What is a Volkswagen? (hint: their current portfolio is messy)

This morning I was driving behind a “Golf plus”. A Golf Plus? I had never heard about this car before so I decided to check out Volkswagen.de to see what other models I have missed. Turned out I missed quite a few! Volkswagen has so many models that their drop down menu does not even fit my 13 inch laptop screen. Here we go with the full list…

Volkswagen is a …

Fox, Polo, Golf, Golf Cabriolet, Golf Plus, Golf Variant, Golf GTI, New Beetle, New Beetle Cabriolet, Scirocco, Jetta, Touran, Tiguan, Eos, Passat, Passat Variant, Passat CC, Sharan, Touareg, Phaeton, Caddy, Multivan, California and then still some Volkswagen Exclusive and R/R-line ranges of some of the models…

Wow!

So what is a Volkswagen? Frankly I have no idea what it wants to be anymore, but to me it has always been the Beetle and the Golf. Check out the Volkswagen Classic website with all models between 1949-1999. I am curious to hear which models strike you as being a real Volkswagen.

There is a problem at the Volkswagen Group.  With four main brands in the <100K EUR segment (Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda) and each with an enormous amount of model brands there is overlap for sure. I wrote about VW versus Audi in the USA earlier. There has to be a way to optimize, reduce the overlaps and create clear(er) identities. This will prevent in the long run each of the brands at the Volkswagen Group to lose meaning and long term profitability.

2 thoughts on “What is a Volkswagen? (hint: their current portfolio is messy)”

  1. I love VW. Yes, their portfolio is messy, but I am a fan now. Never thought I would be – always had Japanese car. But we ended up getting a Jetta a few years ago, then traded in for a new Passat. And man is it a great car. Quality, technology, comfort, decent price.

    Especially at the VW stores – always good service, the mechanics and maintenance guys are great, and they talk to you like a normal person. As a female and one who knows nothing about cars (except their brand!), I have no qualms about going in there and talking to them. They are always respectful, treat you well and no tricks.

    So, I will buy another VW. The problem is with the portfolio as you say. I had been wanting an Audi for some time, but now that I have had a Passat, I don’t see the point in trading up to an Audi. The Passat has all the technology, comfort, extras, etc. The Highline model looks sleak and cool. And frankly, now I just feel like buying an Audi would be paying a whole lot more for a Passat with a different name! Of course, VW isn’t the only one with that problem. I would never pay so much for just an expensive Toyota – AKA Lexus.

  2. Think you nailed it with “And frankly, now I just feel like buying an Audi would be paying a whole lot more for a Passat with a different name!”.

    I felt like that when I went from a Seat Ibiza to an Audi A3 years later. Guess what: the buttons for the front seat heating were *exactly* the same… Because the brands are not focussed you indeed feel that you are paying a lot for a different brand name… especially because there is overlapping choice…example: Passat, Audi A4 and Skoda Superb!

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