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Posts Tagged ‘Volkswagen’

Volkswagen: Obsessed with Growth as Sales Decline

May 2nd, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI

One of the requirements of becoming the best in the world at something is to continually get better than your competition.

Volkswagen would very much like to be the best automaker in the world, and by best, I mean biggest.

Again, being the biggest requires a steady incline in size. Without growth, well, you don’t become the biggest. Rocket science, I know.

Volkswagen’s desire to be the world’s number-one automaker was last mentioned on these pages sometime in 2011. In the years since, how have the Germans come along on their goal?

Not too well, it turns out.

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VW Workers Defeat UAW

February 17th, 2014

UAW_VW

Who protects you from getting fired? Who has your back when things at work get hard or when your employer decides to increase your share of health benefits?

If you’re like me, the answer is easy: no one except yourself.

Advocating for yourself keeps you working as hard as you can to keep advancing and growing in your career.

As a writer I can tell you that no one will fight for me if my job were threatened. Like you, I can’t get lazy in my work or someone else will come along and work harder.

Advocating for one’s self is better for the employee and for the employer. Who wouldn’t want a workforce determined to work hard and do all they can to keep their jobs?

That’s my thought process for my position on the auto union.

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Super Bowl’s Over, Let’s Move On

February 4th, 2013

Chevrolet Corvette

Congratulations to the Ravens and Baltimore fans everywhere!

While the game was electrifying, I thought the advertisements overall were severely lacking in energy this year. It’s like the power went out on all of them even before the Superdome went dark. My favorite car ad was the Audi prom spot. The Chrysler/Ram Paul Harvey spot almost made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. The others were just mediocre.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to cars rather than the outlandish, extravagant attempts to sell them. Yes, we need vehicles to serve the mundane and much-needed transportation services of daily life, and I find irony in the fact that we often buy them based on some perceived emotion or extreme experience marketing people promise they will provide.

True car enthusiasts can look past overly produced TV commercials and buy based on other, more meaningful, factors.

One of those factors might be the car’s future collector value. Make it affordable and fun to drive as well, and the deal closes itself! What 2013 cars could be future collectibles?

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Used Volkswagen? Take $1,000 Off a FIAT or Chrysler (And Keep the VW!)

December 11th, 2012

2012 Chrysler 200

Thanks to some arguing and name-calling in Europe, used Volkswagens just went up in value by a thousand bucks in the U.S.

How can a European tiff turn into a financial incentive in the United States? Because the auto market is truly international, and when an Italian automaker wants to prove a point against a German competitor, it looks to assets in the U.S. to drive that point home.

The throwdown in question is between Chrysler/FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne and the entire Volkswagen empire.

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Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti Postponing Automotive Extravagance

October 12th, 2012

Usually, reports of a delayed new Lamborghini would be met with jeers and disappointment. One model, though, could see a delay that will please the passionate Lambo fan-base, if not the overly rich status-happy jet set.

The release of the Urus, Lamborghini’s SUV concept based on the Porsche Cayenne, could be pushed back thanks to the dismal state of the European auto industry.

And if the Urus goes, another controversial SUV goes with it. But at least the super-rich will finally get their 4-door Bugatti, right?

Not so fast.

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Alfa Romeo in America? Yes! Maybe. Someday.

September 5th, 2012
Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C rendering

When FIAT took over Chrysler, there were great possibilities for more Italian models to grace showroom floors here. So far, all we’ve seen is the tiny, but fun, FIAT 500 and the super-exclusive Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione.

Promises of more Alfa models have teased those of us in the U.S. for a while now, but all we seem to get are announcements declaring another delay in getting the brand over here.

Could those delays be because Volkswagen wants to buy Alfa? Or is FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne just fine-tuning the American Alfa offering?

Reports are all over the board.

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A New Volkswagen Phaeton Still Wouldn’t Make Sense

February 15th, 2012

Phaeton or Passat?

Price a Bentley in America at just under a hundred grand and they won’t be able to make enough of ‘em.

Price a Volkswagen at almost a hundred grand and no one will touch it, even if the only difference between the two cars is the logo on the grille. That’s the power of branding and a little thing called “perceived value.” Buyers love to feel like they got a deal, and they hate to feel like they got ripped off.

That’s why Volkswagen’s luxurious Phaeton remains a mystery. When it was for sale in the U.S., there was no value proposition. Prices started at close to $70,000 and quickly escalated. No one wanted a $100,000 car that looked like a Passat. It didn’t matter that the car was as luxurious and powerful as a Bentley. No amount of hand-crafted materials or double-stitched premium leather could overcome a poor price-to-brand value equation. Not surprisingly, the car didn’t sell here, and the Phaeton experiment was killed.

But VW wants to try again. With the exact same formula.

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Cars Coming Soon: Volkswagen’s Cross Coupe Concept Isn’t a Coupe

December 1st, 2011

Volkswagen Cross Coupe concept

The word “coupe” used to mean something.

To label a car a coupe meant it was a 2-door, front- or rear-wheel-drive close-to-the-ground car that might be rather impractical. The Ford Escort Coupe. The Nissan Altima Coupe.

Those cars made sense, at least in their naming conventions. They looked like coupes, and they were called coupes. Now, it seems every automaker likes to take liberties with the word and build vehicles that are not coupes but still call them coupes.

Case in point: the Volkswagen Cross Coupe concept, which debuted this week at the Tokyo Motor Show. Believe it or not, it’s not a coupe.

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Volkswagen Wants Alfa Romeo, Powered by Porsche?

March 16th, 2011
Alfa Romeo 4C: Powered by Porsche?

Alfa Romeo 4C: Powered by Porsche?

In Volkswagen’s relentless quest to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018, the company has set its sights on a new conquest:

Alfa Romeo.

But current Alfa owner Fiat has shown no interest in selling the brand, which it hopes to re-introduce into the American market, possibly with the super-sexy 4C.

Past experience, though, has shown that what VW wants, VW gets. And honestly, this sounds like an acquisition that can truly benefit the struggling Italian brand.

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