VW Courts U.S. Market to Maintain 10-Year Plan

Detroit News

Halfway through an ambi­tious, 10-year plan to more than triple sales in the lucra­tive Unit­ed States mar­ket, Volk­swa­gen has hit a bit of a rough patch.

Learn more about VW’s efforts to expand its U.S. pres­ence.

Halfway through an ambi­tious, 10-year plan to more than triple sales in the Unit­ed States, Volk­swa­gen has hit a bit of a rough patch: Sales and mar­ket share are down slight­ly in the first half of the year, and some ana­lysts blame an aging line­up.

But the Ger­man automak­er promis­es new mod­els, engines and upgrades to meet its goal.

At a con­fer­ence cen­ter in Mary­land on Thurs­day, Volk­swa­gen AG Chair­man Mar­tin Win­terko­rn and top U.S. exec­u­tives addressed about 500 Amer­i­can deal­ers on their prod­uct plans. They promised to bring a mid-size SUV to the Unit­ed States, and showed a video with sketch­es of the next-gen­er­a­tion Pas­sat, CC and Tiguan, expect­ed some­time after 2015. And the deal­ers saw a face-lift­ed 2015 Jet­ta due in 2014, as well as a Jet­ta Sport­wa­gen due after 2015.

Volk­swa­gen is the top auto com­pa­ny in the world, in terms of rev­enues, prof­its and assets, and has not been ham­mered as bad­ly as oth­ers in the trou­ble­some Euro­pean mar­ket that is its home base.

But it’s in a dog­fight in some key glob­al mar­kets such as Chi­na, where it con­tin­ues to pur­sue Gen­er­al Motors. And it’s stuck with a small sliv­er of the lucra­tive U.S. mar­ket — 2.6 per­cent for the Volk­swa­gen brand in June, and 3.6 per­cent when its Audi lux­u­ry brand is fac­tored in.

“It’s not about one month or one quarter’s sales per­for­mance,” said Jonathan Brown­ing, pres­i­dent and CEO of Volk­swa­gen of Amer­i­ca, in an inter­view Fri­day. “It’s about build­ing a sus­tain­able growth pro­gram. We’ve always rec­og­nized that this would be a year of — let’s call it ‘con­sol­i­da­tion.’”

To sus­tain that growth, Volk­swa­gen plans to build a mid-size SUV, cap­i­tal­ize on its diesel exper­tise and refine its line­up.





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