Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beetles!


Volkswagens are hip. Volkswagens look great from any angle. Volkswagens offer a German driving experience at a reduced price relative to Audi (owned by VW) or BMW. VW offers an alternative to the Japanese sedan selections at about the same price.

So why is VW losing a billion dollars a year in the US?

Because everybody knows that VW's suck.

Rattles. Squeaks. Poor quality. Poor service experience.

VW's are more fun to drive than the average japanese sedan. But when you are driving them back to the dealership all the time and when you get there they turn up their nose....the honeymoon's over.

What are the witty hipsters at VW going to do about this?

They are going to re-revive the Beetle.

Yawn.

8 comments:

arclightzero said...

Perhaps they shouldn't have made them in Mexico! :)

I had a '98 beetle, and it was fun to drive but the thing fell apart at a ridiculous pace.

arclightzero said...

Perhaps they shouldn't have made them in Mexico! :)

I had a '98 beetle, and it was fun to drive but the thing fell apart at a ridiculous pace.

Bike Bubba said...

VW is learning about quality the same way GM learned 20 years back. Ouch. Ironic that one of my first impressions of VW was my best friend's diesel Rabbit with about 300,000 miles on it.

And for what it's worth, quality problems don't generally start on the production line. They start in management and engineering, where the shortcuts are chosen. In the case of the old new Beetle, one of those was the tightness of the engine--it's an unintentional oil burner.

Bike Bubba said...

Oh, and that engine isn't made in Mexico. It's "Deutsche Wertarbeit."

Bike Bubba said...

One final thought (maybe); a friend of mine who owned a couple of original Beetles noted that you could count on rebuilding the engine every 50,000 miles or so as a specific piston broke down from over heating. So maybe the Beetle is apropos for reliability-challenged VW after all.

And somehow VW, in literally 70 years of building them, never fixed the problem. There's some good quality for you!

jroosh said...

I don't think they could fix it short of making it a liquid cooled engine. If I remember correctly, the piston that would go was on the "hot" side of the engine.

jroosh said...

Perhaps they shouldn't have made them in Mexico! :)

I had a '98 beetle, and it was fun to drive but the thing fell apart at a ridiculous pace.


That does not bode well for my new Suburban now does it?

Bike Bubba said...

The Suburban is probably fine; most quality issues start in engineering and management, not assembly.

And liquid cooled? Maybe, but you can get reliable air cooled engines like this one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_R-3350

Or those in this car:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_911

Again, the fact that they didn't fix the problem after nearly 70 years speaks volumes about the corporate culture.