Yup, all of Ford’s and GM’s  “social media” bungled attempts were wasted, especially the attempts at building a “relationship”. And those dozen or so phone contacts Ford dealers had to make with me just so I could check their skimpy inventory online… Total, utter, and complete waste! Same with all of FIAT’s Ram truck ads that stalk me about the internet… Yes, I think it’s neat that your big ‘ol pickup has a Cummins diesel and a manual tranny is still on the option list, but I’m nowhere near in the market for anything that big. And to the forlorn FIAT (Dodge) salesman that sent the e-mail, no I’m still not interested in U-Connect. And even though Ford has made me enough money to pay for half a Focus, you can keep your Micro$oft sired menu driven method of turning the heat and defrosters on and off. Never mind the limited inventory and missing manual trannies. GM? Clearly hasn’t learned a thing from their recent near death experience… Who else but GM could take a promising prospect like the Cruze diesel, make it damn near undriveable with buggy powertrain software, and then ban towing with this potential torque monster. But from the GM that killed the Corvair, Fiero, and EV electric car, would we expect anything less?

No, VW won me over in the simplest possible way… They did what they were supposed to do. VW has a 12 year corrosion warranty, and they can afford that because their car’s bodies are made of galvanized steel. Couple weeks back after washing the ’03 Gold TDI I noticed this…DSC_1728

Yah, doesn’t look like much in the way of rust… Yet! But VW is going to do the right thing, replacing the fender, I think the rocker panel too, and removing ‘n’repainting a bunch of surface rust around the door pillar too. Left side isn’t so bad, but VW’s gonna pay to take off the fender and door and fix that too.

The total bill’s gonna be around two grand, and VW could have bought a lot of slick advertising with that and offered some juicy rebates… But the best advertising is simply standing behind your product and making it right. Meanwhile, Ford could care less about my Ranger’s near terminal rustiness and GM…Don’t get me started!

So I left the VW dealership with a collection of brochures, and basicly it’s down to deciding what model VW I want my next TDI diesel wrapped in. It’s that simple, and given that most VW’s are driven in less salty climates than mine, not that big a warranty expense for VW to bear.

Doing the right thing… What a concept! No wonder VW has risen to be the 3rd highest volume automaker, and they’re gaining on Ford and GM!