VW's Browning still has NMS on his mind

Diana T. Kurylko covers various U.S. import brands for Automotive News
Jonathan Browning, CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America, racked up $3 in penalties in five minutes.

I hope he's keeping tabs on how much more he'll owe.

Browning worked hard to keep secret the name of the new mid-sized VW sedan – dubbed the NMS by VW executives. For months, he referred to the car as the NMS even though internally a decision had long been made to call it the Passat – so he wouldn't slip in public.

VW had a preview Sunday night at the Firehouse by Cobo Center -- where the Passat name was unveiled along with some details and a picture of the car. When asked about the car afterward, Browning called the Passat the NMS.

“I have to stop calling it that,” he muttered.

I suggested a $1 penalty each time he said it. Browning kept repeating NMS, and I kept his tally.

I'm going to suggest Browning donate his fine to one of my favorite charities. Wonder what the total will be by the time the Detroit auto show is over.