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::: The Eighties environment :::

Volkswagen's range of new water-cooled cars were launched to a generation with contradictory concerns. Memories of Vietnam and the recent oil crisis were fading, but consumers were still troubled by the threat of a recurring fuel shortage. At the same time, as demonstrated, thoughts however had turned to pace. NASA, Concorde, and Star-Wars were all making the headlines, and the public were preoccupied with speed.

Initial and even subsequent competition proved woefully inadequate when compared to the dominant GTI, and whilst some could offer more doors and more luggage room 'the Golf danced away with a repertoire of grip, balance poise and, chiefly speed that still remains remarkable today' (Frankel 1996 p5)

If a design team were to attempt to replicate the success of the Golf GTI from a modern perspective, the market receptivity of the early eighties would be the single hardest constituent to reproduce. Upon consideration, an element of luck, however small, is nevertheless apparent within this formula. A series of unplanned events defined the concept, which was supplemented by a variety of incidents, that included the coincidental home computer boom of 1983, and the subsequent achievements of Giugiaro's more exotic designs.

Volkswagen were able to benefit from the mid-eighties income boom, they contrived to raise prices and engineer demand but they, needless to say, were not responsible for it.

The high volume Golf

 1 » Introduction: Can lessons be learnt from the Golf GTI?
2 » Chapter One: Giorgio Giugiaro and the ‘Sport Golf’
3 » Chapter Two: Volkswagen’s uncertain beginnings
4 » Volkswagen’s development in the United States
5 » Chapter Three: The new Golf ‘GTI’
6 » Chapter Four: Cult Credentials
7 » Chapter Five: Steps to success
8 » Volkswagen’s constitution
9 » The Eighties environment
10 » The high volume Golf
11 » Bibliography
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