Speaking at the world public debut of the new Golf, which will be launched in the UK early next year, Woolcock admitted the on-off and ultimately delayed launch into Britain of the new Passat and then the well-documented supply shortage had been 'embarrassing'. 'Customers don't mind waiting as long as they know when the car will be delivered,' he said. 'We were overwhelmed by Passat orders and interest and then we were not able to give the level of service our customers expect.'
Even today with 3,000 right-hand drive models a month being built Volkswagen is unable to meet demand for the new Passat and the model is sold out four months in advance. However, Woolcock, said that those production levels should have been reached six months ago.
This week Volkswagen took 150 fleet managers, contract hire and rental company chiefs to the show to see the new Golf. Passat estate will be launched in the UK on October 6 with a price premium over equivalent saloon models of £950, but vehicles will boast roof rails and luggage cover. Also launched in the autumn will be V5 and V6 Passat versions and in a year's time Polo estate, which was also debuting at Frankfurt, will go on sale in the UK.