Yes, I've heard it a few times before. I've heard people say their custom order car had their name on the window sticker - but the reality is that that car was being built either way. The factory decides what cars are built, not the orders.
It doesn't make any sense to me either! Just have on the assembly line put some special order parts on it.
Reply to PM posted here so that others can see and be clarified:
VW has never had custom order cars in the US. I've heard that some people got their name on the window sticker but the car was going to be built either way. If you "custom order" a car it's allocated to your dealer and hence to you as it's being built. However, it was never built to your order, it was going to be built either way. This is well known but even some salesmen will tell you otherwise because they don't know and it doesn't make any difference.
VW does do custom order cars for Europe - in that case the car is equipped to the customer's order. Many Audi that are ordered and aren't on the lot are "custom order".
Supply chain, just in time manufacturing, etc., it costs money to have the option to build custom ordered cars. VW USA plans to build "X" number of black cars with sunroofs, "Y" cars with DSG and nav, etc., and my guess is that there is some room to adjust it as needed.
My problem is that the custom order cars are coming out of the EXACT same factory as US spec cars. Why can't you get leather power seats or xenon lighting on US spec cars when they are rolling off the same assembly line as euro spec cars being built in Mexico? I don't know the answer to that one.
I wanted to update this post because I'm not 100% sure how VW of USA does things. I will remove info from my pages concerning "custom build" cars since it's extra info that doesn't really have any effect on the customer and ordering your car and because I don't want to spread any outdated info. By "Custom build" cars I mean a car that you tell the dealer you want. Previously I thought that the factory built "x" number of cars with this option, etc., and when one is built that matches your spec is built, it is allocated to the dealer. I'm no longer 100% sure this is the case and it has no effect on the ordering process so I'll remove it from the FAQ pages. I don't want any old or outdated info on there and it has no effect on the customer.
I believe that Audi USA does "real custom order cars", meaning it would have never been built without your order. I know Porsche can do "real custom order cars" but I'm not sure of the exact process. I believe that this is one of the factors in how they control dealer inventory and keep supply relatively low and prices high.
Others also believe that this is the case but anything that's not confirmed and updated will get removed and put into the forum for discussion. And again, you don't need to know this to order a car so it clutters up the buying checklist.
Maybe part of the reason I believe what others said is because it just sounds so backwards and therefore, makes perfect sense for VW!
I have been unable to make a deal with the VW dealer in Albuquerque. There's a $2500 premium on all TDIs, plus a non-negotiable $1250 "Security Pack" of dealer add-ons (window tinting, tire insurance, etc.). Santa Fe has no manual trans, and hasn't made much of an effort to sell me a car, despite numerous contacts.
I found a dealer in Colorado that offered to order my desired configuration at MSRP or less. Delivery is expected 90-120 days (or less) after the order is placed. I paid a deposit on Oct 23, and later that week received an email with an image of the "vehicle order." I was told that I would receive updates periodically.
I heard nothing else for a month, so I emailed the dealer this past weekend. Apparently, a "production date" will be set soon.
I'm a little annoyed by the process (both the "premium" issue and the ordering delay) . . . it seems that it shouldn't be this difficult to buy a car. At least (hopefully) I'll end up with exactly what I want: Blue Graphite sedan w/manual trans, sunroof, and media/ipod interface.
I wanted to custom order, so the first dealer (Cook's -Crooks- in Bel Air, MD) said it was no prob, they just needed a $500 deposit. I gave it to them and picked out all my options, but they would not give me a definitive price and said that we would decide when it gets here. i wasnt happy with that and ended up getting my $500 back and using USAA autocircle. They were the best! you pick all your options online and you get actual final prices from dealers right away, i ordered what i wanted in October (from Ourisman VW in Laurel, MD) and they said i couldnt get it till Feb, which is fine. Then it ended up coming in at the end of Dec so i could get my tax credit.
If you happen to be a veteran or already have USAA for your bank, its a great way to go.
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