By on February 15, 2010


When VW declared that they wanted to triple their sales in America to 1 million units, many thought VW had drunk too much brake fluid. Well, it seems that the Wolfsburg Warriors’ plans of world domination (don’t worry, I’m not going to invoke “Godwin’s Law”) may be coming to fruition. Sometime.

USA Today has the good news that Volkswagen is on a roll in America. Or make that Stefan Jacoby is. The CEO of Volkswagen of  America gave a speech at this year’s NADA convention in Orlando. Rarely did a CEO heap so much praise upon himself. Jacoby said that when he came to power at Volkswagen America, VW was 30th out of 36th in overall satisfaction. The following year, VW had shot up to 15th. Now VW ranks 7th. VW also made strides in JD Power Initial Quality and 4 of their models were top safety picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Couple this with the opening of their Chattanooga, Tennessee factory, and suddenly, VW’s plans for tripling their American sales enter the realm of the possible – by 2018.

There are people in his ranks who do not share Jacoby’s optimism. Part of Jacoby’s tripling sales plan is Audi. According to strategy, Audi is supposed to sell 200,000 vehicles in the United States, again by 2018. However, “the luxury brand’s North American chief isn’t completely on board with that target,” reports Automotive News [sub] from Orlando. Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen says profitable growth is more important than hitting an arbitrary sales number eight years out.  “I’m not married to 200,000 cars,” de Nysschen told Automotive News at the sidelines of NADA. “Everybody talks about my business except the guy who runs it.”

“We are not going to chase volume for the sake of volume,” de Nysschen said. “We will only grow if it puts an extra dollar in the bank. Otherwise it is no good.” There is a man who sounds like he wants Jacoby’s  job.

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15 Comments on “VW’s Jacoby: We’re On A Roll!...”


  • avatar
    hreardon

    de Nysschen has done a fantastic job with Audi in North America these past few years, and he is spot on about driving organic versus forced growth.

    Were Jacoby smart, he would let Audi continue on its well proven way, delivering some very healthy profits along the way. Just ask Toyota and BMW what forced sales targets do for the long-term health of a company.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    HOT DAWG! But seriously, couldn’t you find a picture with sauerkraut and brown mustard, Cammy?

    I’ll condsider VW during my next purchase, a family member has had good luck with their vehicles despite the bad rap. She has an Jetta from the late 90s with 100s of thousands of miles on it and just bought a new Tiquan.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      Brown Mustard is French, surely?

      Anyway, I didn’t pick the picture. I wanted a picture of “Siegfried and Roy” and a caption about suspect German exports…..I think they made the right choice!

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      lol, on the alternative pic. Hearty brown mustard is German, your thinking of Dijon mustard. There is Bavarian Sweet Mustard and mustard that contains horseradish. Plus good ole’ Bertman’s Mustard out of Cleveland, OH that I doubt is French.

    • 0 avatar
      dswilly

      Late 90’s Jetta might be one of the last OK ones. Give us a Check engine light update on the Tiquan in a few months

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    VW can’t handle volume- they only survive because their volume is low enough so that their sloppy engineering can’t become a sensational target. I’m amazed nobody has been killed by the VW DSG “False Neutral” problem (which I experienced on a TEST DRIVE nonetheless), but if their sales numbers were anything like Toyota’s, the press would have a field day (mostly because VW has a wonderful history of lousy engineering.)

    Americans simply have higher standards for automotive reliability. That’s why FIAT, Peugeot, Renault, Skoda, Daewoo, etc. didn’t mkae it here and why GM and Chrysler are in the pit.

    • 0 avatar
      tom

      You’re talking about the company that is a close second in world wide car sales…

    • 0 avatar
      mikeolan

      @Tom: mostly in squat-in-the-dirt countries and in Europe. Europeans have no expectation of quality or reliability, but Americans do. They can’t grow in America without quality – that’s how Toyota did grow and the lack of which is killing them now.

  • avatar
    Mike

    Mikeolan – “they only survive because their volume is low enough so that their sloppy engineering can’t become a sensational target.”

    Your kidding right? Sloppy?? They are among the best engineered cars on the planet!!! Go check the GM and Chrysler lots if you want to see sloppy engineering. Now reliability? Thats something else!

  • avatar

    On a roll? Or a slide? View my VW experience at:
    http://reesphotos.com/VW/

  • avatar

    There will have to be a serious increase in the number of suckers born every minute. At least VW/Audi keeps repair shops in biz.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    No way no how is this going to happen. My $ is on Hyundai/Kia, as they are doing what VW has done in the past (selling decent entry-level, affordable cars). VW has gone upmarket, cutting directly into Audi’s territory (Phaeton anybody? What’s that? Never heard of it? How about the Turdegg?), and abandoned the entry-level market that they owned for decades. And the Tiguan is nothing more than a badge-engineered Chrysler minivan–why??? Just buy a Chrysler if you want one, they are made in the same @#$%^ plant!

    I have owned a 1996 Passat TDI sedan for five years now and the reliability of the body electromechanical systems (door handles, window regulators, electrical anything) is the worst of any of the 28 cars I have ever owned in my life, and most of my cars have been American ones. It has multiple intermittent power window failures (nothing like getting somewhere and finding out that the window(s) fail to go up when you want to leave the car). I would agree that the 4-cylinder 5-speed pre-‘99.5 Jettas are good cars, however.

    VW still makes the Gen 1 Rabbits in South Africa, and you can get one with a 3-cylinder direct-injected turbodiesel that will get 70mpg on the highway. Now if you could sign a waiver regarding the US safety requirements at the dealership, these vehicles would still sell well here but that will never happen.

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