Volkswagen Expects 'Limited Growth' In US Through 2017, Supplier Arrives In Tennessee

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
volkswagen expects limited growth in us through 2017 supplier arrives in tennessee

Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn says the automaker expects “limited growth” until its new SUVs arrive, while one of its suppliers sets up shop in Tennessee.

Though parent company Volkswagen AG had once hoped for 800,000 units sold by 2018 in the United States, Horn downplayed the target’s importance, Reuters reports:

[The 2018 sales target] is still a relevant objective… but, on the other hand, if you just focus on one year and one number you would do crazy things, so the most important thing is to have a long-term strategy.

For now, Horn states VW will need to defend its position from now through 2017, when the redesigned Tiguan and the Chattanooga, Tenn.-built midsize SUV both hit the showroom floor. Other products, including a $20,000 compact SUV and a large pickup due in 2020 at the earliest, would soon follow.

As for the 2018 target, sales fell from 440,000 in 2012, to 367,000 last year, and have fallen 4 percent since; VW’s U.S. sales peak came in 1970 with 570,000 units. LMC Automotive says the new models in 2017 will help, but would only push sales to a projected 495,000 in 2018.

Meanwhile, Spanish automotive supplier Gestamp is setting up shop near the Chattanooga facility, where it and Volkswagen will unveil a new pressing plant Tuesday. The plant would create 500 jobs, and has been described by the automaker as a “major economic development.”

(Photo credit: Volkswagen)

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jun 22, 2015

    I'd be surprised if they hit the 495k number in 2018. That would be 7.7% annual growth from 2014-8. I'm not seeing it, particularly because the industry isn't growing that fast, which then means VW would have to take market share from someone else. Their competitors are strong and agile.

  • Roberto Esponja Roberto Esponja on Jun 22, 2015

    Nice enough looking SUV, but that clear glass on all the windows - yuck! Why are some manufacturers so averse at making privacy glass standard on their SUV's? Every time I see a BMW X3 or X5 with clear windows I cringe...

    • See 6 previous
    • Turf3 Turf3 on Jun 23, 2015

      @Roberto Esponja Not on a rainy foggy evening, no. I would prefer not to run over a pedestrian wearing grey clothing at dusk on a rainy, foggy day and standing in my right rear blind spot. YMMV.

  • Tedward Tedward on Jun 22, 2015

    It looks like vw finally has a real timeline with real numbers for the us. Seriously, that is the main difference here. They are going to have three suv's, a lifted awd wagon, a truck, and by then the jetta and passat will be scheduled to move onto the mqb chassis. That sounds suspiciously like good sense, and without the ridiculous target sales goal they might actually hold onto a management team for more than two years. Honestly I think the product mix sounds right, and they'll have some serious capabilities in place (awd in both factories, mqb in both factories, NAFTA engine plant, etc) but it goes nowhere without vw credit being willing to give away leases on all off those vehicles.

    • Derekson Derekson on Jun 23, 2015

      If the lease deals are anything like the ones they're offering now they should be fine. Check out the advertised prices for VW leases nowadays - they've come down MASSIVELY in the past year or so, I think. Not that I monitor them religiously but I've noticed low lease prices before that article on here referencing bargain Jetta lease prices and I've been paying some more attention since seeing that article.

  • Flybrian Flybrian on Jun 22, 2015

    A fullsize pickup to complement the Phaeton IIIrd Time's The Charm.