VeeDub Defeats Doom

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The worldwide car market contracted in the first five months of 2009 by about 20 percent. And what did VW do? Last month, all brands of Volkswagen actually edged out a little growth, 1.5 percent over May 2008. The core VW brand increased 10.2 percent in May, says Automobilwoche [sub]. For the first five months, all VW brands were down 7 percent worldwide, way above the -20 percent world average. Why? VW is strong, and they are strong in strong markets such as China (+ 45.2 percent), Germany (+36 percent) and Brazil (+4 percent). In the US, VeeDub can only do better. Their market share in the U.S.A. was an anemic 2.1 percent in May.

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=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Jun 12, 2009
    Wonder if there could be anything we here in the US could learn from this? Naw. Well, if VW learned something, it's that years and years of completely failing to sell cars in North America actually did have a bright side because, when everyone else's sales in North America collapsed, theirs had nowhere to go. Of course, it's like saying having your leg amputated saves you the pain of stubbing your toe.
  • Jmo Jmo on Jun 12, 2009
    I really wanted to like the GTI before I bought my current ride, but thoughts of it spending days at a time in the shop kept me from pulling the trigger on one. Days in the shop? VW is 2.5 problems per vehicle. Toyota is 1.6 Honda is 1.7. So, it's 2 days in the shop vs. 3 days in the shop. It's not the end of the world. Land Rover.... 3.4.
  • "scarey" "scarey" on Jun 12, 2009

    To: Universal Export, London, UK Attn: Dept.M- sighted missing package. Will attempt to secure and return to warehouse. Shipment of sauerkraut was damaged beyond repair. Sales trip otherwise successful. Will return to office ASAP. -Bond

  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Jun 12, 2009

    I don't get it. I've owned four VWs. Over several hundred thousand miles total. Lots of friends have owned lots of VWs. Vintages 84 to 09. NONE have been anything less than delightful. Good to drive, well built, reliable. Not a horror story in the bunch, probably 20+ cars alltogether. Maybe Northern New England gets "special" VWs? All the good ones get sent here, the rest of the country gets the bad ones? One of my local dealers is indeed a pack of thieves, but the other one is fantastic. But you know what? Nearly ALL car dealers suck! As someone pointed out above, the difference between the most reliable car and the least reliable is minimal.