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VW CEO checks out more of the competition at Frankfurt show [video]

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn checks out the 2012 euro-spec Honda Civic at the Frankfurt motor show

Here's another video of VW CEO Martin Winterkorn checking out the competition on the Frankfurt floor. This time, Winterkorn kicks the tires on the 2012 euro-spec Honda Civic.

Winterkorn is right to check out the Civic (as he previously did the Hyundai i30). It competes in the European C-segment against the Golf, which is still Europe's biggest-selling model and Winterkorn wants to make sure things stay that way.

Interesting to note here is what an automotive executive looks for in a rival's vehicle. And that is build quality - watch how carefully Winterkorn checks shut lines, opens and closes the doors and measures A-pillar blind spot of the Civic. As in the last video where the VW team of execs checked out an i30 and VW design boss Klaus Bischoff commented on how the steering-wheel lever on the car was soundless and how neither VW nor BMW could match it due to costs. These are the little details these execs look for.

Another thing, watch how Winterkorn strides around with his team in tow. Is that Piech standing there? Yes, egos are the real flagships of the automotive world.

Source: Autoblog.gr

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Comments (17)

dcars62
It's very odd that they would do this so publicly. Surly VW has their own site where the CEO can look and compare his product to the competition. Maybe this is to prove to the investors that the CEO is personally involved.
Oct 4, 2011 3:51 pm
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Edison
Hmmm. Spend $30 a ticket to the auto show or $15,000 on purchasing a car. Plus, he might be finding a few areas in which the Golf is better.
Oct 4, 2011 3:56 pm
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Ubizzle
As Edison said, but if you consider the amount of rivals the car has. If you're spending £15,000 each on cars from a handful of companies, your development costs quickly rack up. Just think of the amount of cars which compete with the Golf. Hyundai, Opel, Alfa Romeo, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Mercedes, Nissan, BMW (+ Mini), Renault, Peugeot, Citroen etc. You could be looking at £200,000 worth of direct competitors if you also wanted to order options and see how their interfaces worked. If you took into account indirect competitors - i.e. different bodyshapes, same price point (e.g. Peugeot RCZ, Honda CRZ) you could add at least another £100k to that. It's not like showrooms are just gonna let you go in with 10 people and assess a car you have no interest in buying, whereas they can't stop you at a motorshow.
Oct 4, 2011 6:07 pm
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potenzaS07
These cars are not available for purchase yet. CEO of a major automaker or otherwise, this car show is the only place to see them for now.
Oct 5, 2011 1:10 am
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tohui
Is he worried about the competition? i would say, yes he is. the wey he steped in the hiunday and measure it with a tape is priceless, it's good publicity for the competition, my question is simple, why can't VW buy a new car like the hyundai or honda and take all te measurements, comments in private? instead of this PR mess, this is bad publicity for VW, and shows signs of desperation...
Oct 4, 2011 2:56 pm
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Ubizzle
Firstly: any publicity is good publicity. Secondly: shows the consumer/investors/competitors that they have a definite desire to be the best in the industry. It promotes the idea of constant technological improvement at VW, so if they're making sure they're better than the competition, why would you want the others?
Oct 4, 2011 5:59 pm
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scratchy996
@ tohui, those are all new cars, you can't buy them yet. Also you see what you want to see, this was free publicity about how serious the VW guys are, the CEO himself is inspecting the competition as soon as they first appear. He's not on some beach with an assistant reading reports to him.
Oct 5, 2011 12:21 pm
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THERENAISSANCEMAN
VW top echelons conducting on-site product assessment ... with a tape measure . a definitive , deep-seated VW corporate insecurity on full display .
Oct 4, 2011 2:44 pm
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Ubizzle
If they were too secure, they wouldn't feel the need to improve. The industry is one that's constantly evolving. It's not about insecurity, it's about realising you need to move with the times and the competition.
Oct 4, 2011 6:01 pm
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techie69
This is a publicity stunt, not a benchmarking trip.
Oct 16, 2011 8:17 pm
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scratchy996
maybe Chrysler and GM bosses should have taken that tape measure instead of asking for bailout money.
Oct 5, 2011 12:25 pm
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techie69
You need money to improve.
Oct 16, 2011 8:16 pm
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techie69
Tell this man that tactile quality is only a quotient of the entire quality as a whole. He has no business pulling out a tape measure since doesn't understand what he is benchmarking to...I love the yes men sorrounding him, conclusion a man who only gages by what he perceives and not what his henchman see, that is if they could actually be able to tell him without repurcussions.
Oct 4, 2011 11:26 am
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autoficianado
...well he had better be a yes man around Piech...make no doubt which one is King.
Oct 4, 2011 11:32 am
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techie69
Well this happens, no positive or forward move is done, unless after a while at a great, I mean great cost! When this occurs, the myopia of people above him see as a need to have heads roll, its bad alround.
Oct 16, 2011 7:51 pm
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Edison
All you need to know is that this man obviously cares about his products and that he is setting forth good challenges and questions for his engineers. I might be way off the reservation here, but he might be benchmarking against VW products.
Oct 4, 2011 12:21 pm
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techie69
I don't believe VW products are under-engineered but 90% "under-manufactured" if I take some freedom of lingo description. The supply chain is biggest issue with world manufacturers, owners of Hyundai/Kia will find out down the road. You are as strong as your weakest link, in this case any car manufacturer may have the best/optimum plant set up for assemblying cars, but if you put junky parts, then your customers are gonna think you make bad products= guilty by association.
Oct 16, 2011 7:59 pm
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