldog" look of the old body style was much more atractive. Please stop trying to make VWs look like Audis, it just ends up looking like a Honda.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I hope the 6th gen is better looking than the current release.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Production lead time is the fault of VW's manufacturing process, not the amount of content it has. They need some proper industrial engineers to help them streamline their process and design out unneeded complexities...

      5 bucks says BMW builds its cars faster. Any of them.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Why should anyone care?"

      Care about VW or care that you're being a troll?
      • 9 Years Ago

      The GTI is built in Germany, the Jetta is built in Mexico.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Dropping construction costs on something already build in mexico and sold at full price...... What other twisted retarded car will we inherit next...
      • 9 Years Ago
      All I have to say is that I rode in a GTI this weekend and I was very pleased. We took it on a country dirt road. I was all smiles!
      • 9 Years Ago
      since 2003? I don't think so....
      • 9 Years Ago
      Anything VW does in the U.S. is a non-event these days. VWs were everywhere in the '60s and '70s and VW even built the Golf (called the Rabbit here) in Pennsylvania in the late '70s. But success didn't last--times change, and so did the quality of VW's cars.

      Given the company's substandard service record and uninspired vehicles, why bother with VW at all? So, a car that's not as good as a Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru or Dodge made a style change that finally appears here 3 years late?

      Why should anyone care?

      • 9 Years Ago
      From the first answer google gave me:
      " The fifth generation of Germany's most-successful car of all time made its world debut at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, and then went on sale in Europe in fall 2003."
      • 9 Years Ago
      Three letters: T - D - I
      50 MPG without the complexity/cost of a hybrid and it's biofuel ready.

      The NA Golf is built in Brazil and the quality is excellent!

      >Why should anyone care?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Re: "Please stop trying to make VWs look like Audis, it just ends up looking like a Honda."

      That's exactly what I thought! I saw that picture of the new Golf and the first thing that went through my mind was "Hey, that looks just like my 1995 Civic!"
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