Government Motors second

Toyota 8.42 million units in 2010 Government Motors Co., the second-ranked car company, 8.39 million units Volkswagen AG, the worlds third biggest carmaker, sold 7.14 million
vehicles in 2010
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VW has stated a goal of becoming number one.
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VW has stated a goal of becoming number one.
******** Maybe they could if their management were really committed to quality and customer satisfaction..They aren't, IMHO, at present
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I have always wondered about VW and why they are so successful.
Their vehicles are always more expensive than similar vehicles from others.
They do own a lot of other brands too.
Some years ago when I was still in the University we compared the finances of VW to a few other car companies and VW was close to bankrupt at the time and later they also publicly admitted to that fact.
As far as I know they have never been best at anything and yet still they are around and will possibly pass GM in the world ranking.
I do not know if that reflects so much on VW as the competition.
Lack of quality killed GM and quality up to recently is what made Toyota great.
Toyota stopped paying attention to customers and quality and they are dropping even only slightly so far.
What keeps VW going and growing is a mystery.
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?

Reputation? Back in the 50s, 60s, VW had a reputation with the old Beetle for low cost, reliability, good fuel mileage, and the ability to go in any weather. I know people that to this day associate VW with those traits because of the Beetle, even though they no longer apply.
People buy the same brands for generations. A woman at work (60 years old) bought here first brand new car ever. She was considering at least four brands with models in her size and price range. While she dutifully check out the different brands, I knew from the beginning that she was going to buy the Fusion. Why? Her father (who passed away over 20 years ago) always bought Fords. Toyota was not considered because of their recent bad publicity.
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wrote

Maybe they had the reputation for all those things, but I thing reality was different.
Reliability? No way. But they were simple to fix and you got lots of practice doing it. I think people confuse simplicity and cheap to repair with reliability. A friend of mine used to tell me about how when a VW dealership first opened in his home town, they advertised 24 hour repair service - and they were the only manufacturer that needed it.
Cheap - yes but you got what you paid for - slow, noisy, uncomfortable, unsafe, but, as an old girl friend always told me, they were cute.
Good fuel mileage (at least comapred to large US autos) - yes, but not remarkable by European standards of the day. There were comtemporary cars that got better mileage.
Go in any weather - not really - lousy heater, no ground clearance. I suppose compared to a US car with a huge engine and rear wheel drive they were better, but they were hardly off road vehicles.

This is definitely the case - even for me. Over the years my family memebers have bought cars from almost every large manufacturer, but probably more Fords than anything else. I have never had a really bad Ford, which is more than I can say for VW - we've never had a good one of those. My Sisters and my SO have each own one VW product. I am often called on to handle car problems for them. I have a rule that I enforce when they ask for my help with cars - don't ever buy another f*&k&^g VW product. Every VW product the family has owned (including an Audi I owned ) turned out to be a POS. Modern VWs usually look nice, drive nicely, but are over complicated unreliable POS's.
Ed
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?

Never owned a Beetle, They were ugly, uncomfortable, etc. But I had a '64 Karman Ghia convertible and a '70 Ghia coupe. The 64 had no heat as the ducts were rusted out. Paid $15 for the car and invested $110 to rebuild the engine, parts and labor. Being a convertible, it was fun to drive in the summer. The 70 coupe was a good deal too, at the time. It was involved in 7 collision, but was never moving in any of them. Three while parked, four while stopped at traffic lights. It was like a magnet.
Both served a transportation need, but I've not owned a VW product since. They have a couple of good looking models, but the reliability side does not cut it for me.

I'm from a GM family. Earliest I remember was my Father's 50 Chevy, then my brother had a bunch, then me. Until recent bad luck with GM, I never had reason to go elsewhere. Times have changed.
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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-08/audi-buyers-wait-months-as-factories-at-full-steam-struggle-to-keep-pace.html
Audi AG buyers must wait an average of three to four months for cars like the $52,700 A6 sedan as the company runs factories at full steam in an effort to keep pace with record demand,
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Like the other posters, I believe it is the perception of German quality and reliability. I have owned two Passat's and they were both really nice to drive, got decent mileage, and were comfortable and sure footed.
I didnt keep either of them for a long time, though. 3-4 years.
A friend had one of the new Beetles,and it was a disaster. She dumped it after a short time because it was always in the shop, and the costs to repair were high.
VW COULD do better. They have the technology and everything else required----everything, that is, except the commitment.
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I have heard that the ones made in Germany are OK but the ones made in Mexico are a disaster. No personal experience (never driven a "vee-dub" let alone owned one)
A professional mechanic friend said of Fords from Mexico that when they ran out of wire of the correct color when making the harness that they would splice in whatever was available instead. No clue about the gauge of the wire being correct.
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Sounds like BS to me. The harness are made at harness supplier, not at the Ford factory. US built Fords are as likely to have a Mexican harness as a Mexican built Ford. And probably both are likely to have Chinese made harnesses. And more than likley the same harness supplier makes harness for many different manufacturers.
I have to wonder if the guy is truly a "Professional Mechanic" if he spouts off crap like that. It is far more likely that a fellow "Professional Mechanic" spliced in the wrong color wire than that it was made that way at the factory.
My Mexican built Fusion has been dead solid perfect for over three years and 80,000 miles. Only "repair" was a new battery last fall (ironically the battery in my 3 year old Fusion and my SO's 3 year old RAV4 failed in the same week). I wish the car was built in the US, so maybe when the Fusion gives up, I'll get a Taurus or Explorer (built in Chicago).
Ed
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I wish the car was built in the US, so maybe when the Fusion

If it is a good car (and I know that Ford has a good QC system), why worry about where it was built? It will sell or trade for just as much, and parts and service will be available.
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It should not matter where the cars are made because the management should enforce a standard for all quality anywhere.
We know Toyota used to be good at that but recently they too stopped being as strict and they are having a difficult time getting back on track.
It is like buying a Big Mac and you expect it to be the same everywhere.
I tried Big Mac all over the world and they held the mark except in England I tried them two or three times and there they tasted different and I never do that again but that is to be expected because the brits have no taste.
I actually threw them all away and I guess it is similar with cars that if you do not keep the same quality everywhere you can get bad experience and mixed reviewes.
One of my earliest cars was a Volvo Amason and it was brilliant.
The motor was small and it was easy to get at anything and everything simple.
Volvo built its reputation on those cars but later failed to continue with such robust quality.
They actually bought a bankrupt poor quality manufacturer DAF in Holland and stamped the Volvo logo on it and the cars continued to be worthless DAF running around with a Volvo logo.
It eventually ruined Volvo.
I would call that a bad management decision.
The original Volvos continued to have quality but that is not enough.
Mercedes tried the same and failed and are having a hard time coming back.
Even Porsche tried mass production for a short time with close to disastrous results.
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The original Volvos continued to have quality but that is not enough.
Mercedes tried the same and failed and are having a hard time coming back.
Even Porsche tried mass production for a short time with close to disastrous results.
******** Volvo still has an excellent reputation with many people in the USA, but I think it is not totally deserved. When Ford took over Volvo, they began to substitute their platforms, parts, etc, I am told.. That, I believe, was a turning point for Volvo.
Similar thing with SAAB.
IMHO, the Swedes made them better before Ford and GM came along.
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The chinese now own Volvo and the russians through a frontman in Holland own Saab and subaru is using Saabs facilities in Sweden.
It is the same story everywhere and only a question of scale.
There is an international money laundering and they buy up a lot of companies.
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