By on August 14, 2013


The Volkswagen Group announced that global July sales for VW branded vehicles were down half a percent from last year, to 466,100. Reuters reported that July joins March 2013 as the second monthly decline this year.

Christian Klinger, head of VW sales used words like “uncertain” and “challenging” to describe the near term situation. Sales for the first seven months of 2013 were up almost 4% from last year, with 3.38 million units sold, with strong Chinese sales offsetting the continued weak European market. Sales in Europe were down 6.8% and in Volkswagen’s home country of Germany they were off by even more, 9.1%. The Volkswagen Group’s array of cars and brands across the price spectrum and overseas growth are seen as helping the company withstand the decline in it’s European base.

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26 Comments on “VW Brand Sales Down in July...”

  • avatar

    But how are they doing in the Japanese market? I heard they couldn’t ship them in fast enough.

    • 0 avatar

      VW delivered about 5,000 units in Japan during July. Which means that 98.9% of its July sales came from other places.

      VW moved about 36,000 units in the US during July. It moved another 5,100 units in Canada, slightly more than it did in Japan, even though Japan has more than three times the population. VW isn’t a major player in Canada, either, which should give you an idea of how tiny VW’s business in Japan really is.

      Japan is a drop in the bucket for VW. It makes little difference to the bottom line. Why someone would have wanted to convince you otherwise, I don’t know.

  • avatar

    “Never mind, we’ll still dominate the world by 2018.”

  • avatar

    No CUVs.

  • avatar

    TTAC Staff. Second time today using “it’s” for “its”. The other was the Visteon article.

    Possessives such as its, his and hers do not require the ornamentation of an apostrophe.

  • avatar

    Strategy fail. VW executives made exactly the right decision re: the Jetta and Passat 5 years ago. But, by the time the cars actually entered production the competition had totally changed.

    • 0 avatar

      The strategy in itself (for the US market) is fine, and the Jetta is doing quite well considering it has been on the market for more than three years, less than the Civic (TWO refreshes since then), Corolla, Mazda3, Cruze, Focus etc.

      But the Passat is not quite as strong as VWoA expected — or more correctly the competition is stronger than they expected.

    • 0 avatar

      jmo –

      Europe’s auto market is in shambles and considering that, VW is doing well. Now as far as North America is considered the strategy is correct but the execution is taking too long. Volkswagen is fighting the last war in North America and the question is whether they have a good plan moving forward or if they’re going to stubbornly stick to the old one.

      The competition in the midsize segment has become fierce and the lack of a competitive series of SUV/CUVs is absolutely killing them in North America. New Golf/GTI, while marginal, are a year away from volume sales. CC has grown stale and Volkswagen is tossing increasing amounts of cash on the hood to move fewer and fewer units.

      • 0 avatar

        Gotta agree with JMO as far as America goes the Jetta sedan is selling well enough much to the dislike of real car folk, there are no golfs to be sold until this time next year, The Passat is doing ok at best in a really good mid size market where it takes a long time to make market share gains and lets face it most of US drivers do not want a brown TDI 5 speed ( I know why not you ask) but a CUV and VW is sh** out of luck here cause they got nothing to offer that is close to what the public wants.

        • 0 avatar

          I just had a friend ask if there was a VW with 3 rows. Much to my surprise, the answer was no… even on the Toureg. What he really wants is a compact CUV with 3 rows for when his teenage stepchildren have someone else coming along. Short of the Equinox, which occupies that CTS-like spot of not a compact, not a midsize, I don’t know of another. I had to break the news to him that the compact CUV with 3 rows is all but dead. He’ll have to look at a midsizer.

          • 0 avatar

            Yes there is… The beloved Routan.

          • 0 avatar

            Unfortunately, the 3 rd row CUV is a dying breed, with the new RAV4 eliminating the option and, I believe, the Mitsubishi Outlander as one true CUV left in that size with 3rd row.

            It might be wise for VW to turn its attention to that space, as well as the next size up, obviously.

  • avatar

    VW sales in Australia took a battering in July, down 6.5% (11% off the rest of the market).
    Media speculation is that the brand image suffered due to the poorly handled DSG/Injector/Loss of drive squabble between Fairfax Media and VW Australia.
    Time will tell how long term the impact is…

    • 0 avatar

      Isn’t this the ‘story’ where the news outlet got the facts completely wrong? IIRC, they were trying to argue that the DSG transmission was at fault…yet the person in question was driving a manual transmission.

      • 0 avatar

        Sort of. The Fairfax newspapers in Australia spent some time emphasizing that there had been VW DSG recalls in the US, China and elsewhere, yet VW in Australia was refusing to do the same.

        In beating the drum for the “Where’s our recall?” story, Fairfax also honed in the death of one particular VW driver who died in a crash after her car with a manual transmission lost power. At the time, Fairfax did point out that her car had a stick, but attached it to the no-recall story.

        • 0 avatar

          Not really, they drew a long bow with the death (Nothing proven at this stage). But they had hundreds of people writing in complaining of DSG and Injector issues.
          Other outlets such as consumer advocate groups, ABC News (Not related to US ABC), Murdoch etc all ran with the story.
          Again the main thrust was “Where is our recall”? Eventually VW folded after enormous media pressure. From the sales figures you could concluded that some brand damage may have occurred.

  • avatar

    “Exactly the right decision”? The strategy is “fine”? Is the VWoA PR department posting on TTAC now?

    The competitors being stronger than expected means you failed at forecasting. Making the Jetta and Passat look boring and also identical is a double fail. I can’t believe VW would make such a costly mistake in their second most important market, after that enormous investment in Tennessee.

    On dramatically missed sales and profit goals it always starts off with “it doesn’t matter when we get there, what matters is that we are on the right track.” Translation: Expect a major management shake up soon. VW’s failed N.A. strategy has set the company back 10 years.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      The last time VW tried to build and compete in NA, they ended leaving with their tail between their legs. Time will tell if past predicts future. They do have plenty of cash to keep trying!

  • avatar

    I see many new Passats near O’Hare airport with bar code and ‘no smoking’ stickers on them.

    And it real hard to tell Jetta and Passat apart from the back.

  • avatar

    Maybe people Europeans are figuring out that Scodas are basically the exact same car for less money?

  • avatar

    I hope VWoA’s sales continue to decline. We’re looking to get a deal on a 2014 Jetta because the 1.8TSI is a much better engine than the 2.5. They’re apparently offering 0.9% on 2014s in August, but I’d prefer 0% and would like to pay well below invoice. I’ll start shopping in the last couple weeks of December and see if they want to sell a car or not.

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