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Scirocco no Oz shoe-in

Revival: New VW coupe revives a model name not seen for 16 years.

Sexy Scirocco coupe no certainty here as Volkswagen fears it may rob Golf GTI sales

24 Apr 2008

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia (VGA) is negotiating for the new Scirocco with Germany but the main stumbling block for the new coupe is how to position it here.

VGA has put forward a business case to head office in Wolfsburg to import the new Golf-based coupe, but can’t agree on positioning of the new model.

Local Volkswagen chiefs have inferred the Scirocco may be forced to go head to head with Golf GTI, potentially robbing sales from the top-selling Golf variant in Australia.

“There has been no final decision yet. It looks a bit difficult,” said Mrs Jutta Dierks, managing director of VGA.

3 center imageThe original Scirocco was launched in Europe in 1974 as a replacement for the Karmann Ghia and had a unique coupe body built on Golf mechanicals and underpinnings.

It was replaced by a second generation in 1982, which was again based on a Golf - this time the Golf II. The second-generation Scirocco was produced until 1992, which left the Corrado as the sole Volkswagen sports coupe until its demise in 1995.

Ms Dierks says that the concern is that the new Scirocco makes sense in Europe, it may not sit well in the VGA line-up.

“It’s very easy in Germany or in Europe, where it perfectly fits in that model range, because they have a certain set-up in an established market.

“For example, in the European market the Golf GTI, it is more like a niche. It is really established, but it is never really high volume. With us, it is the best-selling Golf model we have.

“Our perception of the (GTI) market is totally different. So where does the Scirocco fit in? You have to look at where the value is for a Scirocco in Australia.

“Is it perceived as a sports car and do we offer enough for a sports car? There is no history. I would love to have that car but I have lived with that whole history. We really struggle with that.” “We still haven’t made a final decision yet but we’re very, very careful, because so far we’re quite happy with how we position our cars and people understand why a car is where it is, and we have to work out whether we can do that for Scirocco.” The Scirocco's base engine will be a 90kW FSI petrol unit, but from launch the top-of-the-range model will get the 2.0-litre turbocharged FSI unit direct from the Golf GTI, developing the same 147kW of power and 280Nm of torque.

Ms Dierks is not alone in having reservations about how Scirocco may overcrowd the Volkswagen line-up.

Stefan Jacoby, appointed CEO of Volkswagen of America last September, was reported as saying last year that the USA would not see the Scirocco as he believes it would take attention away from the Golf R32 and GTI.

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