Volkswagen Ditches Bluetec, Returns to TDI in the US

Illustration for article titled Volkswagen Ditches Bluetec, Returns to TDI in the US

We knew it wouldn't work. Well, we didn't know know. But from its inception Volkswagen's plan to glom on the Mercedes-led Bluetec clean-diesel spec seemed an unnecessary concession. As corporate strategies go, better plots have been hatched by crusty sea scoundrels in the bowels of rusting shrimp boats. Now, according to a German magazine, Volkswagen is reverting to its TDI branding for diesel models planned to arrive in the US in 2008. A VW spokesman offered an Official Line of Reasoning that was imprecise to the point of non sequitur, that is, sharpened US emissions regulations. Then there's the whole part about people in the US actually knowing what TDI is. [CNNMoney]

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DISCUSSION

VW really needs to fire their entire marketing department. This latest reversal is just another example of why they are doing so poorly. Changing strategies RIGHT AFTER a big public unveiling has got to be the most idiotic thing a marketing department can do.

Example: In January of 2006, the fifth-generation Golf is uneiled for the North American market at the Detroit auto show. Four months later, it's RE-launched at the New York Auto Show as the Rabbit. Ironically, in the same year they decided to make the name for the sedan version the same in all global markets. (Jetta). The Rabbit name was (and still is) a mistake. The car is a Golf, and is sold as such everywhere else in the world. I can't count the number of times i've heard people say, "Have you seen that new Rabbit? It looks almost exactly like a Golf!"

Now they're doing a similar flip-flop on Bluetec/TDI. Bluetec seems to make more sense as the brand for the emissions-reducing components. The engine is still a TDI. But i guess VW couldn't decide.