|Quote, originally posted by pato »|
|leaving the STI or not real STI agrument, why is it taking that much to take delivery of a R32 in the states, i've seen some here in mexico and usually mexican vw (save the polo) are already USspec, is there something im missing now????????|
The Mexican models are Euro-spec (all R32's built in Bratislava Slovakia BTW). The US-spec
models can't use the OEM HIDs, and there's some other subtle changes. But mainly the delay
comes from two things.
1. R32 was never originally meant to come to the US
2. European demand far outstripped supply.
The R32 story as I've pieced it together from the various information that flowed in
here and from other sources (maybe jamie can correct anything I mess up badly enough)
VAG originally intended to only make 5000 R32s, period. And it wasn't going to
come to the US. Too bad for us.. Due in no small part to the lobbying of the enthusiast community
here (remember the original semi-official VW R32 poll on the Vortex over a year ago?), plus
the fact that Piech sorta wanted to show it off anyway (VWoA wasn't asking for it though), they
made the decision about last October, to send some to us. At that time they weren't yet on the roads
in any volume so European demand wasn't known. They figured they'd sell about 3000 of them elsewhere
as a high priced specialty model with fairly low demand, and 1700-2000 would come to the US (enough to
ensure that every VW dealer had a chance at one).
Then they started selling like hotcakes. Seriously high demand. About the same time
we get confirmation from VW via Jamie that it's coming. VWoA doesn't
make an official announcement until the Detroit auto show in January
and their best ETA for US delivery is "late summer 2003". That coincides
with the latter part of the initial production run of 5000 (which eventually did finish up in October).
By February it's pretty obvious that European (and world) demand is much much
higher than expected. They decide to try to fill that demand
(where they're selling the car for $35-40k USD) instead of cutting
it short for our benefit, and their loss (they promised us it'd come for "under $30k").
They decide to allocate the entire first run of 5000 to non-US countries (Australia got left
out in the cold too).
As a side story, they appeared to have always planned to build some
DSG R32's near the end of the initial production run. So the availability/non-availability
of DSG in the US follows their initial allocation plan. If they'd built 1000 DSG R32s
and our original total US allocation had been say.. 1700 cars, then we'd have seen
maybe 700 6spds, and 1000 DSGs. Or perhaps ony some fraction of
the DSG R32s here, and some elsewhere. As it became obvious that
more and more R32s were going to be sold outside the US, it pushed the US
allocation beyond the 6spds, and there was actually a short time
where there was a rumor from multiple sources that the US would get *only* DSG R32s
(last ones off the line). There was a large outcry, lots of polls.. etc.. The rumor was
never officially confirmed or denied, but it simply ceased to be relevant once they scrapped
the idea of us getting the leftovers from the first run and deciding to start a new
production run just for us, away went the DSG R32s as well.
Ok.. so they finally decided to do a second full run of R32s somewhere around
Feb/March timeframe. I dug up a thread a couple weeks ago from that timeframe
where they were already talking about the first "delay", which pushed
the ETA back from "late summer" (which was *always* the earliest official timeframe)
to "end of the year". In the meantime they sold out the entire first run in Europe
and other countries in like 2-3 months.
They made some DSG R32's.. later found them to be unreliable, and otherwise
finished off the first production run early/mid October timeframe.
(At which time there were a number of rumors that we were not in fact
getting any R32s because "production has stopped". *sigh* Some people.) We had
already figured out some time before then that "end of the year" was more likely going
to be first quarter 2004, so that was the second delay. Yes, that's right,
there's only been two delays of the US-spec R32.
They told Jamie and others that US production would start between week 45 and 48.
Turns out it started week 44 (last week of October/first week of November),
and so far everything is looking on track for the first ones to hit dealer lots
early February, with most of the current allocations in the midwest and possibly eastern
regions. The rest will trickle in mid/late Feb, March timeframe to the rest of the
regions. There should also be a couple US-spec examples on our shores in the next
couple weeks as some dealers get cars that will ultimately go to auto shows, and then be
sold. (We've heard from one dealer to this effect).
As of right now, some people already have VINs for their R32's and dealer computers
are showing ETAs consistent with what I've said above.
All told, the "official" release date was delayed about 6 months. Not bad
considering we weren't supposed to get em in the first place.
Modified by Daemon42 at 3:19 PM 12-10-2003