TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
- Oct 21, 1998
- Cambridge, MA
- 5-door, 5-speed Golf GLS replaced BeetleGo.
I'd think the Caddy would be a bases loaded Grand Slam hit in the US market.
I don't agree with either of those comments. The market for those vehicles as personal vehicles is minimal. Look at how poorly the Mazda5 sold, and look at how few Ford Transit Connects are bought as personal vehicles. The only real market is for businesses, like geek squads, flower delivery shops, and cable company work vehicles. And those companies look for low price, low cost of operation, and easy to service at local domestic auto dealers.The Caddy sized vehicle is a giant hole in the US marketplace. There is a real opportunity for a vehicle in this size group.
You can't market ugly.The truth is marketing and availability combined to lure a customer base.
I considered the C-Max, but the battery for both the hybrid and Energi models took far too much cargo space. With the Energi, I wasn't sure there was room for more than a couple of grocery bags. I mean, it was small. It drove nice, but with the lack of cargo space and feeling a touch cramped in the seating area, it just wasn't worth swapping the Tiguan. I don't regret at all going with the Passat, but I do miss the higher seating position of the Tig. Now waiting to see if one or both of the new VW CUVs come with either diesel or hybrid powertrains. I'm not going back to 22 MPG...You can't market ugly.
In similar news, I don't see many Ford C-Maxes on the road at all, and I'm in Michigan, which tends to buy domestic in this car-centric state. The C-max is a lot like the Golf Plus and other 'tall' wagon/cars, and they just don't sell well here. They're seen as dorky. Practical, but unsightly. Again, I point to the Mazda5, another scarce vehicle. No marketing and product placement can do much for homely cars. I think it's a great practical car, but we're in the minority here. TDIclub does not represent the N.A. market well, and VW's marketers have a much better understanding of this than armchair TDIclub marketing gurus.
I beg to differ. SUVs being one: big-on-the-outside, small-on-the-inside butt-ugly, yet they sell like hotcakes. The cars at the auto show were so much the same, I had a hard time recognizing I went from one brand to another. Carpet color at the hall helped. One ugly car after another with different nameplates.You can't market ugly.
I agree, it's not the looks that makes a car sell, it's the need. The marketing departments made a very good job in creating a need for the SUV'sI beg to differ. SUVs being one: big-on-the-outside, small-on-the-inside butt-ugly, yet they sell like hotcakes. The cars at the auto show were so much the same, I had a hard time recognizing I went from one brand to another. Carpet color at the hall helped. One ugly car after another with different nameplates.
Big, flashy, and impractical sell. One reason cars get the higher dissatisfaction scores was because the car did not have the cachet the owners thought it would. In this day and age, you have to work at marketing different.
Just my opinion. YMMV.
Would it still be a grand slam without the diesel engine? In the US it would be a gasser for sure.I'd think the Caddy would be a bases loaded Grand Slam hit in the US market. I see the like kind Ford of Germany little van on the roads of Atlanta plenty..
Just look around, Ford of Germany vans of several sizes are running around.
Frugality, I agree with a lot you said, but with a few comments:I know plenty of guys -- and not too few women, either -- who refuse to drive minivans. I agree, minivans are extremely practical. They're also big boxes with ponderous handling, occupy a lot of space when parking, and look very un-cool. The only minivan that looks remotely attractive is the new Kia Sedona.
Anyone who thinks that it's not looks that sell cars is out of touch with reality. Passion is more of a factor in people's car-buying decisions than practicality. If I could live with practicality only, I'd be driving a Subaru. But I just can't do it. I love my Dubs. This has nothing to do with marketing. This has everything to do with good design and a good product. I love VW's interiors most of all, clean and classy and ergonomic. I love the clean exterior styling. (may folks consider it 'boring') Good design sells itself. That's Apple's key cornerstone. Does Apple do some marketing hype? Sure. But largely, the products are so high-quality and functional that they sell themselves. And Apple can demand high premiums. Anyone who thinks marketing drives things just has to look at the Apple Watch. Lots of hype. Few people want it.
A good product will virtually sell itself, and marketing is there only to get the product in front of the people. If marketing puts a poor product in front of people, people don't buy it. Ronco rotisserie ovens and ab machines are one thing. There is a market for suckers for things like that. But few people are marketed into a car they didn't really want. And if they did, after one SUV there'd be a swing back to smaller, more practical cars. But we haven't seen that. People by and large want SUVs. The swing-back that we're seeing is that people realize they don't really need a truck-style SUV, and are going back to crossovers which are oversized lifted wagons. (think Outback or Santa Fe) Which go back to the original Jeep Grand Cherokee. That vehicle took no marketing at all. It was a cool design (based on the old AMC Eagle Wagons, they even came in woodies like the Eagle wagons), lifted up and made more off-road-ish.
Hey, you want another example of how marketing doesn't work?: Aztek. The concept car looked cool. The actual car looked like crap. A few people bought it because they still dug the fact that you could put your mountain bike in back, or add a tent and camp out of it. No matter how good the marketing, the car stunk and people in general didn't buy it. And really it was on GM's minivan platform. It had all of the practicality, but none of the passion. And people didn't buy it. And now it's on the most-ridiculed-vehicle list.
Good products sell.