Saturday, October 6, 2007

Dub City

I am amused to no end by Volkswagen's marketing of the City Golf and Jetta in Canada. They've taken Mk IV models (we're now on Mk V in both the US and Canada) and grafted on new front ends. The result is the following:

You can also check them out here, with another short blog post with more pics here. There are a few things that pique my interest about this. First of all, I don't think I've ever seen this kind of "amortization" technique before. Sure, GM and Ford have done this several times before, such as with the Ford F-150 "Heritage", the Chevy Silverado and the Chevy Classic, née Malibu. But in such cases the vehicles are carried over unchanged. VW has breathed new life into the twins with new styling for the front end. They've actually reworked the taillights, but they're still the same shape. The Canadian website only has pics from the front, though, I'm assuming out of fear that shoppers will see the familiar rear fascias and realize the ploy. You have to check out the Chinese version, the Bora HS, to find this out.

The other source of my amusement is styling of the City Jetta, which takes so much from the last generation Passat, from the grille to the way the headlights dip down at the outside edges. I remember seeing the Bora HS a while ago, which is actually the Golf with the City Jetta front end. Nevermind that the Bora was VW's name for the Mk IV Jetta around the world. Okay, so are you sufficiently lost by now? Then my job is done.

Actually, this is a good example of the complexity of the worldwide auto market, as I've discussed in previous posts, notably The Mercury That Could Be and An aside on the industry for beginners. My education on the industry continues, and this VW strategy is just part of the curriculum.

I'd love to hear what my readers think about this. Does seeing a $15,300 City Golf next to a $20,175 Rabbit in the showroom make the Rabbit seem overpriced? Is this just a great way to further amortize the investment in the Mk IV cars? Does the new front end make it seem as if VW is trying to pull the wool over its customers' eyes? Post a comment with your two cents.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

GTI For Sale

Well, since I finally bought the R32, I'm looking to sell my GTI. Here are the vitals:

2003 Volkswagen GTI VR6, ~71,000 miles

200-hp 2.8L 24v V6, 6-speed manual

Silverstone Gray, Black leather

Fully loaded – Leather heated seats, sunroof/Monsoon stereo package, Technology Package (Climatronic auto climate control, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror), CD changer

Lots of extras – Two sets of wheels (both 17” alloys, one with summer tires, one with all-season tires), Monster Mats (original carpet mats in perfect condition), aluminum pedal caps (originals included)

Extended warranty included – Good to 7 yrs/100,000 miles (over 2 yrs/29,000 miles left), VW RealDriver Platinum warranty, fully transferrable, best on the market, covers a ton
Full maintenance records, dealership kept for first year of life, only used synthetic oil and premium unleaded

This is a rare car. I’ve only seen one other gray VR6 on the road. This is one of the most desirable color combinations. The Silverstone Gray is very easy to keep looking clean, and it does not show swirl marks like darker colors. While I have taken it through automatic carwashes, I’ve never let them use those scratchy brushes on it, so the paint is in great shape aside from the typical stone chips and a bumper gash that come with life on the road. Touch-up paint is included.

The interior is very clean. I’ve never let anyone smoke or eat in the car, and it does not show the typical wear and tear that many Mk IV VWs have, such as peeling rubber coating on the door handles. The leather is in excellent shape and I’ve conditioned it to keep it that way. It has a full owner’s manual in very good shape, as well as spare tire and tools.

As far as the typical VW part failure issues, the windows have already fallen and the regulators have been replaced with the higher-quality metal ones that won’t fail. The ignition coils and taillight switch have been replaced under recall. To my knowledge, everything on the car is in good working order.

I'm looking for $14,000 for everything, including the transfer fee for the warranty.

You can call me (Randy) at 516-655-0698 or email me through this post.

Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested.