Insight: Has Volkswagen discovered the Holy Grail of carmakers?

Comments (14)
Spasmodic1 wrote:

This comes across as being just too optimistic. Not to mention the fact that having so much in the way of shared components could also mean that each car, regardless of price, would drive in too similar a fashion to be different enough from the vehicle below it to be worth buying in the lesser car’s place. Considering that think tanks have placed China atop an unstable pedestal, such an investment puts too many eggs into the one basket for me.

Feb 11, 2013 2:12am EST  --  Report as abuse

I agree with Spasmodic1. In fact I’m suprised that the only con mentioned in the article is issues with a recall!
I’ll mention another: All the instrument panels are the same – even some of the controls too. What that means that there is very little differentiation for the driver between a Skoda and a Golf or the myriad of other clones out there. This occurs with rising equipment levels too. The same audio across the range pretty much up the model range too.
I much prefer individuality in this case and as I don’t like the cruise control system of the VW family, I’m stuck with it!

Feb 11, 2013 2:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
aspe wrote:

as a past Seat, VW, Audi owner/everyday driver, i must note that the models (same class) have for some years been almost identical at almost all level, except style. Nevertheless, VW made them so refined and ergonomic that it would actually be one of the pros to stick to the VW group.. the key here is marketing as it has been with the engines where eg the same turbo charged 1.4 would produce 120 to 170hp and VW group would charge 2-5k premiums which customers were willing to pay. same premium would be eagerly paid for the eg prestige of the audi brand (with a slightly upscale feel)

Feb 11, 2013 7:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
Sinbad1 wrote:

In the movie Dr Strangelove an American and a Russian are arguing, one of them says “Our German scientists are smarter than your German scientists” The build quality of modern VW’s is already much higher than most other manufacturers and they don’t rest on their laurels.

Feb 11, 2013 7:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
GA_Chris wrote:

To the point that all cars will drive the same… it’s incorrect. The key behind the MBQ is that it does change the way a car drives and feels. So, whereas a Golf and A3 have EXACTLY the same chassis now, they will both share the MBQ going forward and feel and act differently.

It’s exactly the same as engines.. the standard 2.0l we get in the USA has tons of variations and power levels, differentiating between the plebeian Jetta and an A4 Quattro, or an A6…

Feb 11, 2013 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
MJGSimple wrote:

I’m with aspe. Many cars within similar class already are essentially the same. VW is betting that the driving experience they provide is better than any of the other car makers. Not to mention, while mass recall is a concern, driving down costs to the consumer for repairs (recall or otherwise) will pay off.

Feb 11, 2013 9:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
diluded0000 wrote:

I think they are ignoring the impact on their product development efficiency. Previously a designer would develop a component for a single, well understood, vehicle. The person designing a control arm bushing now has to make sure that bushing works in every single vehicle that uses the platform. So one of two things happens: it takes longer to release the part because it has to be modeled and tested in multiple versions of the platform, or (more likely) it is characterized on all the versions of the platform in the same amount of time and not tested as well on any of them.

Feb 11, 2013 11:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
GLK wrote:

My wife’s 2004 VW Passat (purchased new) is essentially the same car as an Audi A6. If you open the hood you’ll see the Audi logo cast into fittings, connectors, etc. But, it was a whole lot less expensive than the A6. Same thing with a VW Golf 4dr and an Audi A2. The VW group has been playing this game a long time. The differences in the cars are slight but the prices change wildly. Instead of there being much difference distingushing the the vehicles it’s coming down to which market segment you buy into. A lot of people bash VWs but my wife’s Passat has been one of the most reliable trouble-free cars we’ve owned. Far less trouble than my BMW.

Feb 11, 2013 12:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Dragos111 wrote:

Remember the “World Cars” from the late 70′s and early 80′s? The Chrysler “K” cars were called by that name. They were absolute trash cars, but they got all kinds of hype. Sounds like Volkswagon is trying the same thing. Here is another idea which, in hindsight, will be quite laughable.

Feb 11, 2013 1:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
breslau wrote:

My personal experience. Last year i got a new car. It was not VW. I tried 2012 VW Jetta and passat and both felt same and felt like i was driving truck. I was not impressed. The sales person asked me to drive couple of years old Passat wagon. I did not had any high hopes after driving the 2012 passat. But it was different, it drove like a car and was smooth. The new cars are made in US and old passat was made in Germany. So I don’t know that with this new lego style program it will make the VW cars feel more like cars, fun to drive or otherway around.

Feb 11, 2013 5:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Ford had to evolve forward to survive, somehow VW managed to evolve backward…funny

Feb 11, 2013 8:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
johndavis_one wrote:

in some ways this has already been done for GM on the domestic level. I really can’t say on the global level. if you look at gm products for 30+ alot of them have shared the same engine, transmission and other parts. good example is that a 92 road master station wagon uses the same drive train as a corvette and truck of the same period. the only major differences are the body and frame. It just sounds like vw has refined the idea even further… but I agree tho it does get to the point of what is really the difference in cars? will it be like Chrysler where a Mitsubishi 3000gt is identical to a dodge stealth?

Feb 12, 2013 4:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Dumble wrote:

I think this was written by VW press department. No critical thinking involved.
Does Reuters charge them for this advertorial?

Feb 13, 2013 10:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Dumble wrote:

I think this was written by VW press department. No critical thinking involved.
Does Reuters charge them for this advertorial?

Feb 13, 2013 10:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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