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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do we really want Volkswagen to bring the Polo to North America? Volkswagen has quite a bit of upmarket appeal associated with the brand in the U.S. and Canada. I'm not sure that is the case in other markets, where Volkswagen is more mass market. Brining a vehicle that's even less expensive than the Beetle or Golf to North America could push the brand apeal down market and make it more like Ford or GM are here........Not so much. But I am looking forward to the Phaeton, Toureg, and would LOVE to see a VW version of the sporty Skoda Tudor.
Daniel-Robert Gooch
Gelignite Communications
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

The english translation of "Volkswagen" is in fact "People's Car"
The Original Beetle consisted of obvious qualities which appealed to the consumers and in turn it made the company successful. Durable, Reliable, Simple, and Affordable.
I am guessing that you are new to the VW family and therefore you may not have a good understanding of what makes the essence of Volkswagen.
The 4th (current) and up coming 5th generation Golf and Jetta have gone upmarket and have lost contact with the air cooled and early water cooled cars that made VW stand out in the crowd. The Polo, just slightly smaller than the Honda Civic in size (high quality, moderate cost)is an excellent addition to the VW lineup here in North America because it will fulfill two important missions.
First, it will attract new and first time buyers to the VW brand, and hopefully keep them buying VW in the future (otherwise lost customers to Honda and Toyota, ect..) Secondly, it will satisfy VW enthusiasts who want to see a High Quality Small Car, which has been absent from the line up since the Rabbit GTI. Lower priced does not mean the lowest price, just a fair price for higher quality than what usually reigns in this size segment Hundai Excel, Toyota Corolla and Echo, Honda Civic, Kia, amd the like. The fact is there IS a growing market for higher quality small cars, like the Mini.
The fact is that VW has a better reputation in other countries UK, Japan, and the like where it sells the Polo and the Lupo, which is about the same size as the old Rabbit, yet the car is excelllent quality at an affordable price, and the GTI version competes with the Mini, and beats it in price by a significant margin in most markets.
VW in North America IS a mass market seller, for example the Jetta is the best selling German name plate in the US. Volkswagen wants to increase Its market share in the USA and Canada, that has been stated as a goal by VW.
I believe that it is ok for VW to market luxury automobiles, however, how many times have you seen a company lose sight of the original qualities that made it successful and then go on to fail in the long run.
I am certain that VW must not lose sight of their roots or they may go the way of other organizations who commited the same mistake.
I hope that gives you some insight.

Bill




[Modified by golf strom, 2:09 PM 8-8-2002]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Do we really want it? (golf strom)

I wasn't really looking for insight - I am very familiar with Volkswagen and its history. And while Volkswagen would like to increase its market share in the United States, it also wants to make money. Which is why it has clearly moved up market over the past twenty years to sell vehicles with better margins. With bankrupt companies like Kia, Mitsubishi, Ford and others all dukeing it out over the bottom, Volkswagen has followed a conservative evolutionary approach that would appear to be successful.
Volkswagen has indeed been able to slowly move away from its bottom-feeder roots into a much more stable market, a move that is extremely difficult for a company to do successfully. Which is better? To be down market enough to sell to young people who can't afford the $17 K required for a Golf or to build cars that those same people can't wait to get into when they get a better job and start making money??!!
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

quote:[HR][/HR]Do we really want Volkswagen to bring the Polo to North America? Volkswagen has quite a bit of upmarket appeal associated with the brand in the U.S. and Canada. I'm not sure that is the case in other markets, where Volkswagen is more mass market. Brining a vehicle that's even less expensive than the Beetle or Golf to North America could push the brand apeal down market and make it more like Ford or GM are here........Not so much. But I am looking forward to the Phaeton, Toureg, and would LOVE to see a VW version of the sporty Skoda Tudor.
Daniel-Robert Gooch
Gelignite Communications[HR][/HR]​
Daniel, the reason I started this petition is quite simple; I think volkswagen are getting too expensive for the young crowd (read: students) like myself.
I'm a university student and I cannot afford the cheapest of the current VWs (the golf). What I need is a small vehicule that is inexpensive, gets high mpg, and that is fun to drive. I'm loyal to VW (nah, I'm a vw fanatic
) but currently, no vehicules in NA statisfies my needs. I went to Paris this january and sat inside the Polo; I was quite amazed at all the interior space for its size. That car would be perfect for my needs, and for other students...
Yes, I could buy a used one... But its a used car http://****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif
Yes, I could also buy a hyundai, toyota, or the like... But, I want a VW.
It is ok for VW to go upmarket, but not at the costs of the young crowd in my opinion.
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

Sad thing is that if they do bring the Polo to the US, it will be forced to compete with Hyundai. Cheaper price, longer warranty and inferior initial quality (Hyundai) versus higher price, shorter warranty and superior initial quality.
I know most Vortexers consider their cars more than just mere appliances, but the rest of US drivers (i'd say roughly 80-85%) do not.
Two out of three of the above (advantage Hyundai) means the deck is stacked heavily against the Polo coming to the US.
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

quote:[HR][/HR]those same people can't wait to get into when they get a better job and start making money??!!
[HR][/HR]​
Maybe for hardcore enthousiasts like us, but the regular joe may just stay with his first brand... thus, VW will not have any entry vehicule
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

The hell with upmarket. That means big, fat, overfeatured, underperforming and overpriced.
Unless VW brings the Polo, I'm never buying a new VW. I'll keep my A2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Do we really want it? (QC-Wolfsburg89)

Ahh - Now I see what is going on. You are arguing for what is best for you rather than what is best for the Volkswagen brand. What is best for the Volkswagen brand is not that you can afford one but that it deliver profits for Volkswagen today and down the road. I have no doubt from your passion that you will purchase a Volkswagen just as soon as you can afford one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Do we really want it? (QC-Wolfsburg89)

Market research has indicated that people below the age of 30 are not usually all that brand loyal yet - It's important to get people early but a LOT changes vis a vis people's perspectives between college age and the first few years into a career.
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

I'm not into facts about sales and profit figures and yes, that does come into play in the car business. However, we do have a certain segment of the market now that needs to be filled by a smaller VW. Look at the Mini BMW has out. Seems like a very nice package. And they are selling like hot cakes! It's true the younger crowd really does require a less expensive car. I feel that the Polo (be nice to see a Lupo too) would truly do well here. I know I'd buy one in a heart beat. There's nothing like a little light-weight car and gobs of power. Cars today are getting too heavy and are loosing the that spunk they had when the '83 Rabbit GTI was first introduced. Light and fast is where it's at!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Do we really want it? (wildhare)

It's funny that you point to the Mini as something Volkswagen ought to be reacting to. In reality, the Mini is more of BMW's reaction to the VW's New Beetle and the "retro" craze it sparked. I do not believe people are buying the Mini because it is small - they are buying it because it is retro and has been well marketed with such tactics as product placement in Austin Powers and the Bourne Identity that remind people of its cool, sixties roots. And since the Mini Cooper sells at around $18-20K, we're not talking about the same market as the Polo anyway. The VW Polo could and would never be the Mini - as somebody else already said, it would be a competitor to a Hyundai or low-market Ford.
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

quote:[HR][/HR]It's funny that you point to the Mini as something Volkswagen ought to be reacting to. In reality, the Mini is more of BMW's reaction to the VW's New Beetle and the "retro" craze it sparked. I do not believe people are buying the Mini because it is small - they are buying it because it is retro and has been well marketed with such tactics as product placement in Austin Powers and the Bourne Identity that remind people of its cool, sixties roots. And since the Mini Cooper sells at around $18-20K, we're not talking about the same market as the Polo anyway. The VW Polo could and would never be the Mini - as somebody else already said, it would be a competitor to a Hyundai or low-market Ford.[HR][/HR]​
And what is wrong with that ?? It does sell in Europe and it would sell alot in Quebec...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Do we really want it? (QC-Wolfsburg89)

I'm sure you'd agree that the Quebec market is quite different from the rest of North America. Last time I was in Montreal, the Golf and Jetta held a similar appeal that a much more expensive BMW and Mercedes held in Boston or Miami. The Polo may actually be appropriate for Quebec, but it really is too down market for the U.S. and probably most of the rest of Canada too.
Not sure that VW is going to introduce models just for 7 million Quebecers though - we're talking about a company that doesn't even translate its English car names in Germany.
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

quote:[HR][/HR]Brining a vehicle that's even less expensive than the Beetle or Golf to North America could push the brand apeal down market and make it more like Ford or GM are here...[HR][/HR]​
Honda and Toyota are quite successful in North America, even though their cheapest new cars are quite inexpensive. The existence of sub-$10000 Toyota Echos does not seem to be hurting the sales of Toyota Camrys, Avalons, 4Runners, Siennas, or anything in the Lexus line. Although it is true that the Lexus brand exists for "prestige" reasons (apparently important to many high end car buyers in North America), note that VW already has an upmarket brand (Audi) that could be used for high end vehicles. While moving the Volkswagen brand a bit upscale has been successful, would it fly to move it into Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus territory? After all, it still is the brand of cheap people's cars -- if someone were buying a "prestige" car, would they buy a Mercedes or a Volkswagen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Do we really want it? (tjl)

I would argue that the VW brand is unique in its North American position. On what basis would you judge Toyota and Honda as "successful?" Profitability? Brand appeal I don't think of either company as a leader. In fact quite the opposite: both are in dramatic need of rejuvenation. Volkswagen has been slow and determined in its evolution and has profited from this. The VW brand rides a unique line between uncool mass market vehicles and the obtuse high profile brands. As with Volvo, VW has a great middle ground with few competitors.
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

VW does not need to push upmarket with their vehicles. The fact that the new Passat W8 is topping the scales well over $50,000 CDN is ludicris! This is the market portion that Audi should be filling! VW is canablizing its own sales.
VW started losing its soul with the release of the Golf/Jetta IV. Bringing the Polo to NA would bring VW back to its roots: The People's Car. I don't see how having a larger product range would be a problem for VW.
Besides MB and BMW obviously aren't worried about losing image by selling cheaper cars, as they are both selling cars in the $30k CDN range now.
 

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Re: Do we really want it? (drgoochmobile)

drgoochmobile: I'm sure everyone here agrees that its more profitable for VW to go upmarket, but the qualities that made VWs our favorite car brand are fading away...
The Golf IV for example doesn't have much of the A2 characteristics (and the Golf V, well... we'll see).
 

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I was about to send a really ugly message but decided to be cool about it.
You know what? Don't bring the Polo. Yes, that's right. DON'T BRING THE POLO..
oh but by the way..
Kill the Golf..
Yessir..
Kill that Golf..
Oh yeah, kill all models with the 2.0 engine in there..
that motor is bad and NOT elite..
oh yeah.. and "GL" models.. the "poor mans models"? Gotta go..
Ok, so sell your $26k Jetta VR6's, your $40k Passat V8's, your Touregs, and your Phaetons. Let's see how long you stay in business with all your perceived profit.
Cut out the little guys and let's see how long you survive in this country...
Bring the Polo or get the hell out.



[Modified by PhastPhasion, 12:39 PM 8-9-2002]
 
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