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Discussion Starter #1
Volkswagen is releasing a series of streamlined economy parts line through their dealerships; looks like it is for customer retention and reduced cost for keeping older cars on the road. Maybe old news but I noticed it posted by a vw parts dealer on vwvortex. This is good news; as many of our Beetles are getting older, the premium prices for parts can get expensive vs. the value of our cars. They are easy to id: "VW economy parts are identified by the first 3 numbers or letters of the part numbers being replaced by JZW." Check out more info:

VWVortex.com - RiversideVwParts.com - VWoA Introduces Economy Parts

https://www.volkswagen-media-services.com/medias_publish/ms/content/en/pressemitteilungen/2012/09/11/Volkswagen_Introduces_New_Parts_Range_for_Vehicles_Aged_Five-Plus_Years.standard.gid-oeffentlichkeit.html

(from south africa but I assume its the same program from VW AG)

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=vwoa introduces economy parts&source=video&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CEAQtwIwAA&url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAsnYQwBiFQ&ei=MTHJUej6KYTbyAH9moCwCQ&usg=AFQjCNF2GEcVWd3KOpcoU_AH6WX9OfBAlw&bvm=bv.48293060,d.aWc
 

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This is great news, and here's why: Eventually, stock water-cooled VWs that are currently regarded by most owners as just "regular cars" will be put into VW shows, and now those owners who prefer to keep what will become future classic VWs stock will be able to restore these cars with real factory parts instead of inferior aftermarket parts. Some day, New Beetles, Mk Iv-V-VI Jettas, Passats, and even plain Golfs will become vintage Volkswagens just as the old air-cooleds are today, and now there will be no worries about having to settle for questionable knock-off parts because a body style or engine has been discontinued for 10+ years. ;) Now someone with a 1999 New Beetle in 2025 that needs something like a taillight lens or an oxygen sensor can still get a new "economy" version from the local VW dealership instead of hoping that Pep Boys, Billy Bob's Auto Parts or for that matter, JC Whitney will carry a comparable part that would likely be of subpar quality compared to a genuine VW part in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I think it is a good thing; although, I wonder on these newer cars... if they will be restored as much as the earlier fully mechanical ones or just thrown away as they are harder to find parts for (how about all the computers in our cars 20 or 30 years from now? Plus everything is plastic! Ugh!). Maybe, there is a opportunity for the aftermarket to reproduce these parts; just as the classic muscle cars are blessed with a wide range of new repro parts for restoration today, we can only hope! :)

Most of these parts are high wear items:

"Volkswagen’s Economy Parts line gives vehicle owners an additional option alongside the existing service offerings for Volkswagen Genuine Parts® and Volkswagen Genuine Exchange Parts. The new Economy Parts line currently comprises maintenance and wear parts such as silencers, starter batteries, brake pads, brake disks, generators, spark plugs, wiper blades, shock absorbers, propeller shafts and drive shaft kits. This range is being continually expanded."

I'm for any reduction in stock VW parts prices; I have noticed a substantial jump in prices as of late. One example: I have had to replace the classic belt buckle/airbag light issue (internal switch grounds out; not repairable): the first time I bought the buckle it was around $70, this last time it was almost $150! I didn't feel like I had any cheaper alternative (VW is the only one who makes these type of interior parts); I can only assume in another 4 years or so... I will need to buy another one, I wonder how much it will be then? While I appreciate new technology and safety; it also, brings with it higher and higher repair costs... especially, as our cars are getting older and older. Eventually, these parts will become obsolete and we will have to figure out how to deal with these issues, when the parts are no longer being made.
 

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I think it is a good thing; although, I wonder on these newer cars... if they will be restored as much as the earlier fully mechanical ones or just thrown away as they are harder to find parts for (how about all the computers in our cars 20 or 30 years from now? Plus everything is plastic! Ugh!). Maybe, there is a opportunity for the aftermarket to reproduce these parts; just as the classic muscle cars are blessed with a wide range of new repro parts for restoration today, we can only hope! :)............

Eventually, these parts will become obsolete and we will have to figure out how to deal with these issues, when the parts are no longer being made.
I firmly believe that today's Volkswagens (and other makes of certain cars, too) will be tomorrow's classics at shows, computerized/plasticized or not. The numbers of old air-cooled VWs and 60s muscle cars will get smaller and smaller and more unaffordable and if people don't restore today's cars in the coming decades, car shows would become a thing of the past. I admittedly didn't read the whole article or view the entire YouTube clip on this topic, but what I got out of it was that eventually, no VW parts will be obsolete, and that would be awesome for those that don't do mods and choose to keep them stock.
I don't know much about the quality of aftermarket reproduction muscle car parts because I'm into VWs, but as an example, the air-cooled people now must rely on places like Wolfsburg West, Mid-America Motorworks, etc, and it's a literal crap shoot on whether whatever one needs to replace will be as good as the original stuff that came from Germany. In any case, I just can't envision a future of disposable cars with planned obsolescence, and Volkswagen may end up being ahead of the game with this development to boot. For example, I doubt if you could go to a Honda dealer and order something like a heater core for a 1987 Civic, but in a short time, you could for a 1987 Jetta.
 

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I hope they start making economy catalytic converters. THey are some of the priciest parts to replace. Low labor but very high part cost.
 

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its like walmart brand mac-n-cheese vs. Kraft. same product, different box. well not exactly, but you get my point.

"if youre not going to buy my product because someone is cheaper then ill make the same product at that price and lable it differently"

-jd
 
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