Re: VW 'luxury' divisions a waste of money?

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I think that Bentley and Bugatti were mistakes, and the Phaeton carrys the wrong brand badge. To develop the best luxury sedan or the best supersports car in the world costs you an awful lot of money. And if you have done your task, you still have the problem of the nonexsistant brand heritage. When Fiat bought Ferrari, they bought more than the brand name. They bought the factory and the factory founder. So a today's Ferrari is a genuine thing, which breathes racing history, and that opens the wallets of the rich buyers (Because if you see it from a very rational point of view, a Ferrari is more a toy than a transport solution). So if VW makes a Bentley or a Bugatti, these cars are no real Bentleys or Bugattis. OTOH they do not feature enough product USP that one would buy one nevertheless. If Opel sells a Renault minivan (Master) under its own brand name, nobody really cares, but a local operator may prefer Opel, because the dealer is nearby and gives him special rates. But these reasons do not apply for high class buyers. Besides that the brand bugatti has been sleeping too long to really move something in the heart of today's buyers. If I were VW, I would have established the brand name Horch again. Horch has been a part of the Auto Union, which is one of the strong roots of today's VW group. Horch has a historical reputation for building luxury cars which were comparable to Mercedes and Maybach. I would have promoted the VW Phaeton under the brand name Horch Autobahn. This name is very german, although it should be understandable worldwide. I think it is no surprise that Toyota decided to sell their luxury cars under the brand name of Lexus. Besindes that a Phaeton is a four door open tourer, not a sedan with a steel roof. So this car carrys the wrong name.
Frank
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I thought VW did just that, buying the factory in Crewe. (The founder being long dead...)
DAS
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IIRC they bought the rolls plant, which is so outdated that they had to spend gazillions of euros to make something operational out of it.
Frank
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haute in die Tasten:

Didn't BMW buy the Rolls marque? I'm pretty sure about that as I recall reading a review of the new BMW Rolls in Bimmer mag.
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Yes, BMW bought the brand, and VW bought the factory (what a waste of money)
Frank
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haute in die Tasten:

All BMW got was the marquee for Rolls Royce Motor Cars. The Rolls Royce brand for other RR companies, marine, aerospace, turbine, energy etc, all to this day remain holders of the Rolls-Royce name and brand. Indeed BMW is **significantly** limited to what products and services they can apply the Rolls-Rpyce brand.
If I am not mistaken I think I read about a rather bitter battle for the domain name...and BMW lost that too. One of the other Rolls-Royce companies retained the www.rolls-royce.com domain.
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Well, given that a Bentley is now mainly made in Germany but simply trimmed at Crewe, I'm not sure where that investment went.

Yes. BMW now own the Rolls Royce brand and have a new rather fine factory near Goodwood, the racing circuit. Although as with Bentley, much of the new Royce is made in Germany.
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Frank Kemper wrote:

I think they do, more and more. However, for VW to try to compete on this front is insane, with relatively so few dealers.
This is one reason American rural areas have so many Ford Crown Victorias -- luxury car buyers can always count on a nearby Ford dealer, doing a brisk business in F150s.
Matt O.
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Bentley are making as many Continental Coupes as they can - Indeed when the 4 door is introduced it will be made at the Phaeton factory in Germany (as they are not making many Phaetons)
The 1st Bentley made overseas and it has to be the Jerries )after 2 world wars it has come to this.
Maybe I would not feel so bad if german markets were open for Brits to buy their companies
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I know quite a few german companies, which were bought by british companies, why not?
Frank
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Think you can lay the blame at the UK financial institutions. Engineering - or really any form of goods production - seems to be not what they want. Prefer to push money around.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I feel your pain my brother.
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On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 12:57:30 +0100, "Dori A Schmetterling"

I think I got an incredible deal on the Phaeton I just bought. I got $15,000 off the sticker price. IOW, I got a V8 with AWD, air suspension, navigation, heated, cooled and massage seats, a fantastic stereo, xenons, more wood and leather than a Jaguar (although its Bentley cousin has more, but at 3 times the price), a back seat with more legroom than a 745 or S430, and pretty much anything else you can think of for the price of a 530i with leather and xenons only, or a E320 4matic with no options.
The car drives great, and is so comfortable that my wife says "I can't drive this car - I keep falling asleep when I ride in it"! At 2 1/2 tons it's no sports car, but I still have my Z3 3.0i for when I need to blow out the cobwebs. I know I'll get killed on the resale on the Phaeton, but the discount I got will cover much of that, and I plan on keeping this one a long time anyway.
Building the Phaeton and selling it as a VW was probably a dumb business move on VW's part - I agree that a 5 series competitor would have made a lot more sense than a 7 series one, at least at first. But with the deals that are out there now, VW's mistake is your gain.
Bob Schneider snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcast.net snipped-for-privacy@nospam.bp.com The views expressed are not those of my employer, my wife, or the National Football League. All rights reserved.
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On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 14:33:29 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@maine.rr.com (Kevin Rhodes) wrote:

Part of me agrees completely with you and most others on this. Indeed, I have to admit that I hope VW fails in their audacious attempt to sell high-end "people's cars".
On the other hand, it may be that, with China getting ready to join the car-manufacturing fray, Piech determined, possibly correctly, that there just isn't any profitable future in the low-end of the business.
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dizzy wrote:

In the US at least, *all* VW's are high end. Price-wise, compare a Jetta to a Focus, a Golf to a Civic, etc., and you'll see VW is priced considerably higher, if not the highest in its class.
A "people's car" these days is a Hyundai or Kia, or maybe a Saturn (or a used Corolla).
Matt O.
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That's because realtively they ARE high-end. Comparing a Jetta to a Focus is simply Apples to Oranges - it is a far nicer car, and well worth the premium. My Golf TDI was a brilliant car - trouble free, beautifully assembled of high quality components. 30K miles of happiness. 50mpg and still quick enough to be entertaining. Unfortunately, once my employer stopped paying for it I was too cheap to keep it, so I sold it.I got almost 85% of the purchase price back after 2 years and 30K miles - not bad!
Kevin Rhodes Westbrook, Maine

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snipped-for-privacy@maine.rr.com (Kevin Rhodes) haute in die Tasten:

I don't know how they exactly make the Jettas for the US, but it is my understanding that a VW Jetta (or Bora, how it is called in Germany) is a Golf IV with a separate, sedan-syle trunk. If you take the Ford Focus hatchback, it is a serious competitor for the VW Golf hatchback, the Focus once won a comparison test in german car mag auto motor sport which is said to be biased pro VW. So I assume that a comparison between Jetta and Focus is quite okay. I am referring to the german Ford Focus, maybe the US- Focus is a completely different car.
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Jetta and Bora are the exact same car. Original Ford Focus was similar in the US and Europe, but ours are not as well specced or as well built as the German version. Different, cheaper interior. Generally considered a crap cheap car. We still have the original Focus here - we are not getting the new Focus (Mazda 3\Volvo S40 based) for at least 4-5 years. We also do not really get "basic" VWs here - entry level is 2.0l engine with power windows air-con and central locking standard, for example. Many, if not most Jettas are 1.8T equipped. Golfs are either 2.0l gas or TDI, and we don't get 4motion on anything but the very top-spec GTI. GTI is considered a seperate model by VW here.
BTW, Jettas outsell Golfs in the US by something like 12-1, just the opposite of Europe. Golfs are actually hard to find - there was ONE GLS spec 5spd Golf TDI in all of New England when I bought mine.
Kevin Rhodes

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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 15:21:19 GMT, Kevin Rhodes wrote:

Is that because they called them something stupid like Rabbits in the USA do you think? Or are they called Golfs? Mike
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No, all Golfs these days. just a combination of TDIs being a bit rare to start with, coupled with the lack of demand for Golfs causing Dealers to stock mostly Jettas. Plus I wanted a 5spd GLS with sunroof and alloy wheels. To the average American, $20,000 is a HUGE amount of money for a "hatchback", even though it has more room and is far more practical than the Jetta sedan. I actually wanted a Jetta Wagon TDI, but they were basically unobtainium when I was ready to buy. And quite a lot more expensive for the extra 9" of cargo space.
Kevin Rhodes
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