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William Maley

VW News: Volkswagen To Build North American Golfs In Mexico

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By William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

January 25, 2013

Today, Volkswagen announced that the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf for the North and South American Market will be built at Volkswagen's plant in Puebla, Mexico. Production will begin sometime in the first quarter of 2014 and will help provide additional capacity for Volkswagen's Wolfsburg and Zwickau plants.

The move is part of Volkswagen's plan to sell 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018.

Volkswagen's North America chief Jonathan Browning said the move will help the German automaker make “further strides towards the goal of building more than 75 percent of the cars Volkswagen of America sells in the North American region.”

The seventh-generation Golf arrives in the U.S. in the first half of 2014.

Source: Volkswagen

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Press Release is on Page 2


VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES PRODUCTION OF THE GOLF IN MEXICO

- The next-generation Golf will be manufactured in Puebla, Mexico, for North and South American markets

Puebla, Mexico / Herndon, VA -

Volkswagen announced today that it will begin to produce the next-generation Golf at its Volkswagen de México manufacturing facility in Puebla, Mexico. Production of the seventh-generation Golf will commence at the company’s plant in Mexico in the first quarter of 2014.

Localization has become increasingly important in automotive manufacturing as a way to safeguard against currency fluctuations and to be closer to the market in which the manufacturer sells. Golf models made at Volkswagen de México’s plant will be supplied to the North and South American markets.

“The Puebla, Mexico plant offers an excellent economic basis for Volkswagen production operations and is a well-established automotive manufacturing facility with a record of efficiency and high quality,” said Hubert Waltl, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand with responsibility for Production. “With its existing infrastructure, competitive cost structures and free trade agreements, Mexico is the ideal location to produce the Golf for the American market.”

The decision to produce the Golf in Mexico builds on Volkswagen’s strategy for the North American market. Investments of more than $5 billion are planned in the U.S. and Mexico in the next three years, thereby laying the foundation for further growth in the North American market. Key investments are the opening of new plants in Silao, Mexico, for the 1.8- and 2.0-liter turbocharged EA888 engines and the planned Audi production facility in San José Chiapa, Mexico.

“Producing the Golf in Puebla, Mexico signals a continued commitment to the North American market and allows Volkswagen to make further strides towards the goal of building more than 75 percent of the cars Volkswagen of America sells in the NAFTA region,” said Jonathan Browning, President, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “For more than 40 years, Puebla has been manufacturing quality Volkswagens for the U.S. and markets around the world and we are thrilled that the next-generation Golf will be added to the production line.”

The Volkswagen Golf, the company’s best-selling vehicle globally, was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012. This seventh-generation version of one of the world’s most popular cars offers more features, improved safety, and more performance than the outgoing vehicle and is actually lighter than its predecessor. The Golf’s unmistakeable state-of-the art styling is evolutionary and timeless, and provides clear lineage to previous Golfs. The new Golf design is more sophisticated and longer lived than any other compact in the world. The Golf is slated to go on sale in the United States in the first half of 2014.


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If they build the GTI in Mexico, I ain't buying one....the Quality control at the Mexican plant is just godawful....

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I admit, the idea of Mk VII Golf production going back to Mexico is less than thrilling to me. A Wolfsburg VW has a special place, imo.

Even if there is not a statistical wit of difference in quality between German and Mexican Volkswagens, the feeling is there, based on previous experience.

I know they've had a presence in Mexico for decades, and I am happy that they are helping Mexico's citizens (and Mexico's citizens are helping VW as well), and still it does not sway me.

All of my Volkswagens have been Mexico-built. All of them had little issues that I like to attribute to assembly, not design from an engineering standpoint.

I have an unwavering idea that something is wrong with Volkswagen's assembly process in their Mexican plant.

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On 1/25/2013 at 2:00 PM, A Horse With No Name said:

If they build the GTI in Mexico, I ain't buying one....the Quality control at the Mexican plant is just godawful....

Actually I take back what I once wrote...build quality is rather good from the Pueblo plant.

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      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-5
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 187 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 186 @4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/30/26
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $30,945
      As Tested Price: $34,685 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
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      Soul Red Crystal Paint - $595.00
      Illuminated Door Sill Plates - $400.00
      Retractable Cover Cover - $250.00
      Rear Bumper Guard - $125.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Tiguan
      Trim: SE 4Motion
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged 16-Valve DOHC TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 4,400
      Torque @ RPM: 221 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,858 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico
      Base Price: $30,230
      As Tested Price: $31,575 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
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      Front Fog Lights - $150.00

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      The Grand Touring tester featured power adjustments for both front seats. The seats will feel a bit too firm for some passengers, but I found them to be just right. It would have been awesome if Mazda provided ventilation for the front seats to bolster their premium ambitions. The CX-5’s back seat offers a decent amount of headroom for those under six-feet. Legroom is somewhat lacking when put against the competition. I found that my knees were almost touching the back side of the front seat. Cargo space is right in the middle with 30.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 59.6 when folded.
      Infotainment
      A seven-inch touchscreen featuring the Mazda Connect infotainment system and a rotary knob controller is standard on all CX-5s. Grand Touring models get navigation as standard, while the Touring gets it as an option. Mazda Connect is a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look somewhat old due to the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Also, trying to figure out which parts of the system are touch-enabled becomes quite tedious as there is no way to tell except through trial and error. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, but I’m hoping the 2019 model will get it.
      For the Tiguan, Volkswagen offers three different infotainment systems ranging from 6.5 to 8-inches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard. The current Volkswagen infotainment system is one of the best thanks in part to snappy performance and a simple interface. You can do various smartphone gestures such as swiping to move around the system. One disappointment is the lack of any sort of haptic feedback when touching any of the shortcut buttons sitting on either side of the screen. We would also recommend keeping a cloth in the Tiguan as the glass surface for the infotainment system becomes littered with fingerprints.
      Like in the Atlas I reviewed a few weeks ago, the Tiguan experienced an issue with Apple CarPlay. Applications such as Google Music or Spotify running in CarPlay would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to unfreeze the applications unless I restarted the vehicle. Resetting my iPhone solved this issue.
      Powertrain
      Under the CX-5’s hood is a 2.5L four-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet (up one from the 2017 model). Mazda has added cylinder deactivation for the 2018 model that allows the engine to run on just two cylinders to improve fuel efficiency. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. For the Tiguan, Volkswagen has dropped in a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive complete the package.
      With a higher torque figure and being available between 1,600 to 4,300 rpm, the Tiguan should leave the CX-5 in the dust. But at the stoplight drag race, the CX-5 bests the Tiguan thanks to a sharper throttle response and a steady stream of power. The Tiguan’s turbo-four gets hit with a double-whammy of turbo-lag and a somewhat confused eight-speed automatic transmission, making it feel anything but eager to get off the line. As speeds climb, the story changes. The Tiguan’s engine feels more willing to get moving whenever you need to make a pass or merge onto a freeway. The CX-5’s engine runs out of steam and you’ll need to really work it to get up to speed at a decent rate.
      Fuel Economy
      The EPA says the 2018 Mazda CX-5 AWD will return 24 City/30 Highway/26 Combined, while the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan AWD returns 21 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. Both models returned high fuel economy averages; the CX-5 return 28.5 while the Tiguan got 27.3 mpg during my week-long test. Both models were driven on mix of 60 percent city and 40 percent highway.
      Ride & Handling
      When I reviewed the 2017 Mazda CX-5, I said that it carried on the mantle of being a fun-to-drive crossover set by the first-generation. Driving on some of the back roads around Detroit, the CX-5 felt very agile and showed little body roll. The steering provides sharp responses and excellent weighting. The sporting edge does mean a firm ride, allowing some road imperfections to come inside. Not much road or wind noise comes inside.
      Volkswagen took a different approach with the Tiguan’s ride and handling characteristics. On rough roads, the Tiguan provides a very cushioned ride on some of the roughest payment. This soft ride does hurt the Tiguan when cornering as there is slightly more body roll. But that doesn’t make the Tiguan a bad driving crossover. The chassis feels very willing when pushed and the steering provides a direct feel.
      Value
      The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SE AWD begins at $30,230. This particular tester came to $31,575 with the optional Habanero Orange Metallic and fog lights. But the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring comes with more equipment such as radar cruise control, lane departure warning, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, and power adjustments for the driver for only $2,175 less than the Tiguan SE’s base price. You can add navigation, Bose audio system, and sunroof as part of $1,200 Preferred Equipment package. When it comes to the midlevel, it is no contest as the CX-5 walks away.
      The script flips however when you put the 2018 CX-5 Grand Touring under the microscope. The AWD version begins at $30,945 and with a few options such as the Soul Red paint and Premium package, the vehicle seen here comes to $34,685. But you can get into the Tiguan SEL AWD that adds adaptive cruise control, power liftgate, and navigation for only $2,295 less than our as-tested CX-5. While the CX-5 does offer more of a premium interior, the larger interior and slightly better infotainment system give the Tiguan a slight edge.
      Verdict
      It feels weird to describe the verdict between the two compact crossovers as a decision to satisfy your desires or needs. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 falls into the former as it boasts a handsome look that very few models can match, luxurious interior, and handling characteristics that make you feel like you’re driving a sports car. As for the Tiguan, it falls in the latter camp by offering a spacious interior, smooth ride, and a better infotainment system. I consider these two to be the best-in-class. But deciding which one is better will ultimately come down to deciding whether to give into your wants or needs.
      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-5
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 187 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 186 @4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/30/26
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $30,945
      As Tested Price: $34,685 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Package - $1,395.00
      Soul Red Crystal Paint - $595.00
      Illuminated Door Sill Plates - $400.00
      Retractable Cover Cover - $250.00
      Rear Bumper Guard - $125.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Tiguan
      Trim: SE 4Motion
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged 16-Valve DOHC TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 4,400
      Torque @ RPM: 221 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,858 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico
      Base Price: $30,230
      As Tested Price: $31,575 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Habanero Orange Metallic - $295.00
      Front Fog Lights - $150.00
    • By William Maley
      Volkswagen put forth an ambitious plan to offer an electric version of each model it sells. The automaker set aside about 20 billion euros ($23 billion), but that will not be enough according CEO Herbert Diess.
      “The burden for our company, such as the cost of bringing to market electric cars, will be higher than expected,” Diess said in a interview with Volkswagen's internal newsletter, obtained by Bloomberg.
      “This is particularly so since some of our competitors have been making more progress.”
      Diess didn't give a new figure in the interview, but did say the company needs to "reduce expenses more to be able to invest in future technology and weather crises".
      Volkswagen has been working on improving its profitability since a 2016 labor pact and massive reorganization of its 12 brands. The Volkswagen brand has seen its profitability increase from 1.8 to 4.1 percent last year. But Diess said they need higher profits.
      “We need higher profits to finance our future. Four percent is a minimum, 5 percent to 6 percent allow for some future investments and with 7 percent to 8 percent we’re crisis-ready.”
      Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)

      View full article
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