Will VW Kill the Beetle?

Chicago--March 17, 2015--One hot topic at the Midwest Automotive Media Association's luncheon: Will VW will kill the Bug? Industry insiders believe that VW might axe its iconic Beetle when the current version runs its course. Nonetheless, VW says it's showing two new Beetle editions at the upcoming New York Auto Show. Here's the buzz:

BERLIN -- Volkswagen Group has identified cost cuts for its core passenger-car brand, CEO Martin Winterkorn said March 12. At VW's annual press conference, he intimated the part of the savings could come from not to replacing the three-door Polo, when the next-generation model comes out. This move is a response to falling market demand for two-side-door subcompact hatchbacks. VW is "intensively checking" whether it will only build a five-door Polo in the future, Winterkorn claims..

He said the effects of discontinuing models such as the three-door Polo and others that lack strong customer demand are "significant."

"They amount to triple-digit millions through lower ramp up costs and cutting down the number of components," Winterkorn said.

By not replacing the three-door Polo, VW would match what rival Renault has already done.

Ceasing unprofitable models and reducing expensive vehicle equipment may improve results by "well over 1 billion" euros this year, Winterkorn said.

Last July, VW announced a cost-cutting moves intended to improve the VW brand's bottom line. Audi, another VW Group brand, is more profitable.

The automaker says the savings program, which should be completed by 2017, should ensure that the VW brand achieves its target of an operating profit margin of at least 6 percent.

Last year the brand managed a 2.5 percent margin, down from 2.9 percent in 2013.

Eight months ago VW's top management issued the cost-cutting plans.


VW announces a more-is-more Passat.

  • Passat Limited Edition model starts at $23,995
  • Fuel-efficient 1.8-liter TSI® engine and six-speed automatic transmission standard
  • Value-laden model has a host of standard features, including KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, V-tex leatherette seating surfaces, heatable front seats,17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, touchscreen radio and rearview camera

Herndon, VA – Volkswagen of America, Inc. says the Limited Edition Passat  supersedes the Wolfsburg and SE models from the current model year.

The new Limited Edition model offers value: compared with the automatic transmission S model, it has $2,755 of additional equipment, but costs just $1,555 more.

With an  estimated EPA fuel economy rating of 24 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, you save when you buy and then drive this Passat.

About the Volkswagen Club of America

The VWCA (Volkswagen Club of America) is a not-for-profit hobby club for owners and enthusiasts of Volkswagen and Audi automobiles. Founded in 1955, the Club has followed the evolution of Volkswagen from the early air-cooled Beetle to the latest models to roll off the assembly line. We are not owned by, affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen AG or Volkswagen of America, the Importer. The Club is operated and managed solely by volunteer members who contribute their time and energy in pursuit of our motto, "to help Volkswagen and Audi owners enjoy their cars to the fullest." Read about the club's history.

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It's Show Time!

The Northeast Illinois Volkswagen Association has an activity-packed weekend planned for the 60th VWCA Convention in suburban Chicago.