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[T3] VWoA against the niches, was: Volkswagen Enthusiast Program(VW 1)311

<x-charset iso-8859-1>There hasn't been any pressure this side of the Atlantic from the parent
company AFAIK.

UK VW Type 3 & 4 Club

I'm not surprised there hasn't been pressure in the European market against
the aircooled cars by VW.  In Europe, VW was able to make the transition
from aircooled to watercooled and move up market while still retaining the
economy market.  It appears the impression foreign manufacturers have of the
US market is that an economy car maker will not move up the foodchain unless
they divorce themselves of their plebian roots.  (One example of this is the
North American company called Acura--the brand used for the Honda Legend and
Honda Integra).

VWoA already killed the Beetle once--anyone remember the Corrado ad where a
Beetle was carried away by a helicopter and dropped in a canyon?  Of course,
this was just after VWoA tried to convince us the Brazilian Fox
(Gol/Voyager) was the successor to the Beetle as the two cars wandered
through a dark forest.

VW Aktiegesellschaft has been very friendly to the VW hobby and true to its
roots, continuing the production of aircooled VW's in Mexico and South
America (yes, Virginia, you CAN by a bay window, upright motor bus in South
America).  It is VWoA which has wandered blindly, hacking away at the
various niches VW can fit so nicely.  When VWoA was merged with Volkswagen
Canada Ltd. in 1997, the Transporter panel van and the CL trim levels
disappeared from the Canadian offerings.  Now, VWoA intends to discontinue
the Euro Van completely from its offerings in the 2003 model year.

In closing, it is not VW AG trying to hurt the hobby, but the folks in
Michigan who inflict pain on the hobby.

Allyn de Vars
Warren, VT

1962 VW 1500 Karmann Ghia Coupe (German market)
1963 VW 1500 Karmann Ghia Coupe (German market)
1967 VW 1600 Squareback (USA before VWoA was evil)
2001 VW Golf TDI (maybe for sale so i can banish VWoA from my drive way)

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