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VW's plan for the U.S. include smaller Passat replacement, pickup and more (Autoblog)

Posted Mar 10th 2008 8:27AM by Damon Lavrinc
Filed under: Economy, Sedans/Saloons, Plants/Manufacturing, Hatchbacks, Volkswagen
The United States is key to Volkswagen's planned expansion in the coming decade, as the German automaker attempts to rival Toyota by selling one million units in the U.S. per year by 2018. That lofty goal will be fueled by new products priced below their current counterparts, and according to VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn, many of these new models will be built Stateside and in Mexico.

One of the major product changes will come in the form of the Passat, which will ditch its current nameplate, decrease in size and be priced around $20,000. The Jetta will also see a price reduction from the current base model's $17,030 sticker to something closer to the $15,000 price-point, while some version of the Polo – expected to be built in North America to keep costs down – will slot in below VW's entry-level sedan. Other models slated for sale in the U.S. include a compact model based on the up! concepts, as well as a body-on-frame pickup truck and the return of the Phaeton, motivated by a V8 powerplant and priced substantially below the slow-selling version that was killed in 2005.

Details on New Pick-up in Argentina
Posted Mar 10th 2008 4:29PM by Jonathon Ramsey


See that drawing in the right corner of the pic? That's an official VW render of the company's new pickup, internally called the Robust. It's hanging at an event called ExpoAgro in Argentina, where the truck will be built. The banner on the left says "The VW pickup for the field." VW isn't playing around with the model, either, having invested a billion pesos into its Pacheco factory to get ready for the vehicle's 2009 or 2010 launch.

The render presents a neat profile that looks low to the ground -- more ute than pickup really, much like the VW Rabbit pickup from almost three decades ago. We do find the rear sloping roof a bit odd, seeing that it would eat into quite a bit of bed space if the line continued into the bed. But it's just a render, so we don't want to read too much into it. With carmakers putting fake interiors in test mules nowadays, for all we know, the Robust render could also be a hat, or a brooch, or a pterodactyl.

---Hmmm, I can totally see that VW would want its own Corolla like compact because the Jetta is just too expensive (not to mention a little bland & Large) to be in that class here in the US. And the new smaller midsized Camry/ Accord-esque sedan that would replace the Passat makes total sense. I always though VW as an "everyday" Automaker such as Chevy, Ford, or Toyota and the vehicles intoduced in the last 4-5 years such as the (sorry about the spelling on these damn VW names) Toureg, Pheaton, and the new Passat have yuppie written all over them. They want to sell 1,000,000 units in 10 years, fine. They just need to go back to basics and mainstream like America thinks of them, leave the luxury to Audi.
 

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So V-dub is finally begining to lick their wounds and realize you cant go from cars with questionable reliability to pseudo luxury overnight. The move to reduce the sizes of both the Passat and Jetta makes since considering the fact VW plans to reintroduce a smaller version of the Phaeton to the states. It just speculation but the Phaeton will most likely be the size of the Audi A6 and probably share compenents with it as well. The Phaeton will probably compete with cars like the Lucerne and Avalon which is kinda Passat territory now considering it's price points. This new strategy should work alot better for VW and if the price is right and they continue to crank out hot products like the upcoming Passat 'coupe' people will buy.
 

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This would be a great move by VW. We love our '07 Rabbit and I can honestly say no fwd car from GM has left me enjoy driving so much. If I didn't love Chevy Trucks so much and Jeeps, and if I were looking for another car, it would likely be a VW.

And, w/ a little money off, the Jetta isn't that far off the competition considering the std equipment. But I agree, once you hit the Passat, VW really is severely priced above it's competition. I'd go w/ a smaller Audi and awd before the Passat.
 

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Damn, the Passat is dead? wow.....then again, the current generation is stuck somewhere between boring and ugly. Hopefully it won't be named the Magotan as it is in China...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Damn, the Passat is dead? wow.....then again, the current generation is stuck somewhere between boring and ugly. Hopefully it won't be named the Magotan as it is in China...
No, the current Passat is so nice, its just too nice for the American midsized market, its more of a Avalon/ Acura TL/ premium fighter, its just very european and too expensive as a run of the mill sedan
 
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