Interesting to be in the US this week with Volkswagen, and to hear the mighty German technological powerhouse admit that actually, low-cost simplicity is what’s needed to score success in North America.

“Truth is, we’ve been trying to push over-specified, over-engineered and over-priced cars on the American consumer,” said VW communications expert Christian Buhlmann. That’s quite a statement coming from a VW man, whose employer prides itself on innovation and engineering.

Read Autocar's first drive of the new VW Jetta

“People who buy sub-$30,000 cars in the US aren’t looking for automatic parking brakes or direct injection engines.

“We know from our market research that they’d like to buy a VW, but can’t afford one because our cars have been at least 10 per cent over-equipped and over-priced for them. So we’re moving downmarket a little in order to tap into the market.”