By on March 28, 2011

Who will be the world’s largest car company this year? There appears to be at least one car company that is (so far) totally unaffected by any parts malaises, supposed bursting bubbles in China and any other possible impediments to vehicular growth: Volkswagen. Veedub’s sales jefe Christian Klinger remarked at the sidelines of a press conference today that Volkswagen’s sales will hit record levels in March.

The Wall Street Journal could not believe its ears and sought confirmation. A Volkswagen spokesman said they heard right. Klingler didn’t give any further details, says the WSJ, but record levels can’t mean anything else than the best March ever in VW’s storied history.

In the first two months, Volkswagen’s global sales had risen by 16 percent, outpacing the market. The race for the #1 position could get interesting this year.

With 7.14 million units made in 2010, Volkswagen started the year in the #3 position, far behind leader Toyota with 8.55 million units and GM with 8.38 million. Toyota entered the race on a cautious note. In its 2011 forecast, Toyota planned for a total 2011 production of 8.69 million, up from 2010 by only 2 percent. The way things look in Japan, Toyota could already have abandoned all hope on any growth. In the two weeks since the tsunami, Toyota already has lost 140,000 units, and the worst is yet to come.

This year’s race will be an endurance race, with the effects of earthquake, tsunami and power shortages the big spoiler. Without the interference of an angry mother nature, it looked like GM would take the top spot this year. Now, the race could be decided at the parts truck.

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15 Comments on “Volkswagen Fast Out Of The Gate In Race Of The Titans...”

  • avatar

    Why do people buy these automobiles? The new Touareg now adjusts the driver’s seat when it wants to. The dealer has no idea why. Shades of my GTIs. $50,000.00.
    I will probably keep my Accord.

    • 0 avatar

      Sometimes when I would hit the turn signal in my 08 Rabbit, the opposite turn signal would come on. I wonder how many times it happened and I didn’t even notice. Crap like that is why I went back to Hondas.

    • 0 avatar

      When I see the new VW commercial extolling the safety of their car that “in the event of a crash, automatically cuts off the fuel, unlocks the doors and turns on the hazard lights” I can’t help thinking that based on my VW experience, the fuel will automatically cut-off on the freeway merge lane and the doors will automatically unlock while parked in a particularly bad part of town.

  • avatar

    It gets better.

    • 0 avatar

      What is it with Volkswagens and electrical problems? Very strange.
      VW already did well maintaining their R&D through the last few years (perhaps being ahead of some others in this regard), so this could be a big opportunity for them. I guess the big question would be, if VW really does fall into top place, could they sustain it?
      (Electrical problems or not, I’m still looking forward to seeing the 2012 Beetle.)

    • 0 avatar

      That’s the opposite of what the last VW I owned did – honking the horn when turning on the ignition . Of course it only did it intermittently so you never knew when it would happen !

    • 0 avatar

      Volkswagen of America is recalling about 71,000 of the German automaker’s new 2011 Jetta sedans for a wiring problem that could cause the car to turn off when the horn is used.
      If you ask me that’s a great feature.  Especially if the A-hole is behind you.

    • 0 avatar

      VW channeling Lucas?

  • avatar

    Impressive video.  I wouldn’t want to go that fast knowing there are other cars on the road, or the risk of an animal crossing.
    Bertel: VW may be immune to the problems in Japan, but I also haven’t heard a peep about Hyundai/Kia.  Any impact there?

  • avatar

    Did that in an A8 – seemed far slower/less scary during the day.

  • avatar

    Uh-oh! Looks like the suckers that bought the Americanized Jetta are going to discover the fun of owning a VW, which of course is random electrical gremlins. Perhaps VW should start throwing in a free can of Deoxit with all new Jettas. I know the can I bought for $12 in 2006 has saved me a lot of money over the years. First with a bad glow plug harness, and then when my turn signal clicked rapidly for no apparent reason. Check out any VW enthusiast site for other uses of Deoxit in your fine Volkswagen product.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    There are many reasons that I would not own a Volkswagen product, even one built in the US, but major among them is the electrical gremlin problems which seem to plague (and I use that word advisedly) all of the German cars. 

    I think the Germans should apologize for all of the unkind and rude “Lucas electric” jokes said about British cars over the many decades, in fact. 

    As for me personally, after the automatic transmission grenaded on my 1971 Volkswagen 411, I swore off the brand for evermore.  (I was a 2-striper in the military in a foreign country, was paying off a loan to Biloxi Credit Union while the car sat in the salvage yard).  Unforgivable.  And it won’t be forgiven or forgotten ever.  The fact that it was 30 plus years ago doesn’t matter at all to me.  Because Volkswagen obviously hasn’t improved. 

    I’ll be totally mystified if VW becomes #1 in the world.  Perhaps it just proves the adage that there is another damned fool born every minute. 

    Same goes for Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche etc.  All overpriced POS’s as far as I’m concerned. 

    • 0 avatar

      Isn’t that a bit much? I mean, GM and VW were the two companies making really unreliable cars in my childhood, but both have climbed up to about average now (with some notably above average offerings from both I might add). Meanwhile, Hyundai/Kia were selling far worse product than anyone in the US market (by every quality and reliability metric) just a short time ago, long after VW/GM cleaned up their core product, and people seem to delight in trusting them as if they were a newly arrived brand with a cherry history. I’m talking truly atrocious reliability, safety and quality, less than a decade ago.
      Meanwhile, in reality land, every brand has recalls and mechanical issues. My Fit is on it’s second recall, one electric (a fire starter no less), one engine related (spring in the cam timing system I believe), and it’s sprung a host of rattles on the interior (A 2.5 Golf would have trounced it reliability & cost wise over the same 30k miles, with more power but less milage, and a far nicer interior). Honda has had it’s fun with 6clyinder autos, Toyota has sludged a few 4 cylinders, Ford & GM existed in the 90’s,  Subaru has always had serious engine problems (have you heard about the newer WRX’s yet?) etc… The point I’m trying to make is that it’s probably best to judge each individual model, and really each mechanical package, as a standalone proposition reliability wise. For starters, buying any automatic in 1971 was willfully taking a risk, hell, it’s still taking a risk today to go auto for a lot of vehicles out there, but I’d bet you would have been fine with an identical car sporting three pedals. It’s hard to get mad at the whole german industrial complex on those grounds.

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