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Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has put a bull's-eye on Toyota. He believes the German automaker can outpace the Japanese company in ten years time, if not sooner. He sites German design aesthetics and meticulous engineering as VW's strong points over Toyota. However, he knows that's not all it takes to win the global battle, as sales in the North American market will be the focus of Winterkorn's plan to grow. Part of VW's sales deficiency is its high market price over its competition. In order to reduce costs, Volkswagen must streamline production and decrease exchange rate losses through new plant locations, such as building a new one in the United States (Auto News, Sub. Req.). With these future goals in mind and the assistance of a 9.5 billion Euro investment. Winterkorn hopes to develop 20 new cars over the next three years. Ultimately, by 2010 Winterkorn would like to see VW where Toyota is today.
It is a bold move by the VW CEO (apparently bold moves aren't just limited to Ford), but it also seems a bit contradictory. Usually designs that are efficient and low cost to produce are not the most detail oriented. Toyota has also demonstrated how high production volumes can lead to reduced overall quality ratings. Let us hope that VW does not lose touch with its heritage while attempting to dethrone the king.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love VWs, and have owned several. Bring back the TDI, and quit selling Mexican-built cars at German car prices! I've owned both German and Mexican built VWs. The Mex-built ones I've had were troublesome, which is why I quit buying VWs - it became next to impossible to find a German-built one here in the US.
      • 7 Years Ago
      you wont get my money VW..!
      no way.... Toyotas are at least reliable,but you once disapointed me VW so no way.. forget it... never ever.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In the minds of buyers it's all about quality and brand image. They have a big hill to climb to reach Mt. Toyota
        • 7 Years Ago
        Seriously. When a customer gets burned or hears of friends who got burned by a company, they are not going to suddenly take a $16-20k chance because some internet yahoo suddenly says, "they improved their quality! Mine didn't break..." To win them back, a company would have to perform exceedingly well and offer reliability without doubt or question (i.e. 5 yr+ track record from CR, JD powers, etc). Only then would a customer willingly and happily return.
      • 7 Years Ago
      since when is subary part of toyota?
      and your sales figure i believe are US only... Refer to the article about the european market, it's pretty much the same size. VW is a European company, market share is greater there. Quality is better there. also you forgot the Seat sales for vw, although I guess they don't sell those in the US. what about skoda?
        • 7 Years Ago
        When GM ofloaded its shares in Subaru, Toyota snapped them up. As they did with Isuzu. Soon there will be Toybarus all over the globe.

        Re-read my statement about one hand being tied behind their backs. Translation: What is the largest single market for any of the global marques? It's the US. In order for VW to overtake Toyota and GM, they will need to raise their market share here. Cannot be a Global leader when you have no significant share of the largest market.

        China may soon surpass the US, but GM is also have a significant share of that market.
      • 7 Years Ago
      toyota hate is rampant here, it's funny since chrysler just had a recall yet autoblog hasn't reported it yet. what gives?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've got 2 words for you Mr. Winterkorn, Fat chance!

      I have owned several flavors of VW's over the years and I have owned several Toyotas and I can say - without qualification - that it will take a LOT of improvement on VW's part to get me to even THINK of buying another POS VW again. Toyota has my loyalty and VW has only my distain...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Don't they already have those?

      He can keep dreaming, there is no way this is going to happen.
      • 7 Years Ago
      that was suposed to be in reply to mr Oaks.
      and Subaru, not Subary
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ha, ha, ha. 2010. Ha, ha, ha.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I owned a vw ONCE. Never again. The worst dealerships of all time. The most ridiculous problems like a previous poster said, coilpacks, window regulators, check engine lights on all the time, rear wiper didn't work, signals breaking and so on. The dealership and vw worked hard together to deny any warranty. This was a bone stock car with no modding done. I live in metro Detroit and because all the local vw dealerships service was unacceptable, I had to drive an hour away to Lansing at Williams Auto World, a vw/porsche/audi dealership, to get decent service. I am flabbergasted that the "reliable german automaker" myth still persists today. I have personally talked at least five people out of buying a vw. This is why their ad campaigns target young people, because they've never owned one and don't know any better. And believe me, there are older people that would enjoy an economical, efficient car. Audi is a little better, there service is better, with much better products, but more depreciation.
      If vw wants to really compete they need a thorough overhauling of their dealerships. They need to bring the Polo over, and that UP! car. They need to ax the Phaeton. Basically they need to concentrate on what originally made them successful. Economical, fuel efficient cars. They need to forget about Peich's vision. Porsche will be the major shareholder of vw starting in the new year, and this could be a good step. Concentrate on bringing in return business vw, which is a huge task.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How can VW reach significant numbers when they have such a limited product portfolio?

      What's worse is that in a recent Automobile Magazine article, it looks like they're be DECREASING the number of models in the US market very soon. (Like getting rid of the New Beetle.)

      Then they're going to keep amazingly cool new products, like the Scirocco, out of the US market. What the heck?!?!

      VW needs to get its product portfolio filled out AND to offer them in the US AND to work on its marketing. No product, no sales. No marketing, no awareness, no sales.

      I actually own a '99 VW New Jetta that's due to get replaced soon. I *want* to replace it with the Scirocco. But the idiot running the US operation doesn't want to bring it to the US...
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is just typical German Hubris, i.e. overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors.

      This guy is parroting his Boss.

      The reality is that with bottom-feeder quality, a soaring Euro, and a world about to slip into recession, VW will be lucky if it can just stay in its place.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're blaming Mexican workers for a problem that is essentially German?

        Get your facts right, the Rabbit is made in Wolfsburg, the Eos is made in Portugal, the Jetta and Beetle in Mexico, the Passat in Emden, and the Touareg in Slovakia. Know what's funny? The Mexican-built Jetta gets a higher reliability score than its Deutsch cousin, the Rabbit!

        Seriously, VW reliability is pretty equal across it's lineup, and by equal I mean poor, and it gets even worse with the City models they're offering in Canada.

        Bottom line is: stop blaming Mexicans for everything.
        • 7 Years Ago
        a world going into recession? or a US going into recession.
        Europe is still VW's biggest market. Europe's VW's are made in Europe, ours are made in Mexico, hence the quality difference...
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