• Oct 18, 2007
The Wall Street Journal has confirmed what's been alluded to in the past, but this time, it's from the top. Volkswagen's CEO Martin Winterkorn plans to price its U.S. offerings more aggressively in a bid to better compete with the likes of Toyota.

Currently, the Jetta starts around $17,000, while a comparable (?) Corolla is about $2k less. Same goes for the Passat and Camry segment, where the VW's mid-size sedan has close to a $4,000 premium over its Toyota counterpart.

Interestingly, Winterkorn admits, "We have definitely added too many technical items that (American) customers don't want to pay for." What those particular features are escapes us, but as long as they work, that's all that matters.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]


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  • 64 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Reading your comments and must tell you that opinion in Europe is usually the other way round.

      Japanese cars never really seem to get off over here. Usually awfully designed cars and expensive spare parts. Tpo compare a Toyota Corolla -Aurius over here with a Golf....is a no no.

      On the other hand the reability problems your talking about VW in the US is strange to us.

      I drive a Skoda Fabia and a VW Golf Tdi as working cars,Both have the same engine tdi 101 cv, both do about 40.000 miles a year with no problems.

      All VW brands( Vw, Audi & Seat) in Europe have the engines and share most parts, so after reading your comments I have reached the conclusion that your mexican VW are crap and have nothing to do with our European Vws.

      However the cars in the US are so cheap that it would be impossible to get EU build VWs over to you. An average Golf 105 hp Tdi costs 23.000 € which is nearly 30.000 Us $.....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Volkswagen's CEO Martin Winterkorn, like the rest of the company below him, just doesn't get it. Car buyers have repeatedly demonstrated that they will pay for reliability and quality in general. Volkswagen's past inattention to durability and reliability issues has, and still is, costing them market share. Toyota outsells VW simply because their cars are a better alternative, not just because of price.
      Hey VW, "if you build it they will come."
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sweet. A GTI for 13 grand will be awesome.
        • 7 Years Ago
        So will the 5 speed stick, beam rear axle, and dual beam headlights. and maybe optional ABS and AC.

        It would be nice for 10K off, but the biggest threat right now would be the nearly insolvent USD$ to low priced cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here's an idea, take out all of the expensive, over-engineered things that BREAK and then are way too costly (for a car that costs only $17k) to fix... Put in the tried and true technology, who cares if it weighs a bit more, or isn't dipped in gold. Build for durability, not fashion. GM interiors of old sucked, the engine was big, the electronics archaic, the seats velor. But as many will say a GM vehicle (and my 1989 Mercury Sable) runs for a long time with minimal upkeep.

      I truly believe the people that get crazy miles from toyotas, hondas, etc. etc. are because those buyers, being willing to spend more for a car with less power, and size, are also more willing (or attentive) to service their cars more regularly. Sure older cars have their issues, depending on how you take car of them, but I have yet to have a foreign vehicle last as long as my 89 Sable on a single transmission, engine and such (the expensive fixes) (193k) or my 94 Aerostar (221K and still going) or my 98 (Escort ZX2 with 171k and still on the original clutch and returning 40 mpg hwy)

      Thats what VW needs to do, give us cars that don't have all of the silliness in them and they just plain work...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Definitely a major decontenting to take place. Shame too, since having a bit of luxury and decent styling was all they had going for them anyway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As the owner of a 2006 Jetta that was bought brand new in Jan. 06 and now has 18,000 trouble free miles on it, I keep wondering why some keep beating the reliability drum. This car has been absolutely trouble free, if VW had some issues in the past, they have obviously been fixed.

      This Jetta is also a much better high speed road trip car than my 2006 Mazda-3 5 door. When going on a long trip, the Jetta wins hands down.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Re: reliability

        Because they read VW cars are unreliable on an Internet forum. Therefore it must be.

        Or they read it on an Internet forum post from 2004. Therefore it must also be true in 2007.

        I have a 2006 Jetta. I have absolutely driven the crap out of it. I speed, I rev it to redline at traffic lights, I drive in constant stop-and-go traffic every day during rush hour traffic and it's street parked year-round, in snow, rain, sweltering heat. I guess the only thing I haven't done with it is haul a trailer behind it or driven it in track, but it's definitely been used much heavier than your average car.

        Not a single reliability problem so far. Not one.

        It's a great car, and extremely well priced for its features. A stripped down model with $2K lower price should sell boatloads.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I own a 2006 Jetta 2.0T. it's been chipped since the break in period and trouble free for 30,000 very hard miles. I own a 2007 GTI, it has almost 15,000 miles, it's been trouble free. I own a 2005 TDI Passat, it's got almost 80,000 miles, it's been trouble free. I own a 2002 TDI Jetta, It has 150,000 miles, it's been trouble almost trouble free with the break switch recall fixing one nagging issue and the window falling on the driver's side.

        While that's only $100,000 of VW products over the last seven years, they've been trouble free for me. And like most reasonable people, I appreciate hearing "vw has crap reliability, MY 2003 xxx did xxx" vs "ummm, buy ammmmmerrrkan, vw sucks, audi's are a lot more reliable, even though half the components on VW/Audis are the same... it's just bias... i'm grumpy".
      • 7 Years Ago
      if you wonder what a cheap, de-contented VW would be like, just their website. look for the "value edition" Jetta and Rabbit.

      they come in (I believe) four colors, all with a black or grey interior. just what the world needs, another silver car with a grey interior...and don't forget those painted plastic hub caps, either.

      I call them "bank robbery" cars, because they are so forgettable, that if asked to describe the getaway car, witnesses always say, "I don't know, it was kind of a grey..."

      all of my recent experiences with Volkswagen dealers have left me cold, to say the least. for some reason, they feel they have a superior product, with no discounts or incentives.

      the "real" market does not bear this out, however. in the real world, any late model VW trade will be taken in at $3,000-$5,000 back of low book.

      AZMike
        • 7 Years Ago
        > if you wonder what a cheap, de-contented VW would be like, just their website. look for the "value edition" Jetta and Rabbit.

        The Value Edition was discontinued at the end of model year 2006.


        > they come in (I believe) four colors, all with a black or grey interior. just what the world needs, another silver car with a grey interior...and don't forget those painted plastic hub caps, either.

        Now your describing the 2007 base model. The 2008 base model has no such color restrictions.

        Obviously you don't follow VW very close.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have owned 4 Jettas...and they are superb.My latest is a 2007 model...and a far NICER car than the cheaper Corolla which I also considered.
      I have owned Ford and GM products...and had bad experiences with both and deceided never again.
      VW will do very well with its new TDI Jetta Jetta Sports wagon and Tiguan next year.
      Volkswagens are trendy...and sold to lots of stylish yuppies
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Scuse me, but VW is NOT and "upper-end car" by any stretch of the imagination.
      Try to be everything to everybody and you end up as no one to everyone.
      The new Jetta is a Corolla without the price advantage and quality...the styling sux.
      The EOS is 29 to 46K and leaks like a sieve. The GTI is a Mazda wanna be, and the Passat just plain doesn't know what it is.
      Close down Puebla, import from Germany and I'd pay the damn prices.
      After 14 years of VW ownership, this current one will be my last.
      NEXT!
      • 7 Years Ago
      With Consumer Reports backing off from their previous habit of signing off on Toyota's based on past performance and with another round of recalls on the boards for them, quality is all about perception. If people have issues with a Toyota or even a Honda they tend to think the issue has something to do with what they did or it's a possible fluke. "How could my Corolla break, it must be something I did." Perception becomes reality. VW had a run of bad parts from a supplier (coil-packs for those in the know) which they didn't manage aggressively enough. Going to a dealer and pulling a new part that may be defective off the shelf is not going to win you any fans. But that's a different story. What VW needs to do is REALLY bring Euro Spec to the States. Not just the shell of a car and a U.S. only engine, 2.5, I'm talking to you. The Golf/Rabbit has about 9 different engine options in Europe, gas and diesel. Here we have 2 and one is only on the GTI.

      NO automaker is golden, not Honda, Lexus, or even Rolls-Royce. They ALL have service shops. If you can find a dealership with a smaller service bay than sales floor or no service center at all, get back to me. Or better yet buy that car. You'll be on the bus a long time searching for that one.
        • 7 Years Ago
        i totally agree with cordite
      • 7 Years Ago
      Fewer features means less stuff to break. I knew they'd figure out how to increase quality some day.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Somehow Nissan and Ford are jamming lots of tech for no $ into their low end cars. VW can't handle that?

      The thing we all like about VWs is the nice interior fit and finish.

      Collapsable mirrors? Another thing automakers are adding to low end cars. You're going to take that away? If VW stops being the car for urbanites I see it losing a lot of its core fans and loyalists.

      The big move would be if the Tiguan came out at a base price below the CR-V. Then people would take note.
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