Volkswagen wants to be the world’s biggest, most profitable, most innovative, and most loved automaker by 2018, and everybody at Volkswagen has been sworn-in to do their share. US managers promised that they will deliver a million sales a year to the group. It’s a tall order. To get there, “American consumers will need to buy a lot more new Volkswagens, Audis and Porsches,” Reuters says.
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U.S. Volkswagen Group sales in the first six months of this year, with 16,450 Porsches already factored-in, are less than 300,000, below 600,000 for the full year if all goes well. However, they reached an important historical milestone. Coincidentally, sales of a resurgent Volkswagen will be around Volkswagen’s high water mark of 1970, when it sold 569,696 cars, mostly Beetles.
To reach its one million unit goal by 2018, the Volkswagen Group would need an uninterrupted annual increase of 10 percent. That’s doable, again, if all goes well.
Currently, Volkswagen runs at an annual increase of 30 percent, but that’s coming from a low base. As the table shows, finally acquired Porsche does not move the needle much, it provides moral support at best.
According to Reuters, much of Volkswagen’s recent success
“is attributed to the overhaul of the Jetta and the Passat, both of which were specifically tailored to better suit mainstream U.S. consumers and re-engineered to be built at a much lower cost than their predecessors. The compact Jetta is assembled at VW’s sprawling Puebla factory in Mexico, while the mid-size Passat is the first car to roll off the line at the new $1 billion Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant that opened last year.”
To get to a million units, Volkswagen needs a lot. It needs more models, more and better dealers. It needs to get out of the perennial J.D. Power doghouse, and, related, it needs to address the fact that any mention of Volkswagen triggers an avalanche of “VW sucks” comments on the webs. As we will hear instantly.