Slow Growth In 2013 Will Put The Brakes On Volkswagen's Ambitious Stateside Growth
Remember when Volkswagen’s goal of 800,000 units in America seemed utterly implausible? TTAC does. But Volkswagen, which was in the dumps not too long ago, is now more than half-way to their goal, selling 438,000 units in the United States, a 35 percent jump over last year. But that kind of growth isn’t likely to carry over for 2013.
VW USA CEO Jonathan Browning is taking a “cautious” view regarding growth in 2013, despite his prediction of a 15 million unit market in 2013. The slow growth could come as a result of white-hot products, like the Passat, Jetta and Beetle, losing some of their luster as a result of being on sale for a longer period of time. Updated products like the new Golf and a rumored three-row crossover are still on the horizon.
Meanwhile, Audi’s target of 200,000 units by 2018, an integral part of Volkswagen Group’s 1 million unit goal, is even closer. Audi has sold just under 140,000 units in 2012, and the 60,000 unit gap should be easier to close given the continued growth in the luxury segment. A new A3 will be competing with the Mercedes-Benz CLA and a revamped BMW 1-Series, while the A4 and other crossover variants in Audi’s “Q” range should help add even more volume. Audi’s rising profile among American consumers seems unlikely to dissipate any time soon either.
Volkswagen as a whole still has to close a substianial gap to reach their ambitious targets, but rather than being a farcical pipe dream, their goals now look achievable – something nobody could have predicted in 2010. Then again, the peanut gallery panned the new-for-America Jetta and Passat, and who’s laughing now?
Just one question...... Did they solve the 'every light bulb on the car burning out b-4 its time' problem????
Co-worker currently has dealer chasing all sorts of peculiar electrical gremlins in 2011 Jetta: never-wrecked-always-dealer-serviced. Too late to lemon law. Sad for VW because she otherwise loves the car.
Oh yawn, the usual chicken little comments about VW quality. I've got a 2 year old Jetta TDI that's had no problems other than a faulty fuel guage sending unit. Which is the same problem I had on my generic GM compact 10 years ago. And a far cry better than my 5 year old 3 series that has always eaten 1 litre of oil a month and has alloy wheels apparently made of silly putty, judging by how often they get bent!
I have owned watercooled VWs my whole life, and spared no expense on maintenance and repair by top-quality shops. Let me put this gently: I think if these new owners are leasing them and handing them back before the warranty is up, they'll be happy. Granted, today's VWs are simpler and cheaper than the marvelous, fiendishly unreliable rebadged Audis of the early 2000s -- those were the automotive equivalent of an abusive relationship (but I love Greta so much! and paying for her latest breakdown just shows how much I care!). But reliability expectations are also higher at the low end of the market: today's Jetta customers are Corolla customers. I wish VW well. But after 20 years of their serial wallet assault, I'm done with them. ...at least until I'm bored of my current reliable non-VW.