Volkswagen CEO Gets Upset Over Hyundai Build Quality

Apparently, the Hyundai i30, which competes with VW's Golf model, has a very solid steering wheel adjuster, which prompted Winterkorn to state "It doesn't rattle".

Of course, that wasn't just a statement; it was a complaint that needed an explanation from his staff. He called for Klaus Bischoff, in charge of automotive design at VW, and told him: "BMW can't do it. We can't do it. It doesn't rattle!"

Bischoff, caught on the wrong foot, carefully replies that VW had a solution for the rattling steering wheel adjuster, but it wasn't used in production as it was too expensive. Winterkorn, now visibly upset, shot back: "So why can they do it?" There was no answer.

VW did not stop there. Winterkorn is even shown taking measurements of the i30's interior.

Remember, that all happened while Winterkorn and other high ranking VW executives were at Hyundai's booth with Winterkorn sitting in the i30. We wouldn’t be surprised if Hyundai is going to use this one for a commercial.

Hyundai has always been perceived in Germany as a low-quality, low-price car manufacturer and has been discredited by its rivals especially because of the build and material quality of its products. It appears that VW now has a problem it did not see coming.

Wolfgang Gruener is Director, digital strategy and content experience at American Eagle, where he specializes in strategic data analysis, user behavior models and information architecture (IA), as well as content strategy and governance. He was also Managing Editor of the website TG Daily and contributor to sites including Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware.