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VW claims no cost cutting in new Jetta and Passat’s interior

By SYF77 on 25 May 2012

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Chief designer-group interior of VW’s Design Center California, Jae Min, claimed that not a dollar was spared in the creation of the interiors of the new Jetta and Passat.

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When the cars debuted, automotive journalists around the world criticized their cabins, citing obvious cost-cutting measures such as reduced content and lowered material quality.

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.

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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Heartbreakid May 25 2012 07:19 PM
Don't talk cok VW, it is very obvious that the cost cutting measures are there in the new Jetta. Compared to the previous Gen Jetta, which really felt well build with good quality soft touch materials, the new ones is outright cost cutting. No cost cutting then why so many hard plastics? And the design looks worse compared to previous Jetta as far as the interior is concern?
Puiru May 25 2012 08:34 PM
I agreed on the plasticky interior especially on the doors. But the panel to access the boot existed in my jetta 2011.
Ilmw May 25 2012 10:56 PM
I'm not a business/logistics expert, but throughout my life, I've been taught that a 10 cent cost reduction at the factory will lead to $1,000 cheaper at the customer. Hence, consumers like me, always scratch their head when a 10 cent option is missing from their car, when its inclusion would greatly outweigh the 10 cent.

This article http://goo.gl/O3kh4 shows how Apple is bucking this trend. Their design & product is above everyone's else, it costs $1 more than everyone's else, so it is better than everyone's else. Yet Apple charges more than twice the industry norm (in this case, the charger).


cost at factory is amplified when it reaches the customers' hands. this is true for both cost up & down.

everyone tries to make this cost go down. only Apple, that I know, is making this go up.

Jamesc May 26 2012 09:05 PM
“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.


Pockets of the consumer to the pockets of the bosses.

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