Hello from Chattanooga, TN!

Hello everyone! Just got to Chatanooga, TN to check out the VW Passat and the US assembly plant. Look out for a full review on the new Passat in a few days!



Posted on May 26, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Can you post some Pic w. HID headlight/LED Tailight? I wonder how they look like.

  2. I’m interested in seeing what the lower trim levels look like. All the photos so far have been the SEL with the wood trim accents and leather. As somebody who doesn’t really want (nor want to pay for) a navigation system, I’m more likely to end up in an SE with the DSG/Sunroof package. So, any pics of the leatherette & aluminum accent interior, or of the exterior without chrome accents, would be appreciated.

  3. That’s a handsome car. I can’t wait to get one. Anyone know when they’ll start selling?

  4. hey, i just wonder. what’s the advantage of the new passat. it looks so close to new jetta. why they not import the european model?

  5. Great job Jay!

    But, this Passat has lost all of my recommendations and favorable comments! It’s no longer an Audi A4 with a VW badge! It’s, “let’s make it in America, make it cheap, market the heck out of it, call it German, sell off 10+ years of Passat goodness, etc.” and make some money for the “old german guard” to pad their trust funds for their offspring. With a beautiful Passat and Passat CC available in Germany and we are offered this…WILL NOT happen for us. This is the third time VW has lost a sedan sale (love our fully dressed Tiguan SEL)!

    If the Beetle arrives “cheapened” then it’s a wait for the Audi A3 sedan or a used BMW, previous Audi A4. Would buy a GTI inn a heart beat if it can in Silver Leaf with Corn Silk/Sandstone leather!

    • “It’s no longer an Audi A4 with a VW badge!”

      And therein lies the heart of VW’s strategy change. Why on earth would a company want to produce a vehicle that was simply a re-badged version of another in its line? Why do you think that so many car companies have been eliminating duplication? That’s why there is no more Pontiac, no Oldsmobile, no Mercury, no Plymouth. It’s also why the Kia Optima is styled and tuned apart from the Hyundai Sonata, why there is no crossover between BMW and Mini, why Lexus made the ct200h so different from the Prius, and so on.

      If you want an A4, buy an A4. VWAG is clearly differentiating its brands, which makes perfect business sense. For everybody like you who is personally offended that VW isn’t making cars in exactly the way you want, there are 2-3 more like me who look at the A4-sized Passat and say, “It’s nice, but not big enough because I’m 6′ tall and have two teenagers who have to sit behind me.”

      Like it or not, automobile companies build cars to make money. I think that VW’s product differentiation makes a lot of business sense.

  6. Roy…you’re correct!

    From a “business strategy” it’s predictable however, it should be called by another name to differentiate the changes. Instead it smells of a money grab.

    Yes, the rebadged GM products were junk by “world standards” in 2010.

    As far as giving a manufacture any of my money then I will have it as I want it…one of the privileges at this stage in my life (i.e. the money will out last me), even at 37 years old. =:-(

    • Oh, it’s certainly about money — VWAG has made no secret that it wants to be the #1 automobile manufacturer in terms of both units and profitability by 2018. And they won’t do that by producing only Audi-like cars. They’ll need to go mass-market in the biggest markets where they can gain unit volume: USA, China, India, Brazil, and Russia.

      VW was already tops in China, and to break out of the pack in the USA they needed to produce a different kind of product for the American consumer. This strategy is no secret; just search on “Volkswagen strategy 2018”.

      I realize that this rubs many VW loyalists the wrong way, and I can sympathize with not wanting the old nameplates to be sullied by the taint of mass marketing. But, I think it’s just smart business in that they aren’t duplicating efforts. They have a broad product portfolio across Audi, VW, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche, and (to some degree) Suzuki. Differentiating those brands makes a lot of sense.

  7. Roy,

    Yes, in a weird twist of investing, my Porsche stock has now become VW stock…go figure! I heard a ‘fox in the hen house’ when Wiedeking and his side kick leveraged the company (i.e. padding their golden parachute) ala CitiBank only to have the ‘house of cards’ fall…the Piech and Porsche families who really control the companies just consolidated their power. If the former terrorist government could not dominate the world then this is one way to go about it!

    I hope that VW doesn’t dilute Porsche…I would like to have a few things remain in spirit…if only for a short time that I have left.

    Anyhow, Roy, you seem like a well informed individual…you must be Jay’s boss! Give him a day off. 🙂

  8. 🙂 Actually I’m just a consumer from NH (and obviously a tech geek type of consumer) who happened on Jay’s blog because I’m in the market for a mid-size sedan. Most dealerships are much too passive in terms of information — if you ask, they will give you an answer, and on a good day that answer might be correct.

    This blog is a breath of fresh air because Jay is using technology to talk about technology, his videos are actually informative instead of being a rehash of the marketing press releases, and he writes well.

    So, I probably won’t be posting here once I purchase a new vehicle (the Passat is among 3 I’m considering), probably in July. But it’s great to have a place that helps me get informed and exchange ideas with other enthusiasts, geeks, and experts.

  9. Jay,

    Getting back to the question of timing…

    I was just at the official VW Passat blog (http://blogs.vw.com/2012-passat/) and the counter there seems to indicate that it’s going to be another 37 days before the Passat is available for a test drive.

    And, in the media Q&A I found on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geSsQbryGTA) the availability date to have these vehicles for sale in dealers is given as September/October.

    Those seem to be less optimistic than your estimates of 3 weeks for a test drive and 6 weeks for purchase. Or, is the 6 weeks you quote the time at which these can be ordered, as opposed to when the ordered cars will actually arrive?


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