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Volkswagen: Development and Technology News

Old 04-24-2003, 01:27 AM
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Volkswagen: Development and Technology News





Insiders tell us that Volkswagen is going to build a roadster to tackle the Toyota MR2, Mazda MX5 and the Opel Speedster. This mid-engined roadster is part of VW's plan to have a car in every possible niche segment.

Like most future VW products, little information is still available about the roadster, but according to Auto Bild it may be showed at the Tokyo Motor Show in October if everything goes according to plan.

If the production of the VW roadster gets the final go-ahead it may even go on sale sometime next year.

Apparently this roadster will feature a 2-litre 16-valve engine. This FSI unit has an power output of about 110kW and torque is an useful 200Nm.

VW will also equip the two-seater with a direct sequential gearbox and of course ABS en ESP will be standard safety features.
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Old 04-24-2003, 01:36 AM
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Sure, why not. I wouldn't buy it though.
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Old 04-24-2003, 11:15 AM
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Hopefully a turbo version will be offered...once chipped, it'll make a nice little car.
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Old 04-25-2003, 05:48 PM
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looks good, 150hp won't be bad if its 1ton.
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Old 04-27-2003, 11:51 PM
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I hate all volkswagons, but thats actualy not that bad looking...wouldnt buy it though.
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Old 09-29-2003, 08:10 AM
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Volkswagen obviously pissed off at quality issues

VW moves to crack down on U.S. vehicle quality problems


By RALPH KISIEL | Automotive News

FRANKFURT - Volkswagen AG is working on three fronts to improve the quality of vehicles sold in the United States.

VW will monitor its suppliers more closely, tighten production and improve dealer training, says Jens Neumann, a member of the VW board of management in charge of North American strategy.

"But there's still some work to be done," Neumann concedes. "We are working to improve quality and to improve the perception of Volks-wagen quality."

VW has had a tumultuous year on the quality front.

A problem with failing ignition coils forced the automaker to launch a costly replacement program that will continue through year end.

VW is replacing ignition coils on about 500,000 vehicles, primarily 2001 and 2002 model cars with four-cylinder, turbocharged 1.8-liter engines.

VW owners were furious when the automaker initially did not have enough improved coils to meet demand.

"Many quality issues rise out of suppliers," Neumann says. Both the ignition coil problems, and an earlier quality issue with faulty window regulators, were traced to the supplier, he says.

"We have to monitor our suppliers and our subsuppliers - really monitor more closely the quality that they are giving us," he says.

The ignition coil problem, for example, was traced to Bremi Auto-Elektrik, VW's supplier in Germany.

Neumann says VW also needs to be more careful in production, improve its vehicle delivery to dealerships and better train dealers, in particular, on new vehicles such as the Touareg.

The Touareg, VW's first SUV, was delivered to dealers in June.

Since 1994, when VW began its U.S. sales turnaround, the automaker consistently has been below the U.S. industry average in J.D. Power and Associates' studies of initial quality.

VW also has ranked below industry average in the past two J.D. Power annual studies of long-term vehicle quality.

Still, the VW brand remains strong with new-vehicle buyers, ranking ahead of such powerhouses as Porsche and Toyota in the latest Strategic Vision Inc. study of brand value as perceived by customers.
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Old 09-29-2003, 06:59 PM
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They pissed off alot of aircooled people w/ the whole website trademark lawyer issue (and quite a few other issues).

They pissed off alot of watercooled people w/ the whole coil pack issue.

If VW doesn't want to lose any more ground, they better start thinking of ways to not piss people off
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Old 09-29-2003, 07:24 PM
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So they are mad at themselves????
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:18 AM
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VW customer service sucks


have witnessed it 1sthand
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Old 02-26-2005, 03:20 PM
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Volkswagen going RWD



MT mag is reporting that sources have confirmed that VW is working on a RWD platform to be used for models "above Passat-size". Codenamed 511, the platform will be used for the revised C1 offering which is targeted to position itself between the new gen. Passat and the Phaeton.

THe funny thing is that the rumor is that in order to cut costs VW will develop this platform with an Asian maker which is not from Japan

Could Hyundai be developing a RWD platform?!?

The other funny thing is that the 511 will be used by Audi for the next gen. A8 car, BUT ONLY IN AWD FORM!

I had no idea but it says in the article that the Audi boss has been fighting hard to switch to RWD (from AWD) in order to go head on with BMW. Obviously he lost the fight.

VW derivatives from this platform will be RWD with AWD as an added option, but Audi cars will only go AWD!

Finally the arcle is reporting that "future Audis will have their longitudinal engines turned 180 degrees" so that the tranny fits at the front of the car in order to better handling characteristics due to better weight distribution.

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Old 02-26-2005, 03:22 PM
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I dont understand the last point. I thought Audis did carry the tranny in the front. If anything you need to move the tranny in the rear to better weight distribution, no? Audis are heavy on the nose, I thought. Also, I thought that for better weight distribution longitudinal engine config. was better than sideways. No?
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Old 02-26-2005, 03:27 PM
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Volkswagen makes me
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Old 02-26-2005, 03:52 PM
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Someone might have mixed up the facts on that last point...

And this is news since the Phaeton didn't exactly sell well so what's the point...
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Old 02-26-2005, 03:56 PM
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VW is still on the wrong path in my opinion. You dont need to concentrate on the above Passat-size segment. Not even here in AMerica. That's not VW's bread and butter.
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Old 02-26-2005, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
VW is still on the wrong path in my opinion. You dont need to concentrate on the above Passat-size segment. Not even here in AMerica. That's not VW's bread and butter.
Focus on improving the Jetta and Golf in the US market and maybe introduce a nice little roadster to compete against the upcoming Solstice. VW doesn't sell enough cars above the Passat to make it worth the effort.
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Old 02-26-2005, 04:54 PM
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Things that make you go hmmmmmm....
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Old 02-26-2005, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
VW is still on the wrong path in my opinion. You dont need to concentrate on the above Passat-size segment. Not even here in AMerica. That's not VW's bread and butter.
Exactly, VW as a brand doesn't equal prestige and luxury. Luxury car buyers want that snob appeal, to a degree, and VW doesn't offer it. I guess they don't know their history as "the peoples car".
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Old 02-26-2005, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Maximized
Exactly, VW as a brand doesn't equal prestige and luxury. Luxury car buyers want that snob appeal, to a degree, and VW doesn't offer it. I guess they don't know their history as "the peoples car".
This is not only hilarious news, but troubling. Apparently VW hasn't learned anything from the Phateon, that's why it's funny. But the fact that this huge company hasn't learned from it is what's troubling. What's worse, it completely undermine Audi. I mean, WTF. I'm through trying to figure VW out. All it'll do is keep me up at night.
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Old 02-26-2005, 08:12 PM
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I have a feeling that the chimps from the CareerBuilder Superbowl commercial could run VW better than current management
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Old 02-26-2005, 09:20 PM
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Sorry to go off topic. I was searching some VW forums and found this. A W12 block:




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Old 02-26-2005, 09:28 PM
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Post

Read this thread from a VW site. They're thinking the same as we are.


Originally Posted by titan
This is not only hilarious news, but troubling. Apparently VW hasn't learned anything from the Phateon, that's why it's funny. But the fact that this huge company hasn't learned from it is what's troubling. What's worse, it completely undermine Audi. I mean, WTF. I'm through trying to figure VW out. All it'll do is keep me up at night.
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Old 02-26-2005, 10:08 PM
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Hmmm... interesting stuff... VW's lineup used to be all RWD back in the aircooled days,

RWD in a VW will be interesting. I've been waiting for VW to come out with a Corrado/Scirocco type vehicle. Maybe this is it ??
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Old 02-27-2005, 03:46 AM
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well at least they are trying to make a true car, IMHO.
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Maximized
Exactly, VW as a brand doesn't equal prestige and luxury. Luxury car buyers want that snob appeal, to a degree, and VW doesn't offer it. I guess they don't know their history as "the peoples car".

And the worst part about this is that by concentrating in larger VW cars and by concentrating in quality, they are indirectly abandoning focus on Audi. Their strategy is not crystal clear. Way too much overlap.
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:49 AM
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All VWs should be offering FWD with AWD as an option and all Audis should switch to RWD with RWD-biased Quattro as an option. That's a clear strategy. What is happening right nmow is a mess. With so many VWs offering AWD, it takes away from the supposed advantage of AWD with Audi cars.
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Old 02-27-2005, 12:42 PM
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I guess Business 101 doesn't count in the VW group anymore. Like why would they spend all the development cost in the Bugatti name when they haven't even sold one car yet? It even boggles my mind where they're getting funds to fund new factory's, and monet losing projects? Its gotta end somewhere.


Originally Posted by gavriil
And the worst part about this is that by concentrating in larger VW cars and by concentrating in quality, they are indirectly abandoning focus on Audi. Their strategy is not crystal clear. Way too much overlap.
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Old 02-27-2005, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
All VWs should be offering FWD with AWD as an option and all Audis should switch to RWD with RWD-biased Quattro as an option. That's a clear strategy. What is happening right nmow is a mess. With so many VWs offering AWD, it takes away from the supposed advantage of AWD with Audi cars.
EXACTLY HOW I FEEL. And in addtion, lets give VW brand it's own desgin, instead of continuting to offer watering down Audis for itself.
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Old 02-27-2005, 01:22 PM
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That Asian partner wouldn't happen to be Chery in China?

Chery plans to intro several cars in the US in about 2+ years and maybe colaboration on this could be one of them. I think the 300 woke up several car execs on the fact that folks like fairly big RWD cars in the US. VW is already a big player in China so it could sell this car there also.
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:59 PM
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Another try by VW to go upmarket, after the failed Phaeton.
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:26 PM
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VW makes no sense to me lately...

Junkster, who heard the stockholders feel the same way
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:55 PM
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You ain't kidding. No one, and I mean NO ONE was looking at the Phaeton at the autoshow.

Originally Posted by Edward'TLS
Another try by VW to go upmarket, after the failed Phaeton.
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Old 02-28-2005, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Junkster
VW makes no sense to me lately...

Junkster, who heard the stockholders feel the same way
Hehehe, That's real. I think it's time to buy Hyundai.
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Old 02-28-2005, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by titan
Hehehe, That's real. I think it's time to buy Hyundai.
Whoa, cowboy... let's not go all crazytalk now...

Hyundai might be improving, but I don't know if quality of material and finish is quite up to VW status...

Junkster, who is waiting to see the new Sonata to see how far Hyundai has come
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Junkster
Whoa, cowboy... let's not go all crazytalk now...

Hyundai might be improving, but I don't know if quality of material and finish is quite up to VW status...

Junkster, who is waiting to see the new Sonata to see how far Hyundai has come
Well, I wasn't talking along quality of material or fit and finish lines... I was talking from a sheer investment outlook. With the new Sonata, and much improved Sante Fe coming, there sales will really rise, I think. That's what I meant by buy Hyundai.
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by titan
Well, I wasn't talking along quality of material or fit and finish lines... I was talking from a sheer investment outlook. With the new Sonata, and much improved Sante Fe coming, there sales will really rise, I think. That's what I meant by buy Hyundai.
Even investing in Hyundai is still a gamble. They still haven't trimmed the fat that they need to in Korea (still have 1 money losing plant they need to close) and their investment in China doesn't seem very good at this point.

You do know that Hyundai gets government incentives for selling cars here in the states, right? Korean government gives incentives to the car maker so that they don't lose money in selling cars here in the states.

Junkster, who wouldn't invest in Korean companies for at least another five years
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Old 03-01-2005, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Junkster
You do know that Hyundai gets government incentives for selling cars here in the states, right? Korean government gives incentives to the car maker so that they don't lose money in selling cars here in the states.
Woa, is this true ? If the Korean government is subsidizing Korean cars to sell cheap in the States, I'm sure the US government would have either ban their sales or slap on heavy tarriff penalties on them. Remember the cheap Korean memory chips, the European steel, and the Canadian softwood.
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Old 03-01-2005, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward'TLS
Woa, is this true ? If the Korean government is subsidizing Korean cars to sell cheap in the States, I'm sure the US government would have either ban their sales or slap on heavy tarriff penalties on them. Remember the cheap Korean memory chips, the European steel, and the Canadian softwood.
It's no secret, the US gov also knows... With the small domestic market and pressure to sell their vehicles cheap, there would be no way fo the company to stay afloat without government assistance.

Outside of the US, this goes on alot actually... Fiat is known to have gov help, as well as French automakers.

That's international business for you... If the US did tariff Hyundai for government assistance, think of what the Koreans would do to US meat exports...

Gotta give here and there to do international business.

Junkster, who heard Hyundai also marks up prices domestically to keep their cars cheap in the US
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:50 PM
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Just because vw isn't known for a being a luxury car maker now doesn't mean they won't be in the future. It may take some time to establish 35k+ cars, but I think they have a very good shot at succeeding.
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:47 PM
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But VW has to put a lot of work in its cars, especially reliabillity, in order for people to justify paying 35K+ for a VW, instead of buying an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. Audi has the infamous Quattro, BMW has the 3-series as small car benchmark, and Mercedes has the E-class as mid-size car benchmark. Jaguar doesn't have reliability but is best known for its luxurious interior. The X-type is an exception because it is virtually a Ford Contour. What does VW have ? Spending hundreds of millions of dollars in advertizing and marketing is a good start. Try building a benchmark vehicle is next. It's not going to be easy.
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Old 07-25-2005, 03:17 PM
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Volkswagen Brakes For Epic Change

Volkswagen's new Mr. Fix-it, Wolfgang Bernhard, didn't mince words in his first public diagnosis of what ails Europe's largest auto maker. Its costs are too high, its quality subpar, and its products too expensive. "Volkswagen is facing a cold wind ahead," he said, speaking to financial analysts on July 13. To restore VW's declining competitiveness, Bernhard is aiming for $8.4 billion in cost savings by 2010, and 5 to 10 new low-cost models. "There will be no sacred cows," says Bernhard, 44, who took over as chairman of the flagship Volkswagen brand group last November. [Bernd Pischetsrieder is chief of the entire company.]

It's now or never. Volkswagen has suddenly realized that its efforts to cut costs and compete in a global market have fallen short. Sales in the U.S. are in free fall, new models are sputtering in Europe, and it's losing ground rapidly in China to General Motors Corp. (GM). The $107 billion German giant eked out a net profit of just $859 million in 2004, a profit margin of less than 1%, and its core VW brand lost money on every car sold. By contrast, Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) earned $2,019 per car and Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) made $2,328. "If we cannot export cars out of Europe [profitably], Europe has a very, very dark future," warned Bernhard.

That kind of candor from VW's Wolfsburg home is refreshing after years of denial by top brass that the company was veering off course. Bernhard -- who helped shut six factories while at Chrysler (DCX) in Detroit and cut that workforce by 26,000 -- is quick to insist VW can turn around. But he's setting the stage for an epic overhaul, one that may become a beacon for change for Germany. At VW and most German companies, the co-determination model, which gives labor half the seats on a company's supervisory board, cripples management's ability to adapt to fast-moving global economy. "It's looking more and more like a turning point for Volkswagen," says JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) analyst Philippe Houchois.

Bernhard has to attack VW's high fixed costs, from wages a fifth above the industry average to excess plant capacity of at least 20% to 30%. "To be profitable they need to be operating at 90% of capacity," says Ferdinand Dudenhoffer, head of the Center for Automotive Research in Gelsenkirchen. That could mean plant closings, layoffs, and rollbacks of wage and labor rule deals -- taboos that VW had not dared broach until now. "Bernhard has to do more than just cutting 10% here and there," says Michael Schwarz, a Booz Allen Hamilton principal in Dusseldorf. "The onslaught of low-cost competition is not stopping."

Until now, the chief obstacles to change at VW have been the interwoven ties between top management, labor leaders, and VW's controlling shareholder, the state of Lower Saxony. But those ties may be less binding in the wake of a scandal at the auto maker involving alleged kickbacks, front companies, and extravagant sex escapades that were expensed to the company, toppling several senior managers and a labor representative. One of the fallen is Peter Hartz, head of personnel and a close adviser to Chancellor Gerhard Schroder. "It shows Pischetsrieder and Bernhard are stronger than we thought," says one insider.

The shakeup helps clear out a management cadre linked to Supervisory Board Chairman Ferdinand Piech that was blocking change. Piech, too, is under pressure to go, though his contract runs two more years. The scandal could also provoke a national rethink about the role of labor representation on German boards. "With the workers' council discredited, there may be room for maneuvering," says Booz Allen's Schwarz.

Restoring luster to the VW logo won't be easy. Some analysts warn the turnaround could be more difficult than Bernhard envisions. But coming clean on its problems is the first step on the road back.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8642963/
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