For as long as I can remember, Volkswagen has a seemingly long track record of limiting what comes to the U.
S. market place. Still, some Veedub lovers and enthusiasts cling to the brand, stronger than ever. Others are starting to shrug their shoulders and look elsewhere.
But while I was perusing this week's latest news items, I couldn't resist commenting on not one, but TWO items that VW passed on for the U.S. marketplace. As VW has pushed forward -- very strongly -- with the goal of doubling its sales, there have been some drastic changes that have, in some cases, alienated the loyal followers that really built a foundation for the marque.
The first idea was a Passat CC-inspired Golf/Jetta. Much like the Mercedes-Benz CLS-inspired Volkswagen Passat CC, the Jetta CC would essentially follow the steps of Mercedes-Benz's CLA. For those of you saying it doesn't exist yet, yes you're right; however, the CSC Concept provides some color on what to expect.
The second item that struck a chord was the Passat R-line, which also will NOT be making its way to the States. While it's easy to down this argument because it is a different vehicle than the Chatanooga-based, U.S. version of the Passat, it raises a good question: Why hasn't VW tapped into its R-Line to spice up the newer Passat sedan?
This raises a VERY valid point and relevant question to VW's positioning in the U.S. market today: Is VW making SMART business decisions OR is it's management making POOR decisions?
Before you answer, take two things into consideration:
1) Sales remain strong -- if you look at the April 2012 and use it as a snapshot, the new Beetle and new Passat are what's keep numbers up.
2) VW has begun decontenting its products and shifted its strategy in how its vehicles are equipped.