Why We Can't Have the VW Golf R and Scirocco R
A look at what keeps great metal from our shores.
Manufacturers have a tough sell when it comes to importing cars to the States. First and foremost, companies need to be able to build a business case for bringing unique models across the Atlantic (or Pacific, for that matter). For both the Golf R and the Scirocco R, that means proving there are enough die-hard VW fans out there for the company to make a profit. Since quick, small cars tend to be a hit with 20-something males, odds are that hopped-up models with a price tag rivaling that of a new Corvette aren’t likely to sail off of the showroom floor in droves.
Speaking of cost, it’s not cheap for any carmaker to send a car to another country. On top of standard manufacturing costs, companies have to look at the bottom line when it comes to distribution -- including shipping models a long, long way from their home factories. Throw in trade tariffs and other taxes, and you’re taking a big bite out of an already dwindling profit margin. Needless to say, most manufactures need to see gold before deciding to sell foreign-built models in another country.
Even if a company can build a solid business case, complete with all of the risk that comes with selling a car overseas, extensive and varying crash-safety standards can still stand in the way. There is no universal standard when it comes to vehicle safety, and the rules change big time from one country to the next. Just because a car is fit for European consumers doesn’t mean it will pass muster when it lands on Uncle Sam’s shores, and re-engineering bumpers, lights and seats to conform to those regulations adds -- you guessed it -- even more cost.
Given the odds against even hot Euro models like the VW Golf R and Scirocco R, it’s no surprise those cars kept to our wealthy cousins in Europe.
(Photo courtesy of VW.)
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