Volkswagen bosses say the firm's budget brand is progressing, but cost and quality standards are still under scrutiny
22 November 2013

The Volkswagen Group’s budget car plans are likely to be revealed within the next 12 months, according to VW’s head of development, Heinz-Jakob Neusser.

However, the project is currently undergoing conceptual investigation as to whether a suitable car can be built to a sufficiently high standard and still be sold at a budget price, allowing it to take on the likes of Dacia.

Speaking at the Tokyo motor show, Neusser said: “We are still working on the cost side. What’s clear is that we will only make this car if it meets our standards on safety, ride, handling, comfort and so on – and that it can be made profitably.

"It must be durable, precise and meet all the quality standards people expect from us.”

Despite this, Neusser confirmed that, if launched, the budget brand would be marketed under a new name. “It will be a special brand within the group,” he confirmed.

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22 November 2013
Having just handed back my shockingly unreliable VW Polo, after 2 years of warranty claims and will-it-start worries, I can only hope that a 'budget brand' will fare better. What on earth did they buy Škoda for, if not to keep it as a budget brand anyway??

22 November 2013
[quote=Gerhard]Having just handed back my shockingly unreliable VW Polo, after 2 years of warranty claims and will-it-start worries, I can only hope that a 'budget brand' will fare better. What on earth did they buy Škoda for, if not to keep it as a budget brand anyway??[/quote] I've mentioned it on other articles but the German bullet-proof reliability is a myth. Germans cars are some of the most unreliable around if you consider the number that fail as a percentage to those that are bought. The greatest relaibility are afforded ny Japanese cars, but the Koreans aren't far behind and neither are British cars. You're right about Skoda. They were intended to be the budget brand, but over the years they've gone upmarket. But then Skoda has introduced a budget model in the Rapid which is is the same class as the Octavia, but cheaper, and Seat has done the same too with the Toldeo which competes with more expensive Leon. The way I see it with VAG is that VW and Audi are now the premium brands, with Audi the sporting one against the comfort orientated VW, while Skoda and Seat are the mainstream ones, with Seat being the sporting arm against Skoda. This leaves room for a budget brand below Skoda and Seat.

25 November 2013
[quote=Roadster] I've mentioned it on other articles but the German bullet-proof reliability is a myth. Germans cars are some of the most unreliable around if you consider the number that fail as a percentage to those that are bought. The greatest relaibility are afforded ny Japanese cars, but the Koreans aren't far behind and neither are British cars. [/quote] Its because people and all reviewers seem to lump "Reliability", "Build Quality" and "Plush" into the same category. If the car is "plush", IE full of soft touch materials, fancy leather and dampened switches, people will instantly think that it is also extremely reliable. If a car is full of hard, scratchy plastics and leatherette, then its going to be considered cheap and unreliable. My Brother in law's BMW X5 M-Sport? The rear-slip diff alone has caused him massive headaches. My Brother's countless SEATs? More little niggles than I care to remember that had to be repaired. My Sister's old (BMW) Mini-Cooper S? She sold it because it became too expensive to fix due to many random faults. The most reliable cars my family have ever owned have been from Vauxhall and Nissan! My 1.5L DCi Juke Tekna is said to be "low quality" in reviews, but I fail to see in what way this car is low quality. Yeah, it doesn't have soft touch plastics, but the plastics used aren't hollow, fit together beautifully and would need a hell of a lot of abuse before they became even remotely unsettled. The only issue we've ever had with a Nissan was my very first car, a face-lifted K11 Micra. The throttle housing developed a crack and had to be replaced, but by that point the car was over 10 years old with nearly 85,000 miles on the clock; it was the only fault in its entire service history (not even a washer motor). If one fault after 85k miles is "low quality" and "unreliable" then paint me blue and call me Mary Queen of Scots!

A34

22 November 2013
Audi - budget styling VW - budget reliability Porsche / Lamborghini / Bugatti - antibudget Skoda and Seat were meant to be budget VWs, already selling budget-engineering cars (eg Rapid/Toledo stretched superminis). Looks like Nissan/Renault's sub-brand Dacia has them rattled! Here's a suggestion - set up a factory in an efficient production area (eg UK), make old Golf Mk 6 models under a suitable brand (eg Austin) and give them some classic name implying, say, Italian quality (eg Allegro or Maestro)...

22 November 2013
Yes. I think that's exactly what the mighty Volkswagen needs: another brand to add to the dozen it already sells us.

22 November 2013
Define budget brand? As other say Skoda was meant to fill that role. I think back to the 90's when British Airways in their quest to compete with budget carriers introduced 'GO'. The problem was GO was still linked to British Airways therefore came with certain expectations. In the end, they sold out to Easyjet. It's the same story with VW or any other perceived 'quality' manufacturer. Whatever they come up with it will always be linked to other cars from the VAG stable, the fit, finish and materials used will need to be top notch. In other words, it'll end up being an expensive budget brand aka Skoda. We replaced our mk6 Golf recently and took a look at the Kia Cee'd. Nothing much wrong with it, as faultless as any car in that sector except for one thing - price. I thought Kia was supposed to be budget / represent great value for money?

22 November 2013
VW quality is not good enough for the price and the recent situations involving the turbo/supercharged power unit and the DSG transmission illustrate this. Customers paying a bit over the odds should not be expected to carry out the development work for new technology! It would appear that VW and especially Audi assembly quality (as opposed to cosmetic specification) is actually lower than that of SEAT and Skoda. This tends to confirm a suspicion of mine that the aptitude of individual factories (even individual assembly lines) is rather more significant than whatever "the badge" may be. This leaves VW with a big problem. The new bargain basement line has to be both cheaper and better screwed together than some at least of the existing brands. Judging from reviews of the Skoda Rapid, attempts so far at an economy model have had mixed success.

22 November 2013
Lord help us. A VW budget brand. It better come with AA recovery, unlimited taxi fares, unlimited rail and oyster card and accommodation thrown in. I wanted to announce that my 4 year old, 55k VW Golf MK6 has had its first full breakdown / warranty claim free year this year. It makes me anxious... I was starting to get lulled into a false sense of security, but then saw that the drivers seat foam has started sagging, meaning I can feel a metal bar dig into my bum/lower back if I sit properly in the seat. Never fails to disappoint!

22 November 2013
[quote=winniethewoo]Lord help us. A VW budget brand. It better come with AA recovery, unlimited taxi fares, unlimited rail and oyster card and accommodation thrown in. I wanted to announce that my 4 year old, 55k VW Golf MK6 has had its first full breakdown / warranty claim free year this year. It makes me anxious... I was starting to get lulled into a false sense of security, but then saw that the drivers seat foam has started sagging, meaning I can feel a metal bar dig into my bum/lower back if I sit properly in the seat. Never fails to disappoint![/quote] I've found VAG product seats have always been uncomfortable, especially when twisting slightly to get out - the plastic at the side of the seat always catches me.

25 November 2013
The same! I find have to be careful getting out too, or else I end up pushing down on the lever next to the seat, making it go down a notch.

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