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Volkswagen announced Tuesday that it is delaying the launch of the Eos coupe-cabriolet by two months, to May 2006, because of quality issues.

VW Brand Group chief Wolfgang Bernhard has committed to cutting warranty costs by more than $580 million by 2008 as part of the company's drive to boost profits, and this means that warranty claims for cars less than a year old must drop to half current levels by 2008.

The quality drive aims not only at reducing warranty costs, but also at improving VW's quality reputation with consumers - J.D. Power's dependability survey currently ranks VW 34th out of 37 brands.

VW will launch five to ten new models by 2008, so ironing out manufacturing bugs like those delaying the Eos launch is vital to the success of Bernhard's restructuring plan.

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