• Jun 15, 2008
Germany's Spiegel Online is reporting that currency concerns will force Volkswagen to not sell the upcoming Mk VI Golf in the United States, Brazil, and Australia. It all boils down to profitability, and it appears that the forthcoming Golf simply cannot be sold in our market (or Brazil or Australia) in the current economic climate without falling short of VW's targets. Thus, Spiegel reports that VW boss Martin Winterkorn told a meeting of the board that the next Golf won't make an appearance here in the States, period. The original article (in German) is here, and any German-speaking readers are welcome to add clarity to the report in the comments below.

In the US, the Golf (Rabbit) family is VW's second-highest seller behind the Jetta. If this drastic measure does indeed come to pass, we're left wondering what, if anything, would fill that void. Would the current Mk V soldier on, much in the same way VW continues to offer the Mk IV in markets like Canada under the City moniker? This is going to be an interesting story to follow, regardless of what ultimately transpires. Thanks to all who sent tips.

UPDATE

[Source: Spiegel Online (Translated)]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 60 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      It seems very unlikely Australia would miss out. The Mk V has been reasonably successful here (and is a favourite of Aussie motoring journos).

      Australia's Mk V's are sourced from South Africa (along with the euro Ford Focus and Mazda3), so it follows that our Mk VI will be sourced from there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      None of this surprises me in the least - Volkswagen is a company that continually fails to "get" the US market. Of course, the news that the Golf VI won't come here may also be a way of saying "just not right away". It took the current Golf a few extra years to make it over here only to be renamed Rabbit. Or, if what the article says really is true, the Golf V may soldier on here for an extra generation until a Golf VII is ready. Still, if VW is aware of the latest trends in the US auto industry - but let's not assume they are - they would soon realise that US companies are figuring out ways to get high quality small vehicles quickly into their lineups which means more Saturn-Opels and European Fords, also not a bad thing. I seriously doubt that VW would want to fall much behind the domestic competition, let alone other foreign brands sold here. Whatever Mr. Winterkorn's rhetoric, let's hope that VW does not underestimate the US market as it does so often.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I thought the whole point of the Mark V Golf was to drive out some of the high cost design that crippled the Mark IV.

      At least that's what's been reported.

      And if that's right, none of this makes sense.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here is what VW needs to do. [like for the '09 model year]
      Drop the 2.5 I5 engine (it sucks)
      A new calibration of the 2.0T, small turbo, liquid/air intercooler (less latency), 175hp 175ft-lbs (on US 87AKI gasoline) for the base engine.
      Change the name of the rabbit to the Golf gt

      Keep the GTI, upsize the turbo, 225hp 225ft-lbs on 91AKI

      Provide an overboost function, so if you fill up with 89AKI on the 175hp version, you get 200hp, 200ft-lbs.
      Same deal with the 225hp version, if you can get 93AKI, you get 250hp 250ft-lbs (for limited times)
      • 6 Years Ago
      If you folks in the US would like one of the new Golf Mk. VI you are welcome to come to Canada and buy one and import it into the US, can't be that difficult...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh yes it can be.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I know that bringing a new car (actually a VW) from the US to Canada means having to swap the speedo and a few other components. That ads up.
        That is of course after customs taxes and stacks of paperwork. You can even be delayed at the border for a few days.
        It's a huge hassle, tons of time, and lots of money to bring a car from the US to Canada. I can't imagine it would be much or any less to bring a car from Canada to the USA.
          • 6 Years Ago
          Bringing a car into the United States us a screwy process. The car must be 25 years old, or there can not be any other vehicle like it being sold. If it is imported and not 25 years old, it is labeled as a display/race piece and not allowed on public roads.
      • 6 Years Ago
      this sucks
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just can't get over how blind VW was in developing a new Golf which couldn't be sold in the USA due to high costs. The Japanese have known for years how to use local sourcing and production to reduce currency risk.

      I have to sympathize with Mr. Winterkorn, who was confronted with these facts, and had to choose between an embarrassing non-launch of the Golf in the USA and a financial disaster.

      VW makes the Polo for very little money in China. They could assemble the Chinese parts in Mexico for American consumption.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But when VW started developing the next Golf, the stated objective was reducing the number of parts and simplifying construction so it could be sold at a profit in the US. And they probably have achieved the first part of the objective--what they couldn't forecast was how low that US economic policies and foreign investors would force the dollar by the time the Golf VI was introduced. Look at sibling Audi--when the A4 was introduced it was well within the mainstream of similarly-sized Toyotas, Hondas, Fords, etc., even with some upscale options. Now even its base price is well out of the mainstream--even the smaller, less luxurious A3 has trouble undercutting a loaded Camry or Accord. Part of that was a calculated decision to move Audi upscale, but part of it was unavoidable given the dollar's long-term decline. Even with decontenting and building in Mexico, I don't see how VW can sell the Golf at a price competitive with the Focus, let alone the Elantra. The Jetta can probably sell at a premium based on image, but the Golf probably can't. Which is why we get a Jetta SportWagen instead of an essentially identical Golf Variant.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i think my head just exploded. someday down the road, i had planned on looking into a GTI, Cooper S to name a few. there are things i like about both, but the Cooper S was just more expensive and i was leaning towards GTI (of those two at least) i can't believe they wouldn't sell the MKVI here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm not familiar with the build process of VWAG cars sold in NA, but aren't Golfs and Jettas destined for those markets built in Mexico?

      I wonder if this is truly a financial decision, or the fact that VW doesn't want to deal with selling these vehicles at all stateside. I mean for crying out loud the MKV went on sale in NA almost 3 years after it did so in Europe.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Mk3 Golf/Jetta was sourced from Mexico. The MkIV Jetta was sourced from Mexico, while the MkIV Golf was sourced from Brazil. The MkV Jetta is sourced from Mexico, the Mk5 Rabbit/GTI is sourced from Europe.

        Brazil still makes the Mk IV Golf/Jetta, with a facelift, which is sold in most American markets except for the USA.

        My best guess is that they might plan to retool Brazil to make the MkV models for all American markets and quit importing them from Europe, so they can actually make money on them. Perhaps one day VW will take the US market seriously (get build quality sorted, good dealers, modern products) but I doubt it. As it is I'll stick to my Mk3 Golf for the moment as it's quit falling to pieces. Perhaps I've reached some sort of equilibrium...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm really sick of VW and VWOA telling us which models we're not getting. The new Scirocco? No. A TDI for the Rabbit instead of the fuel inefficient 2.5L? No. A Tiguan TDI? No. A Polo? No. A Fox? No. America sure doesn't want fuel efficient cars at 4.00 a gallon fuel eh? But hey, we'll make sure you have to put premium fuel at a premium cost in your 2.0 TSI Tiguan.

        BMW announced an additional 1 Billion dollar infrastructure investment in the US this week. Apparently it's cheaper to build cars here even after investing in new plants while creating American jobs along with the investment. Instead, VW sends us cars that cost more than equally equipped cars in the Subaru, Toyota, Hyundai and Honda brands. VW, either make an investment to deliver the best products to America, or quit telling us how important America is to your worldwide profitability goals.
        • 6 Years Ago
        John, I'm with you 100%.

        Anyhow, VW is slated to build a plant somewhere stateside, and it can't come soon enough. Until VWoA is willing to take a few changes, that whole growth strategy is dead in the water.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Considering Tiguans are at 2.9% financing mere months after introduction and its obvious VW has a problem. They need to face the music, other than the EOS they have nothing on anyone in the way of a unique "must go to VW" to offer.

        That and their damnable dealers they deserve to be in the bottom of sales. If they want to meet their million vehicle goal then they need their diesels here and like now. People will pay more for one. It was what VW was known for. There are many who won't sign onto the hybrid bandwagon and the diesel expresses this. Now the problem is, can they get them here with less than a 10% bump in price by model?

      • 6 Years Ago
      It won't be missed. That car is a POS. Plastic water pump FTL.
      • 6 Years Ago
      May I ask how Volkswagen intends to meet their stated million-unit sales goal in this country by selling outdated products?
      • 6 Years Ago
      profit margins.
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