The New Mid-Size Sedan (NMS) from Volkswagen is car that has been in the news for a while. The sedan is a key part of Volkswagen’s plan for sales domination, with a states goal of number one.

Becoming the world’s largest automaker will require the company to greatly increase sales here in the world’s largest market, the United States. VW is going to all lengths with new models to do that.

The new 2011 Jetta is the first car introduced as part of this plan. The recipe is simple – cost cutting and a design tailored to American tastes inside and out. As far as sales it appears to be working brilliantly so far, as Americans have responded well to the cheaper Jetta. VW is copying that success with a a cookie cutter approach to the new NMS.

From these new spy shots, the NMS appears to be scaled up Jetta, lacking any originality. While the design looks good on the Jetta, it doesn’t work as well on the NMS.

The crispness of the styling is gone and in place is a bland and lifeless design. We aren’t impressed – we expected more from VW. At least recently here in the U.S, VWs have had a premium feel and European flair. With the Jetta and new NMS that looks to be thrown out the window.

Of course, the model shown is a poor picture of a base model car. High-end models with the right wheels and a better color should look a whole lot better.

However, it is clear the new car is all about cost (and therefore higher sales) and no longer about raising the bar in its class. What’s more, with stylish competitors like the Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion gaining marketshare, will blandness be what really sells in the mid-size segment?