• Jul 19, 2007
Volkswagen makes good-looking vehicles with terrific interiors, very good fuel economy, and spirited driving dynamics. In the US, those virtues alone don't make a high volume automaker, as price tends to play a major role in buyer's decisions. Due to the strength of the Euro, VW has much higher fixed costs than its competitors, even when production in Mexico is taken into account. As a result of their large financial burden, Volkswagens usually cost more than most of the competition. To strengthen their competitive position and leverage cheap labor in developing countries, VW is planning on producing vehicles in China for the US market.

VW, along with partner SECI Motors, is a juggernaut in the land of the Great Wall, as the Germans automaker has been entrenched in China since 1984. The SECI/VW partnership will replace the Chinese market Passat Lingyu with a sedan that will also be sold on our shores. Many automakers have utilized China's inexpensive labor for cheaper parts, but as of yet, no US-sold vehicles have been assembled there. If VW can make cars in China that can meet US safety and emissions standards, Europe's only volume automaker with a presence in the US will go a long way towards closing the cost gap.

[Source: Auto News (subscription req'd)]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like Germany has a problem with outsourcing also(Volkswagons made in China).too costly to build in europe with it's socialism.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Can you say "unpimp my auto" in Chinese? Baby!
      • 7 Years Ago
      NEEZA.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Fuck this!! I will never buy a VW again if made in China.
      • 7 Years Ago
      While VW interiors have for the most part held a very high standard, I think that their current generation of vehciles has taken a step back in style.

      The Mark IV Jetta was a knockout! Sales picked up and the blue sky value of VW dealerships skyrocketed. The the Mark V model arrived, and it wasn't nearly as appealing from a stylistic point of view. Combine that with an ill advised move upward in pricing and well I think that sort of sums things up.

      Bring back really sexy looking Jetta's and Passat's and all will be forgiven!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I love the looks of my 2005 GLI (last of the mark IV).
        Quality on the other hand,... nothing major but lots of niggles. and high service costs. service costs are probably the big killer that will drive me to a mazda3, s40, or civic si.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Now how are Chinese built vehicles going to be better than the current crop?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "In the US, those virtues alone don't make a high volume automaker, as price tends to play a major role in buyer's decisions."

      IMO - price isn't the main problem VW has in North America. Their big problem is the public's perception that VW quality is near the bottom of the pile. As for good fuel economy, from what I've read the new Rabbit is hardly fuel efficient.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In an earlier item on Autoblog, there was much response to the suggestion that Volkswagen may pull out of the North American market. Many of the posts suggested it was due to the poor quality of product. Now it is suggested Volkswagen may have their cars made in China for the same market. One can only assume that Volkswagen has more faith in Chinese automakers then their own factories. If anything, lets hope that the Chinese electrical is better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think VW's going to have a hard sale in the American market with this car. Since maketing a car here that's made in China has so many negatives to over come unless the price is extremely favorable compared to the competetion. And when was the last time you saw a good, but inexpensive VW sold here?
      • 7 Years Ago
      First Mexico now China... it just keeps getting better and better....
        • 7 Years Ago
        Thanks Leatherbear, i rechecked the story, it's civics to europe, which has been going on for two years, and as you've mentioned they're considering bringing the fit over as the chinese civics have been doing a-ok in europe thus far.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yay, let's all ignorantly pretend that Honda doesn't import Chinese built civics to the US, that they weren't the first automaker to do so, and insinuate that Chinese labor is inferior, just like, um, everything else they build, Audis, BMWs, et-al, if it's Chinese it must be crap! Woot for Jingoistic views!

        Considering the increasing devaluing of the dolar in relation to the Euro, this isn’t a shocking move at all.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I was thinking the same- the VW quality out of Mexico was so shoddy that it delayed a model intro in the US.

        If VW was going to dump the US, it would have been in the early 90's after that mess.
      • 7 Years Ago
      OVERHEAD.
      cut costs at the street level to pay for mgmt and such.
      yeah, i dont think china is going to be solving any major quality issues of VW anytime soon. If anything, the Brilliance shows just what VW will get without extensive quality control overhead and sending units through 2 or 3 times. and they havent done that well in Mexico.

      • 7 Years Ago
      "I hope you know that GM was the largest truck suplier for the Nazis...."

      Ford wasn't to excited about closing his German factories either. It could be the reason why the Americans didn't go Europe until three years after the war started. If it wasn't for Japan taking action against the US, one may wonder if they would have stayed home.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Volkswagen can't manufacture a competively priced car in their own country because they'd have to subsidize a spoiled socialist workforce.
        • 7 Years Ago
        lol and for that reason they are europens biggest car producer... because they can´t produce competetive priced cars...lol sometimes reading autoblog comments is better as a good joke..
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