• Oct 31, 2008


Volkswagen has so far been pretty sketchy about what will be built at its new Chattanooga plant. About all they've said is that it will be a brand new mid-size sedan model specifically for the U.S. market.

Chattanooga's NBC affiliate, WRCB, attended a VW reception last week in Berlin where they discovered a few more details about the car. A very few. First, the car is referred to by VW insiders as the NMS, an acronym for the uncreative name, "New Midsize Sedan." VW plans for the car to offer a TDI diesel as well as double clutch transmissions. Which all sounds very Jetta-like.

Also revealed in the WRCB video is that the NMS will have a "large trunk" and "spacious legroom." Thank goodness. We really can't stand sedans with tiny trunks and less legroom than economy on a domestic flight. And, despite WRCB's Web site proclaiming that the video gives "a sneak peek of what the Chattanooga car will look like," the generic outline you see at right is the closest you'll get.

Unfortunately, there was no mention during the speech of any Microbus plans for Chattanooga. So, for now, Brooke Shields will have to keep pushing re-branded Chryslers.

[Source: WRCB via The German Car Blog]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Rabbit/Golf TDI 6 spd auto should be the American decision.
      • 6 Years Ago
      just like the new minivan, this 'new' midsize sedan for the USA will probably be a rebranded chrysler. the Sebring Plus?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Passat has been replaced by the CC, which I think is bigger than the outgoing model. So this sedan would affectively repalce the current Passat as the mid-size sedan.

      VW may have more issues than Toyota or Honda, but when you compare build quality and materials there's no comparison. Toyota and Honda do make decent cars, but they are cheap (materials, sheet metal, etc)and unexciting. So if you want a cheap car that won't brake down and isn't fun to drive, go for it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Pardon me boy, but is this the Chattaooga made Mid-sized sedan?
        • 6 Years Ago
        ...you know, they have working examples of Ford Model T's too. Its like the Concorde - it was a mechanical masterpiece, but it was in the shop for a whole lot longer than it was in the air. Luckily, VW's aren't supersonic and don't cost $350M - although the Veyron is getting close.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Check out the latest New Yorker magazine. The new VW CC is announced. 31 mpg, $26 grand.

      Quick verdict: looks good.
      • 6 Years Ago
      PLEASE add a station wagon TDI, and add an AWD option. I will not buy a sedan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      as the owner of 3 VWs, I can testify to VW poor longevity vs Toyota and Honda. I am sorry to say it because I do like my cars. I have a 1995 Passat VR6, 2001 Passat 30V V6 and a 2003 TDI 5 speed.

      The TDI has been the best performer for maintenance with no big issues to 135k miles but the others have had significant problems.

      I have 215k miles on the 95 Passat but I have cracked open almost literally every component of the car to keep it going. One positive note - original driveshafts - yeah!

      My next car will be a Honda or Toyota... sorry VW but you have let me down too many times. Happy to have you in the US and good luck!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Careful though Mark, New Camrys are not built well now at all. Stick with the late 90's early '00s models. The new Camry a friend of mine's mother owns has been a real POS. Auto tranny croaked at 7500 miles!!! Paint is fading on the trunk at 11,000 miles and she has numerous squeaks and rattles.
        Seems with VW's that it is Passats that has had issues. I have always owned Golf vehicles (be it in GTi or Rabbit form now) and never any problems at all. If you really hate VWs go for the Honda... the Toyotas have dropped in quality the past few years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        fixitfixitstop,

        why only Honda or Toyota? because I will not have to look any further. I would prefer a family sedan or wagon that also serves as a commuter. I like driving a manual which is why I have the TDI..

        For the next car I can choose the new Prius, an older Prius, a hybrid Civic or a 5-speed Civic or the new Insight. I will not 'love' these cars as much as I have the VWs but I will not have to work on them every weekend either.

        I do all my own work on the VWs except for mounting tires, AC service and suspension alignments.

        I have a coworker who bought a new Camry in 1996, close to when I bought my used 95 Passat. He hardly knows his car even with 230k miles because has has not had any problems. in the meanwhile I have trained myself to be an auto technician in order to keep the Passat going. like the difference between black and white.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just give us a rebranded reskinned Skoda Superb.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why? A Superb is just a Passat that's slightly stretched.

        So, they'd be rebranding and reskinning a rebranded and reskinned car?? Back to the original no less??
      • 6 Years Ago
      I know this won't stop Autoblog's VW hater brigade, but:
      When comparing VW reliability of 10 years ago to a Toyota or a Honda of 10 years ago, the Japanese have the advantage. Today, for Toyota in particular, I think they have the perception of invincibility going for them and VW's have the opposite going against them.
      Either way, if you think you can buy a new Toyota and run it maintenance free for 230k, you may be kidding yourself...
      While I agree that poorly trained service bays may still be an issue, reliability has greatly improved across the VW product line up in the last decade, and in the last 5 years in particular.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Gosh ol' golly gee whiz. I'm afraid, like all my friends that have had VW's, that I have to agree with high MPG, low maintenance, and high longevity into the the 200K miles per car (at least).

      The biggest issue I've ever had with dub's, had been the nagging instrument light issue of years ago. The BIGGEST issue that VW has is finding qualified service departments/service people when a problem arises. I do know of people that have been totally ripped and pissed off by crappy and unnecessary service.

      My biggest thing about VW is how they have totally screwed up their market share by having a minimal product selection in the states. Mexico gets nearly everything they have in Europe - and please, I don't want to hear the high tariff argument when VW had the first foreign factory stateside and couldn't figure out how to pull it off (thank you Lower Saxony Board members) and now, they want to over-take Toyota. Woopee! I don't really care for the boring Toyota driving ideal and excuse me VW, but if your idea of the 'NMS' is the start of your quest - here's a hint - VW owners will not tolerate, and don't want a Toyota wanna-be car.

      Please, Porsche, finish your take-over and get the upper management, Pieche, and Lower Saxony out of the decision tree and give us a fookin' VW. Oh, and as for the Routan at least use a VW motor/drivetrain, and make the Tiguan LONGER - not bigger like a Highlander.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, I have been ripped off and pissed off by crappy and unecessary service at the hands of VW dealers.

        I wonder if VW could possibly turn this problem around by having the assembly plant local to the US. Maybe more knowledge will spread to the dealers and other mechanics.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I always get a kick out of the VW folks who argue that VW's are very reliable. Every single scientific survey from the past 2 decades refutes your anecdotal experience yet you argue that your experience is the norm. Stupid people buy unreliable cars and then aruge in the face of all objective information that they are reliable. Why? Because they bought one and they can't be stupid can they? So they defend them. VW's are crap and have been for decades. The evidence is overwhelming.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The biggest story inside the story is why exactly did VW plan to build a new mid size sedan for US market only?

      According to an article in NYT I read months ago, it is because VW is losing a lot of money for every Passat sold here. Americans don't deem something with VW badge to be worth close to BMW - as it is case in Europe.

      Similar thing happened 20 years ago when Americans refused to pay for Legend since nothing with Honda badge on the grille could be worth that much. For that smart decision, Americans got Acura and US-only models of Civic and Accord. Accord and Civic might be excellent cars compared with what's offered around here, but they are a joke compared with same Euro market models. On the top of that, Americans ended up being able to buy Euro Accord, but not at Honda price, they have it as Acura TSX. Very smart indeed.

      This NMS thingy is not Jetta, it will need to fill in for Passat. Unfortunately, I'm expecting same difference between NMS - Passat as we have now between Euro Accord - US Accord.

      But then again, if Americans weren't so smart to buy "more car for a dollar", we wouldn't have more than 50% vehicles sold in US in 2003 to be not-cars.

      For those for whom want to buy VW bigger than Jetta, run to the dealership and get Passat while it lasts. You won't be sorry later.
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