published Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Dealer likes look of sedan purported to be new VW

Audio clip

Frank Fischer

A Volkswagen dealer said Monday he likes the look of what’s believed to be the new midsize sedan scheduled for production at the automaker’s Chattanooga plant.

“I can’t wait,” said Dale Smith, general manager of Village Volkswagen in Chattanooga, after viewing photos purported to be of the car. “If it comes in at the price point they’re talking about, I’m sure our sales will triple or quadruple.”

  • photo
    Photo by Brenda Priddy & Company - A new car, believed to be the new Volkswagen midsized sedan (NMS) is seen in the Mojave Desert. The sedan is expected to be built at Volkswagen's yet-to-be-completed North American plant in Chattanooga.

Volkswagen has assembled at least 30 of the initial test versions of the midsize sedan it will make in Chattanooga, according to the German carmaker.

The so-called “pre-series cars” are undergoing on-the-road trials to make improvements to the vehicle, which will be produced early next year for sale later in 2011.

In June, one of the first versions of the car was sent to a location VW wouldn’t disclose for “summer evaluation.”

Brenda Priddy of Brenda Priddy & Co. said she recently shot “spy photos” of the new midsize sedan in the Arizona desert. Automakers “do a lot (of testing) in the Southwest,” she said.

VW officials had no immediate comment on the photos, which first appeared Monday on the Chattanooga Times Free Press website.

From the photos, Smith said the new car “looks large,” but it needs to be to compete against the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

This year’s VW Passat, which the new car is expected to replace in the United States, is a little smaller and quite a bit more expensive than the projected $20,000 entry-level cost of the new sedan, he said.

ABOUT BRENDA PRIDDY

Age: 50

Residence: Phoenix, Ariz.

Job: Heads Brenda Priddy & Co.

What she does: Takes and sells spy photos of new vehicles scheduled to be produced by major automakers

When she started: 18 years ago

How business has changed: Magazines don’t buy as many photos because by the time they get to press, “it’s old news.”

Quote: “I raised two kids doing this.”

Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for the auto website Edmunds.com, said the midsize car market is a growing one in the United States.

“It’s a safe-bet kind of market,” she said.

Buyers are moving down from sport utility vehicles but not purchasing small economy cars in huge numbers, she noted.

There also are a lot of lease deals offered for midsize cars right now, she added.

Frank Fischer, chief executive of VW’s Chattanooga operations, said last week that workers at the plant that’s still under construction are “building the vehicles now actually on the line.”

  • photo
    Photo by Brenda Priddy & Company - A new car, believed to be the new Volkswagen midsized sedan (NMS) is seen in the Mojave Desert. The sedan is expected to be built at Volkswagen's yet-to-be-completed North American plant in Chattanooga.

But Fischer said the focus of the first of the new midsize sedans is on research and development issues.

“There’s a lot of hard work ahead,” he said. “We’re facing many challenges.”

The Chattanooga plant is expected to have the capacity to produce 150,000 vehicles a year and employ more than 2,000 people when fully operational.

In addition to the new sedan, Volkswagen officials have said they’re looking at the possibility of producing Audis at the plant. And a sport utility vehicle has been suggested as a vehicle that potentially could be made at the plant.

Click here to vote in our daily poll: Do you like the new VW look?

Continue reading by following these links to related stories:

Article: VW shows new sedan to suppliers

Article: VW plant builds test cars

Article: Ramping up

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Abe said...

A car dealer likes (or says he likes) the car he's going to be selling. This is news? What else would he say?

August 10, 2010 at 7:39 a.m.
deltenney said...

As a Honda owner, I would say VW has a way to go on design; I hope it improves dramatically. At any rate, I would not want to purchase one the first year of the new model, regardless of make. Glad they are working on improvements.

August 10, 2010 at 9:35 a.m.
carlosshane1477 said...

Volkswagen has collected at least 30 versions of the original proof of the midsized sedan, will be in Chattanooga, the German auto service centers.

November 5, 2011 at 2:40 a.m.
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