Number of Cylinders: 4
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Drive Type: 2
Olathe, Kansas, United States
The body is stellar, as straight as an arrow, and the paint finish is literally a show-quality mirror on all sides. Even the underside of the Bus was sprayed in Sealing Wax Red and it is literally prettier than brand new on the top side and underside as well. The interior is equally as gorgeous with great attention to detail in both parts and materials. The engine was fully rebuilt and detailed. This Bus truly has it all, beauty, uniqueness, accuracy, rarity, and significance beyond what you will typically see on the public market.
Today in the Tell Us How You Really Feel file we have Bernd Osterloh, head of Volkswagen AG's Group Works Councils and member of the company's supervisory board, labeling the company's US operations "a disaster." Why? Because Osterloh believes VW of America doesn't have the models it needs to be competitive here, hasn't been decisive enough about its plans and German higher-ups still don't understand the US market.
In truth, the top labor rep at the German conglomerate is echoing sentiments we've heard from VWoA executives for years, and there's been the same commentary from dealers: Germany doesn't pay enough attention to what the US market really wants. Even ex-VWoA CEO Stefan Jacoby, who preceded the recently departed Jonathan Browning, said early in his tenure that one of his tasks was to get his German bosses to start delivering what the US market demanded. New CEO Michael Horn is saying much the same thing seven years later, telling Sky News that it has to increase "the speed at which we bring new models to the market and innovation to the market."
Osterloh wants to get "more models" here, including a pickup truck, but we'd wonder if the economics have changed from when Jacoby said they'd need to sell 100,000 per year to make money. Osterloh also wants a decision on where the CrossBlue will be built. Although it looked as if the Chatanooga, TN plant would get the call, the Puebla, Mexico plant is still in the running because of lower operating costs. No matter what happens right now, Osterloh thinks the situation won't get better for another two years when revamped models arrive, but at least the company can start taking the steps for a better US future.
It was just nine months ago that Strategic Vision announced its 2011 Total Value Awards, but you don't have to wait until next year for the 2012 awards. The Volkswagen Group keeps its lead as the number one brand, with seven products taking top category spots: Golf, Jetta Wagon, CC, Eos and Audi A3 Wagon, Q5 and Q7. Strategic Vision says "true innovation" - "rich and impactful, intuitive, motivational, in-depth and is able to trigger description by the user in great specificity" - is the open secret of the brands with the strongest showings. Results are culled from 77,153 owners covering more than 350 new cars bought between September of 2011 and 2012 ranked in the Total Value Index (TVI).
Other notable winners are Hyundai-Kia following VW in the brand category and having the Hyundai Elantra and Kia Sorento among category winners, the BMW Z4 taking the premium roadster category and the highest overall score of any vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt continuing to gather silverware in the Special Category, nabbing the second-highest score of all and representative of "nearly perfect innovation," and Chrysler and Dodge being most improved.
Check out the press release below for your day's dose of jargon and all the winners.
More Fun Than A Prius, Less Sensible Than A TDI
Let's have some fun, and do some math. We're talking pretty rudimentary stuff, multiplication and division, to figure out if the upcoming Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid can make a baseline case for itself against two very strong competitors in this segment. The competitors in question, at least for now, are two more Jettas: the diesel-drinking TDI and the fit-for-the-masses SE with VW's long-serving 2.5-liter engine.
To keep the equations clean and simple (hey, we're writers), we'll calculate based on the most flattering EPA miles per gallon stat from highway driving for all cars, assume a healthy 20,000 miles driven per year, and factor in today's average cost for the respective fuels these three require: diesel (TDI), regular (SE) and premium (Hybrid). We'll also start with the base prices for all models.