VeeDub Sells More Cars In China Than Germany

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Beijing’s sizable German community congregated today at the annual Weihnachtsmarkt. At the German Embassy inside the People’s Republic of China, party-goers loaded-up on Bratwurst, Christstollen and got seasonably drunk. Volkswagen China, headquartered ’round the corner, sponsored a stand at the festival. Not to sell cars. No, they were hawking their fabled “VW-Currywurst,” a culinary delight served every Thursday to the working classes at Wolfsburg’s cafeterias. At the sidelines of the event, and under the influence of truth serums such as Radeberger Pilsner or Glühwein, leading Volkswagen of China execs reiterated what had been the talk around Sanlitun for months: VeeDub is defying gravity in China. In fact, they’ll probably sell more cars in China this year than their parent sells in Germany. According to Gasgoo, Jörg Müller, CFO of VGC (Volkswagen Group China) made the prediction in August. In October, VGC pronounced themselves over target.

A week ago, at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, VGC head honcho Winfried Vahland revealed the glad tidings. “In the first 10 months of 2008, our new car sales volume in China reached 853,800 (including VW, Audi, Skoda, Lamborghini & Bentley), an increase 12.6 percent compared to the same period of last year, and a step closer towards the target of selling 1 million cars in 2008.”

After the third Glühwein, our source said: “Vahland ain’t stupid. He won’t give a target unless he already knows that it is in the pocket.” All around the table said “prost” and resumed discussing topic number one: where to go during the Christmas holidays.

PS: TheTruthAboutTheCurrywurst: VW Germany produces (in-house!) twice as many sausages as cars. We’re talking two million of the bad boys. The secret sauce is, well, a secret sauce. In other words, the Chinese are already copying it.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Blowfish Blowfish on Nov 30, 2008

    Vee Dub wish the Fatherland & the rest of the World are doing as well too, but it doesn't look like so.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Dec 04, 2008

    Thanks for all of the Wikipedia links. Helps those of us who are no where near anyone that eats like that.

  • Ronin The very asking of the question "Are Plug-In Hybrids the Future?" is an interesting one. Because just 2 or 3 years ago we'd be asking- no, asserting- that E cars are the future. We're no longer asking that question.
  • Peter Benn There apparently were some K-code 4-dr sedan Fairlanes. Collectible Automobile Apr 2024 has found a '63 500 with HD 3/spd.
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  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
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