Volkswagen August Sales Up 2.9%… Somehow
Volkswagen released its August sales numbers today, and somehow they are miraculously not down. They’re up 2.9 percent. In this automotive market, that’s like finding a trillion dollar bill in your pocket. On the debit side, Rabbit sales were off 35.9 percent. The Passat sedan just missed out on the biggest loser crown, down 35.5 percent. The introduction of the Tiguan and the Jetta have saved Vee Dub’s bacon. For the past 15 years, the Jetta has been Volkswagen’s single most important product (perhaps when the New Beetle debuted, it stole the limelight for a year or so). The model accounts for roughly 50 percent of Volkswagen’s US sales. This time ’round, VW increased Jetta sales by 1600 sedans and 867 wagons sold (not available last year). While VW was able to move 1031 examples of their Golf-based cute ute, the Tiguan’s triumph is troubling in two ways. First, that’s almost exactly the number of sales that fell down the Rabbit hole [here be cannibals]. Secondly, 1000 Tiguans a month puts the model in niche territory. (Hell, Saturn shifts 8000 Vues per month.) Still, Volkswagen seems to be able to keep themselves consistent, even if their sales are a fraction of a big player’s… and their US/Canadian product lineup is like Europe’s dumber, less attractive brother.
The 2-door Rabbit is a pretty great deal for what you get other than the lame fuel economy. Oh, and the reliability. If I wasn't so sold on VW (un)reliability from a family member's Passat, it would be on my short short list.
So when will we see a TTAC review of the Tiguan anyways? I'm interested in reading about it.
With the higher transaction prices they bring in more revenue on 1000 Tiguans than they will on 1000 Rabbits--ask General Motors about the importance of revenue right now.
I, too, think that VW's results are perplexing - there are so many internal contradictions here, but maybe some clarity, too: - How is it that VW increases or even maintains sales levels with a poor quality reputation and a price disadvantage in most segments? - The Rabbit (even with the crappy re-tread of a name) should be flying off lots like all the other small cars, but it's tanking. Is is due to poor mileage, poor quality, high price, all of the above? - I don't think 1000 Tiguans a month is even worth the price of printing the brochure. But, it does show that some people will still pay premiums for anything wrapped in SUV-ish packages. I'd guess the average price for these is $28k - not bad for a Golf. - I laughed when i heard VW's sales ambitions, but in this market, level sales are equal to a 30% GAIN in sales in the past. This (and the waiting lists/price gouging the TDI is generating) will no doubt convince the VW brass that they are doing everything right. That could be the biggest problem of all...