Sometimes I think there are two VWs. There is the VW that operates in Europe and much of the rest of the world and then there is VW in North America (US and Canada). The former builds and sells interesting and innovative cars. The latter is all about limiting customer choice and really odd product planning.
Case in point. This winter I was in Australia. What did I see in a small rural dealership in this country of 23 million people? A GTD, two Sciroccos, and a range of models that would put the VW North America product line to shame. Not only that but the salesman I spoke with was quick to point out that the full European option list was available for order. No silly packages but the real deal. Were the cars expensive? Yes, but at least they were available.
Fast forward back to North America. VW builds a new factory to produce a unique Passat model for the US and Canada. OK our needs may be different from the rest of the world but does that include leaving out modern technologies like HID headlights and advanced driver assists? Huh. Who buys the Passat. I bet it's families and mature adults who benefit from these technologies. And what happened to the wagon. Can't a modern, state of the art assembly line build a wagon as well as a sedan? I don't get it.
When I read about VW technology on Vortex I get excited. Diesel electric hybrids, Yeah bring 'em on. Then I go to my local dealer and I see a product line that is at least 5 years behind the 8 ball. What gives? I have to conclude that there are two different VWs out there. One for them and one for us. Too bad.