To the Editor:
Here's the Jetta sales explanation by VW PR: "Volkswagen spokesman Tony Fouladpour pegged the uptick in Jetta sales to a broader model range. The new version was launched with just a 2.5-liter engine and automatic. Now it is available with a six-speed stick shift and a turbocharged engine and in a sporty GLi model, he said" ("For Big 3, a bleak November," Dec. 5).
A more likely explanation is that the very long-in-tooth Jetta was winding down its (7-year) life at that time the year before. Inventory of generation IV Jettas was severely hampered as dealers awaited the arrival of the replacement car.
That is typical in the history of VW: launching vehicles very slowly as they replace very old entries. Remember the Golf and Jetta III models? They followed the series II models by more than a year. That was the year VW sold fewer than 50,000 units in the United States.