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Old 11th September 2007, 21:53   #121
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It would be interesting to know how many Asian immigrants in US buy Camry/Accord vs the rest. No offense meant but Passat is more aspirational than Camry/Accord - though Camry/Accord are probably better cars overall.
Whaaaat??? Passat is more aspirational than Cam-cord? Who said that?? The only car in VW stable that has aspirational value is the Golf and that too faces severe competition Civic Si.
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Old 11th September 2007, 21:56   #122
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The Passat, and VW in general is aimed at different demographics than a Camry or an Accord. For people who want bullet proof reliability, almost nothing can touch the Accord or Camry. If you enjoy driving, like a high quality interior but are willing to live with quality issues and crappy dealer service (in the US), the Passat is a car people may like. I have a B5 Passat and I thoroughly love it. The new B6 is not as good (imo), though its 2.0L Turbo (direct injection) gasoline engine is the best in the world in its class.

Most people want a bulletproof reliable car, or alternatively if the car is not as reliable, want good dealership support. If a Toyota or Honda has problems, one can be assured that you will be treated humanely by their dealerships in the US. You dont get that with a VW, hence it does not sell as well in the US. VW has lost its way in the US since its strong recovery in the 1990s. Its designs are not as elegant and its quality is still dodgy. BMW has no problem selling more cars (which cost more) in the US than VW does at the moment. VW's strategy in India is also very confusing given the fact that VW and Skoda are aimed at the same demographic there. What the hell are these guys smoking.

Audi on the otherhand (which is also part of the VW group) is making all the right moves in all of its markets. It has clearly posititioned itself as a legitimate competitor to BMW and Mercedes and continues to experience above average growth rates. Things may change for the better for VW now that the former head of Audi has taken over the mangement of VW. For now however, the VW group continues to make money - definately more than GM, Ford and I think more than Honda even, though nothing as close at what Toyota makes.

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Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
More data on build quality and recalls in the US are available on NHTSA.

Passat sold 54208 in US in 2006. For model year 2007 there were 116091 cars recalled, as compared with 116106 in model year 2006, and 1021284 in 2005.

Here is the recall info for passat, Camry and Accord for model year 2007, 2006, 2005
Passat Camry Accord
Sales in 2006 54208 448445 354441
Recalls
2007 116091 133 0
2006 116106 4503 1486877
2005 1021284 150061 815606
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Old 11th September 2007, 22:50   #123
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Whaaaat??? Passat is more aspirational than Cam-cord? Who said that?? The only car in VW stable that has aspirational value is the Golf and that too faces severe competition Civic Si.
It is true. Whether you like it or not, for most North Americans, despite VW's poor reliablity, the Passat IS more aspirational then the Accord's, Camry's and Altima's.

And it's not the Golf that faces severe competition from the Civic Si. Si is competition to the GTI.
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Old 12th September 2007, 09:46   #124
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[quote=amit;560831]It is true. Whether you like it or not, for most North Americans, despite VW's poor reliablity, the Passat IS more aspirational then the Accord's, Camry's and Altima's.

Yes it seems that Passat has higher APEAL and aspirational value than an Accord and Camry. But unfortunately that has not translated into higher sales because of quality and dealership issues. Recently Automotive News reported from a top executive at a Fortune 500 company that he bought a VW in 1970, ran it for more than a decade and 200,000 miles, and was happy. Then he bought a VW (perhaps the Touareg) in 2002 and has since then got the clutch changed 5 times, and spent close to US$30000 on repairs. When he complained to VW of America at a recent industry forum, they said that there are `many similar stories out there'.
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Old 12th September 2007, 09:51   #125
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There is no doubt that European designs and styling totally outclass Asian makes. But again for most people buying a car, that factor has remained subordinate to getting a FE, relatively trouble free car. I think that is what a product should be about: decent looking but most of all relatively trouble free. It has also been proved by repeated customer surveys (GM in India should note with its 3 yr/100000 km warranty) that even if with a longer warranty on a less reliable car than for a shorter warranty on a more reliable car, most people would opt for a shorter warranty/more reliable car, simply because of the hassles involved in dealer visits and possibility of being stranded.
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Old 12th September 2007, 11:08   #126
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[quote=vasudeva;561068]
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Originally Posted by amit View Post
Yes it seems that Passat has higher APEAL and aspirational value than an Accord and Camry. But unfortunately that has not translated into higher sales because of quality and dealership issues.
Yes Vasudeva you are absolutely right. VW lost a lot of sales due to reliablity and poor service in North America. By the time they realised, the Japanese had gained a lot of ground and the damage was done. One guy I got talking to in a VW dealership in Toronto said that despite his old Jetta having electrical problems, he bought the new Mark V Jetta and a few months later all the 4 doors got locked permanantly. He couldn't open them with the remote on the key or even manually! It took VW 4 weeks to send new locks for his car. And our dealership was about 35 kms from VW Canada's Corporate office and warehouse!
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Old 12th September 2007, 11:43   #127
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No wonder VW has been steadily losing money & sales in the US market while the Japs & Koreans have been making steady ground. Infact, on the issue of warranties, it was Hyundai's 10 year/100,000 miles warranty offer (which they started a few years back) which made most other companies offer good warranties to their customers.
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Old 12th September 2007, 12:26   #128
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To support the point made by iraghava, here are the VW sales and market share in the US from 1996-2006. Sales hit a high in 2001, but are now off 25%:

1996: 168300 (1.08%)
1997: 172000 (1.14%)
1998: 267200 (1.72%)
1999: 381500 (2.26%)
2000: 435900 (2.51%)
2001: 438900 (2.56%)
2002: 423850 (2.52%)
2003: 389100 (2.34%)
2004: 334050 (1.98%)
2005: 307250 (1.81%)
2006: 325300 (1.97%)
2007 (upto Jul): 189898 (1.99%)
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Old 12th September 2007, 16:41   #129
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and here are more numbers
1
2
3
4
5

just kidding.

I think nobody here disagrees that honda/toyota make cars that are more reliable than VW.

But if you consider performance, handling and safety - which is what drivers look for - VW will be better. But if you want reliability and resale value - which is what Joe Car Buyer looks for - Honda/Toyota will be better.

Let us take a quick poll: You need to rent a car for a week and your budget permits Camry, Accord and Passat. What would you rent?
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Old 12th September 2007, 18:18   #130
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BTW, academic question - what does Passat offer that Accord and Camry don't?
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Old 12th September 2007, 23:45   #131
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Accord, Camry = Appliance, i.e., they are reliable like your washing machine, but not much fun to drive. This is specially so with the Camry.

Passat = superior handling and road feel, nice interiors, advanced high performance diesels (europe), great base gasoline engine (2.0T in N.America), but at the cost of potentially bad reliability and service.

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BTW, academic question - what does Passat offer that Accord and Camry don't?
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Old 13th September 2007, 00:45   #132
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interesting that the passat is coming now in india whereas its being used as taxis in china!!
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Old 13th September 2007, 09:14   #133
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Originally Posted by ravimittal View Post
interesting that the passat is coming now in india whereas its being used as taxis in china!!
well even mercs are sold here and they are used as cabs in many places.
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Old 13th September 2007, 11:19   #134
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Hilarious headline of the month....current BSMotoring issue shouts "Watch out Civic, the Passat is here!!". Huh? Since when did a 25 lakh sedan compete with a 13 lakh one?
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Old 13th September 2007, 11:24   #135
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Hilarious headline of the month....current BSMotoring issue shouts "Watch out Civic, the Passat is here!!". Huh? Since when did a 25 lakh sedan compete with a 13 lakh one?
Thats silly. I think the Passat is up against the Toyota Camry. Both are in the same price range after all. Only difference the Passat is a Diesel.
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