I've always been a car enthusiast though, and have owned and modified numerous American and Japanese cars in the past, that I also enjoyed and appreciated the great aftermarket support for.
My blanket statement was about the “average owner” of a Honda, Toyota, Ford, Chevy etc. you responded you disagreed, but then stated you are a car enthusiast. I am not talking about car enthusiasts.
In my experience, even non-enthusiasts who own a VW tend to love their car more than your non-enthusiast owner of a Honda etc. my gf is a good example, doesn’t know shit about cars but always wanted a manual VW, and loves her TDI wagon. My sister’s best friend in high school was some ghetto chick from north Philly who owned a MK4 Jetta VR6 and she was obsessed with it, didn’t have any idea how many cylinders it had or the uniqueness of her specific engine. Her other best friend who once complimented me on the wheels on my GTI, I’ve seen own a convertible beetle and an EOS. My friend who was dead-set on a Mazda CX-5 took my advice to test drive a Tiggy, and she left with the keys.
There’s something to be said about it. I’ve never heard anyone in my family besides my cousin who owns a Jetta day a single thing about how they love their cars. My cousin whose dad happened to get her a Jetta said to me “Cooper... I think I get why you love VWs so much.”
They’re not the nicest, they don’t have the most features for their price point, yet the average person who gets behind the wheel of one can FEEL the difference. And that’s hard to sell as a marketing strategy. “Test drive it... you’ll see why people get them despite our terrible reputation and dealer network!”