Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Run, Rabbit, Run

VW brings the Golf back -- again.

by on Mar.31, 2009

Run, Rabbit, Run. VW is dropping the Rabbit nameplate...again...and bringing back the all-new, sixth-generation Golf for 2010.

Run, Rabbit, Run. VW is dropping the Rabbit nameplate...again...and bringing back the all-new, sixth-generation Golf for 2010.

We’d like to think that this time Volkswagen has finally made up its mind.  Reversing its decision to revive the old Rabbit nameplate, for the 2007 model-year, the German maker is “realigning with our global heritage” for 2010.  That means the Rabbit is gone…again.  And the Golf nameplate is back…again.

Three decades ago, when VW set up an assembly line in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, it decided to Americanize the name of its fuel-efficient small car, adopting the Rabbit badge.  When that factory closed and the car was again imported, the automaker switched to the global nameplate, Golf.

Three years ago, desperate to reverse sliding sales, VW revived the Rabbit badge, relaunching it with a catchy ad campaign that included a TV spot featuring Rabbits multiplying fast as they raced through the streets of New York City. But since then, the automaker has developed a long-range strategy that aims to more than double its U.S. volume, an effort that will include the opening of VW’s first American assembly plant in a quarter century.  So, it’s time for yet another switch to keep customers, er, focused?

“Making the change back to Golf is an important step in realigning with our global heritage,” insists Mark Barnes, COO, Volkswagen of America,  adding that, “The Golf is an iconic nameplate for the Volkswagen brand and it is known throughout the world.” In fact, the nameplate is used in 26 countries.  Rabbit was always limited to North America.

An all-new version of the Golf, the small car’s sixth generation, will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show, next week, and will go on sale this coming autumn.  It’s not an entirely new vehicle, however.  First seen, in overseas trim, at the September 2008 Paris Motor Show, the Golf VI has been on sale in Europe for months.  In typical VW manner, it’s making its American debut fashionably late.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.