Some local reviews of the new Jetta shared similar sentiments. However, Jae Min, thinks otherwise.
“We didn’t take (cost) out,” Jae Min commented at the 2012 WardsAuto Interiors Conference. “We just rebalanced where (the money was spent). We moved it from here to there. Whatever was taken out went right back in,” the designer said, adding that cost savings were achieved via a new, more flexible architecture for the cars and a shift in manufacturing from Germany to VW’s new Chattanooga, TN, plant.
The strategy appears to be paying off as the US sales increased tremendously for both models. The Jetta deliveries were up 43.9% last year, while Passat sales jumped 80.9%, according to WardsAuto data.
Congratulations to VW for the improved sales in the US market. However, VW should take note of the feedback from the automotive community. Personally, I feel that the 2011 Jetta’s interior feels more “plasticky” than its predecessor with the most obvious location being the internal door panel.
The panel that allows access from the rear seat bench to the boot is missing in the new model as well. If VW does not hear the consumer, it would be at the risk of tarnishing the brand’s reputation that has built up over the years.