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    Thread: 2012 Beetle sales not so good

    1. 02-24-2012 05:53 PM #1
      I very rarely come to the Car Lounge, but I thought I'd try to get other's takes on this topic. It would seem that the latest version of VW's Beetle could turn out to be a flop. It's not doing nearly as well as the New Beetle of 1998-2010.

      Granted, the 2012s just came out, and when the first New Beetle was introduced in 1998, that was after the US went 19 years without a Beetle, so it sold like hotcakes in its first couple of model years. But...even after the fanfare of the first water-cooled Beetles wore off, they still managed to average around 30-35K US sales a year. In the end, something like 1.2 million New Beetles sold worldwide from 1998-2010.

      Puebla is currently having production issues with 2012 Sunroof models and they are on backorder for months. Meanwhile, most buyers of the few Beetles that have been sold are going for the more expensive Turbo models, which leaves most of the base models sitting on lots .

      In January, VW sold exactly 1401 Beetles in the US. They sold about 1500 in December. At this pace, the 2012 model will be lucky to see 20k units sold by year's end. Considering that the NBs of 98-10 did a lot better, this paints a scary picture for the future of water-cooled Bugs. If the 2900 or so Beetles that have been sold since December are inclusive of all the people who are experiencing back order issues, this means that sales numbers for this 2012 Beetle are pathetic.

      A new, reskinned model of any make of car should be selling better than its predecessor, and with the 2012 Beetle, this is not happening. I always thought that eventually, water-cooled Beetles would become as iconic as the original air-cooled Bugs, and many people thought I was nuts for saying that. Well, as it turns out, they may have been right all along!

      The question that comes to mind is this: Will VW keep soldiering on with a Beetle model if the 2012+ only sells half of what they did with the NBs of 98-10, or will it be killed again?
      Is the water-cooled Beetle community an endangered species?
      Last edited by fiftysomething; 02-24-2012 at 05:56 PM.

    2. Senior Member VarianceVQ's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 05:58 PM #2
      Mostly too butch for the ladies, still not manly enough for the guys? (Not serious. Please don't come at me bros with fabulous man-purses swinging.)
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    3. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 06:01 PM #3
      Not sure what is happening nationwide with inventory/marketing/etc....

      But my own 2 cent - when I went through my recent car purchase a couple weeks back the dealer had a Beetle on the sales floor. Red, base model, no sunroof. Pretty enough and I admit the wheel covers were nifty. But inside is wasn't that roomy, didn't offer much in the way of utility, and honestly the drivers command center was lacking. No steering wheel controls, minimal dash buttons, low rent looking radio. Bleh.... All this and nearly $20,000.

      Unless I was sold on the styling alone then a Golf seems like a much more pratical and economical alternative. And the Golf doesn't exactly fly off lots to begin with.

      The Beetle is sort of like my former CR-Z. You either like it for what it is or it isn't even on the radar. Not really a car to cross-shop.
      Sent from my tablet while sipping weak drinks over fancy brunch with a view

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      02-24-2012 06:05 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Unless I was sold on the styling alone then a Golf seems like a much more pratical and economical alternative. And the Golf doesn't exactly fly off lots to begin with.

      You either like it for what it is or it isn't even on the radar. Not really a car to cross-shop.
      I think that states it well.

    5. Member afrost's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 06:08 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by VarianceVQ View Post
      Mostly too butch for the ladies, still not manly enough for the guys? (Not serious. Please don't come at me bros with fabulous man-purses swinging.)
      This might be true, maybe they should have went more futuristic/conceptish with it instead of trying to make it more tough looking.

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      02-24-2012 06:10 PM #6
      I think I may have seen one here. It seems like if it's not "sporty" then no one is buying anything with less than four doors.

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      02-24-2012 06:12 PM #7
      It has all the pluses and minuses of a VW Golf and all the minuses of a Beetle. It just doesn't make much sense for people who only have 1 car.
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      02-24-2012 06:15 PM #8
      Maybe wait a few more months until you have more than 2 data points? Like you said, they're working out supply issues for certain sunroof equipped models. Once dealers get a decent supply of TDI's and after the convertible arrives, I would expect to see that monthly figure jump subtantially.

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      02-24-2012 06:16 PM #9
      Backseat with not enough legroom for adults, small trunk, rear seat backs that are difficult to flip, wheel wells that dwarf affordable tire sizes, no engine choises between sewing machines and GTI powerplant. Those are my deal breakers. Plus car mags have said they're horribly noisy inside.
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      02-24-2012 06:27 PM #10
      wonder if the tdi version will help?

      i think the starting price is just a little high.
      $20,565 after dest is just too much for the absolute bottom model with no accessories added.
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    11. 02-24-2012 06:32 PM #11
      after having so much troubles with my GTI , i'm gonna switch out for the turbo beetle

    12. 02-24-2012 06:41 PM #12
      If they moved the drivetrain to the rear of the car like the old beetle, it would sell to men. Men would be piling up at the door to buy the 20K "budget 911". Of course, VW would never have the sand to do that or would make excuses about global platform, gas economy, ride comfort, blah, blah....

    13. 02-24-2012 06:43 PM #13
      I wonder if the Mini and fiat 500 have anything to do with it. Also don't see much marketing for it. I see plenty mini and fiat ads over the past few months but none for the beetle here in Toronto. And if they are around they certainly have no sticking power. Couple with supply issues and it could be an explanation for initially slow uptake.

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      02-24-2012 06:57 PM #14
      Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert
      Unless I was sold on the styling alone then a Golf seems like a much more pratical and economical alternative. And the Golf doesn't exactly fly off lots to begin with.

      You either like it for what it is or it isn't even on the radar. Not really a car to cross-shop.
      Exactly. I also think the turbo models are just too expensive. Like you said unless you're sold on the look(which is much better than the NB by the way) you just can't justify one vs. a GTI or a Golf. There isn't enough there for close to 30k for a turbo (coming from a GTI and NB owner)

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      02-24-2012 07:01 PM #15
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      02-24-2012 07:02 PM #16
      The car is now $22k in base 2.5 form with an automatic.
      Daddy has lots more options for an affordable new cute car to give their little princess.
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    17. 02-24-2012 07:10 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by fiftysomething View Post
      I very rarely come to the Car Lounge, but I thought I'd try to get other's takes on this topic. It would seem that the latest version of VW's Beetle could turn out to be a flop. It's not doing nearly as well as the New Beetle of 1998-2010.
      Not really an issue as this time VW planned to sell this version worldwide, not primarily the US. FWIW, they hit their target of 5K by Jan 1, and are on track for CY 2012. I don't have AG's numbers so can't address ROW.

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      02-24-2012 07:10 PM #18
      I've asked four girls I know who own New Beetles what they think of the new one.... they all dislike it. One of them actually pushed her new car purchase forward by several months when she saw what the replacement would look like.... yeah, I think VW has screwed this one up pretty badly.

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      02-24-2012 07:17 PM #19
      I haven't seen a single one on the road here... Lots of Minis and Fiat500s around these parts, but the New New Beetle seems to be a ghost.

    20. Member Fe2O3's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 07:24 PM #20
      It looks better than the previous, but it's just too expensive.
      Quote Originally Posted by phryxis View Post
      sprayed it on, waited some time, and proceeded to go at it with a scraper, some pliers, and a lot of f-ing hard work.

    21. 02-24-2012 07:26 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Not sure what is happening nationwide with inventory/marketing/etc....

      But my own 2 cent - when I went through my recent car purchase a couple weeks back the dealer had a Beetle on the sales floor. Red, base model, no sunroof. Pretty enough and I admit the wheel covers were nifty. But inside is wasn't that roomy, didn't offer much in the way of utility, and honestly the drivers command center was lacking. No steering wheel controls, minimal dash buttons, low rent looking radio. Bleh.... All this and nearly $20,000.

      Unless I was sold on the styling alone then a Golf seems like a much more pratical and economical alternative. And the Golf doesn't exactly fly off lots to begin with.

      The Beetle is sort of like my former CR-Z. You either like it for what it is or it isn't even on the radar. Not really a car to cross-shop.
      nail on the head, and what makes it worse it is that it doesnt get that great of mileage, which is something consumers are looking for. hopefully it gets the 1.4t

    22. Member eunos94's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 07:27 PM #22
      I'm curious as to why the OP is so obsessed with this topic. He seems on a mission to prove that the 2012 is a massive failure. He has asked this question (in multiple forms) on at least two forums and in several sections with the same results yet continues to ask....

      If/when someone actually says "yes it has failed" what will you do, OP? It is far too early to judge failure or success of a car just launched (relaunched even) so drink a couple beers, calm down, take a deep breath (filled with smokey THC goodness) and wait for the results.

      You have been eagerly awaiting it's failure for over a year now. You can wait a little longer can't you? Oh and NO it's failure will NOT increase the value of the New Beetle you currently own so quit asking that question too.
      ■■■■■■■■■■■■

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      02-24-2012 07:27 PM #23
      The original Beetle is an icon that can not be replaced. Let it be. I drive a VW and love the car, but Volkswagen needs to let the Beetle be an icon. Just let it be. Please let it be.
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      02-24-2012 07:28 PM #24
      Come visit the Sun Belt. These things are freaking everywhere. It's like an infestation.

      Seriously, I see at least 3 or 4 of those things a day. Between the new Jetta and the new Beetle, I think the local VW dealer is taking over my town.
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    25. 02-24-2012 07:33 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by warren_s View Post
      I've asked four girls I know who own New Beetles what they think of the new one.... they all dislike it. One of them actually pushed her new car purchase forward by several months when she saw what the replacement would look like.... yeah, I think VW has screwed this one up pretty badly.
      I don't know anybody who owns a NB, but both my wife and my ex- like the new Beetle.

    26. 02-24-2012 07:54 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by fiftysomething View Post
      The question that comes to mind is this: Will VW keep soldiering on with a Beetle model if the 2012+ only sells half of what they did with the NBs of 98-10, or will it be killed again?
      Is the water-cooled Beetle community an endangered species?
      They'll bring out the convertible and see if it helps total sales before they call it quits.

      The sad thing is that the Beetle gets the nod for U.S. consumption and actively takes away the nod for the importation and creation of other VWs:

      A: The Beetle occupies the coupe slot that the Scirocco or Jetta Coupe could use...

      B: A Beetle convertible would occupy the price range that should belong to the Bluesport.

      C: A Beetle convertible would occupy the slot that the Golf Cabrio could use...

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      02-24-2012 07:55 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by B_artman View Post
      I wonder if the Mini and fiat 500 have anything to do with it. Also don't see much marketing for it. I see plenty mini and fiat ads over the past few months but none for the beetle here in Toronto. And if they are around they certainly have no sticking power. Couple with supply issues and it could be an explanation for initially slow uptake.
      I remember not too long ago they had a gigantic billboard in Dundas square..
      Quote Originally Posted by DRUB View Post
      What just cause Im new.

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      02-24-2012 08:07 PM #28
      the NB was one of the first if not the first to do retro. In the time then Retro has become commonplace, and the small "cute" car market is now jam-packed.

      I haven't seen any and I am not surprised.
      Dave

    29. 02-24-2012 08:21 PM #29
      I think once VW fully ramps up production, fixes the sun roof issue and started to produce the TDI and Convertible Beetles the sales should go up alot. My dealership has 1 or 2 new Beatles on the lot. I am shocked VW is not building a hybrid Beatle because that seems like all the Hybrid people would love that.

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      02-24-2012 08:26 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by warren_s View Post
      I've asked four girls I know who own New Beetles what they think of the new one.... they all dislike it. One of them actually pushed her new car purchase forward by several months when she saw what the replacement would look like.... yeah, I think VW has screwed this one up pretty badly.
      We should've known as soon as TCL loved it when the pictures leaked.

    31. 02-24-2012 08:31 PM #31


      On a more serious note, I talked to my dealer and he was saying that most of his customers wanted sunroofs and that the problem VW is having is seriously affecting their sales.

    32. 02-24-2012 08:33 PM #32
      I don't think VW has been providing a steady supply of Beetles to dealers. It seemed when they started to arrive, it was either loaded or a base model. Guess time will tell.

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      02-24-2012 08:36 PM #33
      I'm not surprised that the new New Beetle is a flop...it's lost the unique styling touches that made it a Beetle. For starters, the interior looks as if it was cobbled together out of the corporate parts bin, the roof line looks like it has been squished...I'm sorry, but after owning 2 New Beetles (1 2003 and now a 2007 NBC), I wouldn't buy the new car.

      I think that VW has driven a nail into the Beetle's coffin.
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      02-24-2012 08:37 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by eunos94 View Post
      I'm curious as to why the OP is so obsessed with this topic. He seems on a mission to prove that the 2012 is a massive failure. He has asked this question (in multiple forms) on at least two forums and in several sections with the same results yet continues to ask....

      If/when someone actually says "yes it has failed" what will you do, OP? It is far too early to judge failure or success of a car just launched (relaunched even) so drink a couple beers, calm down, take a deep breath (filled with smokey THC goodness) and wait for the results.

      You have been eagerly awaiting it's failure for over a year now. You can wait a little longer can't you? Oh and NO it's failure will NOT increase the value of the New Beetle you currently own so quit asking that question too.
      Agreed on all points.

      Also, how can a car that is on back order be a flop? People are waiting for them.

    35. 02-24-2012 08:37 PM #35
      1500 Beetles, that's it? VW probably sold just as many of the original air cooled Beetles in 1 day. The head honchos at VW are clueless. You can't sell this car on image alone. The original was all about value. So what's the point of laying down $19,000 on it when real value could be had on something like a Versa for $11,000

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