Friday, April 19, 2013

The End of German Volkswagens

The 7th generation Golf, including the next GTI , will be built in Mexico and made available next year. Some enthusiasts, myself included, have complained about this on various forums. The response is often met with accusations of racism, with claims a Mexican built Volkswagen is just as good as a German built one. I highly doubt that. 

The only used Volkswagen Consumer Reports recommends is the German made Golf, skipping over the nearly identical Jettas built in Mexico. Objectively, if you want a reliable Volkswagen, you buy the German made Golf and pan those built south of the border. And if you're an enthusiast, you also pan Volkswagen's attempt to compete with Buick, the American only market, Passat. 

If you want a German built VW, you've got until this Summer to pick up a MK6 Golf, or you can go with the truly last German built VW for the American market, the small ute, the Tiguan. I would be incredibly surprised if the Tiguan continues to be imported from Germany beyond it's current generation. Having shopped one for my wife, it misses the mark in the US market and falls behind its competitors. It accounts for less than 10% of their US sales.

I don't blame Volkswagen for building cars in North America instead of importing them. I understand the economics. They've just shown they can't do it as well. So I'll wait and see, since I probably have another five years on my GTI, but if they can't live up to their own high standards.

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