Volkswagen has grand plans for the U.S.A. Volkswagen wants to “increase sales and market share in 2010.” Ok, who doesn’t. Now, for the delusions of grandeur part: By 2018, Volkswagen wants to more than triple annual car sales in the U.S. to 1 million a year, with Audi accounting for 200,000 sales, reports the Wall Street Journal. Seen any flying pigs lately?
Why 2018? By 2018, Volkswagen wants to rule the world, and trounce Toyota in unit sales, profitability, customer satisfaction, innovation, and most likely size and quantity of cup-holders also.
Everybody in the company has to do his or her share for the grand plan.
Volkswagen Group China already made a huge contribution. More than 1.4m vehicles were delivered to Chinese customers in 2009, an increase of 36.7 percent from 2008. “Based on our excellent performance in 2009, we are confident about achieving our objective of doubling the sales to two million vehicles, laid down in our Strategy 2018, much earlier than planned,” said Winfried Vahland, President of Volkswagen Group China.
Jacoby doesn’t have numbers like that, but he has tall predictions.
Jacoby prognosticated that Volkswagen will be profitable in the U.S. in 2013 , when annual sales will be between 450,000 and 400,000 vehicles.
In 2009, VWoA sold 297,537 vehicles in the U.S., down slightly from 313,581 the year before. Considering the bloodletting of other brands, this was a heroic effort. Market share rose to 2.9 percent from 2.4 percent the year before. (If you go back to the WSJ article, you will see different numbers. The WSJ only counts Volkswagen brand sales and forgot about Audi.)
According to the WSJ, “growth in the fiercely competitive U.S. market is crucial for Volkswagen’s long-term expansion plan in coming years.” We beg to differ.
Volkswagen’s lackluster performance in the USA (the highest group sales in the last 10 years were 424,496 units in 2001, and it was steadily downhill from there) cushioned VW from the debilitating effects of the American carmageddon. Toyota on the other hand was hit hard. ToMoCo’s sales dropped to 1,770,147 in 2009 from 2,217,660 in the year before, down a painful 21 percent.
For all of 2009, Volkswagen had been feted as second largest manufacturer in the world. Last November, it was reported that Volkswagen had already passed by Toyota. Toyota demanded a recount, and nosed ahead of VW. We’ll see what OICA will have to say when they release the official 2009 tally.
Depending on how creative everybody gets with their bookkeeping, VW already could be king of the unit hill. They bought 20 percent of Suzuki, and with Suzuki ‘s 2.36m units a year added to VW’s more than 6.2m units, Toyota would be toast by a wide margin.
Unfair? More than a million of the 1.83m Chinese GMs sold in 2009 have been made by the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture that specializes in cheap trucks and vans, popular in China’s countryside. GM holds a 34 percent stake in the joint venture, but counts 100 percent of the sales as theirs.