• Jul 14, 2008

Following-up on last week's announcement that Volkswagen was looking at Alabama for a new manufacturing facility, the German automaker's management board is expected to make their final recommendation today. Following that announcement, Volkswagen's supervisory board, headed by former VW group CEO Ferdinand Piech, will make its decision by tomorrow. Whether Huntsville, Alabama, or second-choice Chattanooga, Tennessee, gets the nod, the move is key for Volkswagen as they attempt to increase sales in the United States with more targeted, and lower priced, vehicles. In addition to the Volkswagen Jetta (itself being redesigned to better compete with the Honda Civic) the new facility will produce an all-new Passat-sized sedan with a base price of about $20,000. Larger, in order to compete with the Toyota Camry, the new sedan would undercut the current Volkswagen Passat's pricing by about $5,000--a significant margin. The plant would open in late 2010 with an annual production capacity of nearly 250,000 vehicles.

[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      oliver
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Larger, in order to compete with the Toyota Camry"

      The Passat is large enough as it is....some may even call it "bulbous".

      Oliver.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that the next Volkswagen Passat is great! I hope their recommendation will bring a new good decision.

      In addition to the Volkswagen Jetta they could build a beautiful story. A Marketing story for their consumers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm glad. The Passat has been lackluster, though Motor Trend just gave it the award for the best 4-cyl midsize sedan. Something cheaper was something they asked for, as well as no thirst for premium fuel.

      I'm not as interested in the new Jetta, though. Make a Rabbit sedan, or something. The bunny already competes with the Astra and Mazda3. By adding a sedan, you could give it the GTI moniker, instead of the pointless GLI, and could group them together in a sales figure. It would be much more attractive that way, and a hell lotta more fun to drive. Oh, and they can keep the new Rabbit cheaper if they build it here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Isn't the Rabbit a Jetta with a trunk?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That comparison was probably the worst one I've seen in a long time. MT couldn't get over the Accord's style, and it gave the Passat points on frugality and efficiency and took off points from the Malibu for those two things; the Passat is DEFINITELY thirstier than the Malibu for fuel, and the former is definitely more expensive than the latter.
        There were simply too many contradictions for it to retain its credibility as an objective comparison. There were also too many subjective elements that went into the rankings.
        @Bullitt:
        Shouldn't that be, "Isn't the Jetta a Rabbit with a trunk?"
        @Torrent:
        I think VW said it would do that. On the other hand, the CC would be significantly pricier than the Passat. If they replaced the Passat with the CC, the same price difference between the Jetta and CC would occur as there was between the Passat and Phaeton. The reason for placing the CC in the position it will be in is to close the gap between the Passat and Phaeton, but if the Passat is canceled, the gap would reopen between the Jetta and CC.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Smart move for VW. The Passat is definately better looking than the Camry and has a beautiful luxurious interior. The only problem has been pricing. It always had this premium price over comparable Camry and Accord sedans. If they can cut the price by $5,000 without sacrificing on quality than it will definately sell many more than they currently sell, although it will be sometime before they will challenge the Accord/Camry supremacy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "If they can cut the price by $5,000 without sacrificing on quality than it will definately sell"

        That would be true for most cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Canel the Passat and only make the CC. duh.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ummm. Cancel. with the other 'C'.

        Why is it called the Passat "CC" anyway?
        • 6 Years Ago
        According to a road test in Top Gear magazine, it is because American dealers rejected the Coupe name as the car has four doors (yeah, like the CLS hasn't) and CC stands for Comfort Coupe

        They also said the 1.8T is plenty quick and very comfy, and rather good looking, too. (although the V6 doesn't add to fun or perceived speed)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, getting back to lower priced vehicles is a step in the right direction for increasing sales. The upmarket moves didn't pan out well for VW, this sound like back to basics.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The only problem is that Chrysler isn't financially strong enough to buy the darned plant when VW's US sales fail, again. The Sterling Heights Assembly plants were a pretty good buy 20 years ago....
        • 6 Years Ago
        If that's the case, then maybe Nissan can move over. Won't they be next door buddies now?

        The Passat needs to be aligned more closely with other mainstream US sedans. Currently it's too expensive and advanced; it has a 200-hp 2.0T instead of a 170-hp 2.4L, and a direct-injected 280-hp V6 with AWD instead of a SFI 260-hp V6 with FWD.

        Or, with the upcoming EcoBoost and turbo DI 1.4 engines from Ford and GM, perhaps VW could tweak their existing engines for the US market. A 1.4 170-hp TSI base, with an optional 260 hp 2.0T?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hahahahahaha... My Turn... Here We Go !!!

      VW's are Girl Cars Why even care unless ur a Girl... lol...

      It's not That i hate VW it's that i would never Drive one cause as i said They are Girl Cars...
      • 6 Years Ago
      With the dollar going so low, why not?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thanks P.V. - that's what I meant to say...I think?
      I shouldn't blog on an empty stomach.
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