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Re: Audi/GM?

In article <m3wwm5ld5b.fsf@bcotton.synxis.com>,
Bob Cotton <bcotton@synxis.com> wrote:
> Let's hope that the idea expressed here before is true:
>   VW is going after MB for the luxury market.
>    (jumpstarted from the A4 base)
>   Audi is going after BWM for the performance market.
>    (The impending S4/6/8)

What I've gathered is: Audi will be positioned squarely against BMW;
VW will move upmarket to compete with M-B; Skoda will move upmarket to
replace current VM customers.  Audi vs. BMW is a fine plan, but the
rest of it makes less sense to me.

VW built their market on simple, modular, inexpensive cars.  The
original Beetle was a brilliant, minimalist design, and filled a niche
completely.  VW's heritage here is not at all the same as M-B's.

Besides that, VW will have to compete based on "value", which is a
fairly abstract concept, and it doesn't grab people.  I've heard "a
200,000-Deutschmark Volkswagen that will sell for only 150,000
Deutschmarks" -- this is a very sharp contrast to how you sell a Golf.

If VWAG can get the Skoda quality up, maybe that can be a success, but
they will have to build up that brand name.  This will be hard, and
they already have a very successful brand in Volkswagen.  All that
work will just be thrown out.

The only way I can think that it makes sense is if they plan to track
their existing customers as they get older and move upmarket.  But
that is not easy.  GM and Ford have been very successful following the
opposite plan, of stratifying each brand into a market segment and
getting it entrenched in people's minds.

So while Audi's future seems clear, I am not so sure about the rest of
the company.
['86 Coupe GT]