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Volkswagen Cans Scirocco For U.S. To Avoid Competition With GTI

 

Reports that VW was considering bringing the Scirocco as a limited edition model lived on for nearly a year

Reports that VW was considering bringing the Scirocco as a limited edition model lived on for nearly a year

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Volkswagen has consistently dismissed rumors the new Scirocco would be sold in the United States and about a year ago the carmaker’s sales and marketing chief Detlef Wittig blamed a weak U.S. dollar for the decision. Now VW's Tom Wegehaupt has put the kibosh on the U.S. Scirocco due to fear of cannibalization of GTI sales.

High interest from U.S. fans kept driving rumors that the car would still be coming to America, however, including a report that VW was considering releasing a limited-edition, high-powered model positioned above the Golf family's range-topping GTI.

The hopes were pegged on a strengthening dollar and the plan to protect itself from overlapping segments by introducing high-end models. But in the end it's all for naught.

"I can confirm Scirocco will not be coming to the U.S.," Wegehaupt told Edmunds at the New York Auto Show. "We couldn't make the business case for it. It would compete against the GTI, since it's the same powertrain with a body-style change."

Some might argue that the Audi A3 is in the same boat with regards to a similar powertrain, though it is undoubtedly targeted at a different segment. And the Scirocco isn't suited to going below the GTI's market position, leaving it only to compete with the GTI. For all the lamenting of U.S. fans of the Scirocco's look that's sure to take place, it's a good business decision, and one that many critics of the American carmakers will be all too glad to see VW make.

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Comments (8)
  1. Yipppeeeee! I hope this isn't just a rumor. The 'Rocco is quite possibly the best looking production VW ever. Although, I'm sure if they sell it, it'll be stupid expensive, seeing how they're calling it "limited edition" and the regular Mk. V GTI already approaches 30 grand if you add any options.
     
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  2. That is fine with me, as the GTI is a much better package and is actually better looking.

    Now, VW, put back all the premium stuff (taken off the later Mk5) as options in the NA GTI. Not all buyers are looking for just a low price. If I can order the car with the options I want (order only is fine with me), I have no issue paying for it.
     
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  3. Seriously, WTF VW? The Scirocco is the best looking production VW ever, looking much better than the Mk5 and Mk6 GTI! If VW is worried about internal competition, why did they build the 'Roc in the first place? Why don't they have that problem in Germany or the UK? I could see the issue of poor exchange rates, but now it's clear that this is simply a thinly veiled excuse to not sell it here for no reason.
     
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  4. VW doesn't have a problem with internal competition in Europe because VW has a huge market share in Europe. They can afford to sell similar models because they sell so many cars in that market and Europe loves hatchbacks.

    VW is a niche player in the US at best. They only sold a total of 223K cars in the US in 2008. In comparison Toyota sold 324K Camrys and 262K Corollas. Honda sold 266K Accords, and 230K Civics. With VW's tiny US market share they don't need 3 hatchbacks; Golf, GTI, Scirocco. Since the GTI is just a factory tuned Golf, VW doesn't have to get two models to pass US safety requirements.

    I would rather have a Scirocco than a GTI too but I can't argue with VWoA's logic. They are doing what they need to do to make money the the US, something they haven't done since 2002.
     
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  5. The y will never increase market share if they do not offer a wide range of vehicles which can be alternatives to the competition. The Scirocco would have helped, not hindered their brand and range here. But alas, as is typical of VW ...
     
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  6. You are right mitzo, VW needs a wide range of vehicles to increase market share but the Scirocco isn't it. VW currently has:

    2 and 4 door Golf
    2 and 4 door GTI (performance version of Golf)

    Four Golf hatchbacks is enough, the don't seed a 5th. The Scirocco is just Golf GTI with a lower roof line.

    The do need to bring the Polo. The Routan was a good move because they desperately needed a minivan. Their idea to "Americanize" the next Jetta and Passat by making them larger to match their competition is a good idea. More TDI's will help. What they don't need is 5 versions of the Golf
     
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  7. I sure wish they would bring the scirocco over to the US. I read a few posts and got all excited and thought "You know... I may actually buy a NEW car this time around versus a used one"... But I guess I'll just keep my used Corrado SLC. Since it whoops any other current and past VW in styling hands down. Not the fastest but overall the best. my .02 pennies.
     
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  8. bummer. I am in Thailand at the moment and just saw the new Scirocco at the big shopping mall here in Bangkok. All I could think was wow, what a beauty. So I am bummed now that I will not be able to get one at home. The rest of VW's small cars are so ugly I would never consider one. I hate the looks of the GTI and it is available with so few colors and options there's no way I would ever buy one. Maybe they should dump the GTI and get the Scirocco. Guess I will have to stick with my MINI.
     
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