Archive for the 'VW Now & Moving Forward' Category

Volkswagen Eyes No. 1 Spot

Racing Ahead: VW’s Golf R will be an important part of the North American strategy.

Volkswagen Eyes No. 1 Spot
…By setting up a factory in the US.

Volkswagen sold two Type 1 Beetles in the US in 1949. By the ’60s, VW was the US’ most popular import, peaking at 569,696 units in calendar year 1970. It hasn’t matched that number since. After the Japanese invasion and the Westmoreland, Pennsylvania-built Rabbit ordeal, VW sales dipped to 49,533 in 1993. Rumours had Germany following the French and Italians and exiting the US market. Improved product and aggressive advertising saved it in the late ’90s and 2000s. VW’s 2010 sales of 256,830 units trails Subaru’s, though, while its global sales, including Audi and Skoda, totalled 7.1 million last year. Toyota sold 8.42 million; and General Motors, 8.39 million.

“Our goal is to make Volkswagen the number-one automaker by 2018, economically and ecologically,” VW Brand Development Director Ulrich Hackenberg said at the First Middle East Automotive Summit in Doha, Qatar. With vigorous new-car development and expansion plans that include selling the Up! concept-based cars in developing countries, few doubt VW can do it. Toyota, which passed General Motors in 2008, may not put up much of a fight. Still…800,000 Volkswagens in the US by 2018? That doesn’t count Audi, Bentley, or Lamborghini. With VW perennially struggling, shouldn’t it concentrate on Europe and the developing markets, where it has had much more success?

“I wouldn’t say it’s a tougher job,” Hackenberg says, “but it’s a necessary job. We need 800,000 [US] volume to become number one globally. That’s why we’re opening a US factory.”

Custom Made For The US
VW’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will start with the North American-specific ’12 Passat targeting Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. At 191.7 inches overall on a 110.4-inch wheelbase, it has best-in-class rear-seat legroom, a VWoA product planner says. It’s on a platform unique for the market and weighs 80 pounds less than the Euro Passat it replaces. The base engine is VW’s 170-horse, 2.5-litre inline five, with five-speed automatic. This large-economy model will start in the $20,000 range. “That’s a breakthrough price for the VW brand,” the planner adds.

While the 2012 Passat’s interior features nicer materials than the cost-reduced ’11 Jetta, it’s not quite the poor man’s Audi interior VW was known for in recent years. Optional engines are the 3.6-litre VR6 and the 2.0-litre turbodiesel four, both available with a six-speed automatic or six-speed dual sequential gearbox. VW expects the Passat diesel to achieve 43 mpg highway, for a 795-mile range. That’s 1 mpg better than the Jetta diesel. The diesel will add several thousand dollars to the Passat’s $20,000 base price, though. Figure on something closer to $28,000.

The automaker also touts a number of standard features for the US market that it says doesn’t interest the European market, such as keyless entry and dual climate control. You’ll be able to order wheels up to 18 inches in diameter and a Fender premium audio system. VW’s excellent 2.0-litre TSI gas direct-injection four is notably absent from the option sheet.

Old Is Still Gold
To build VW’s sales without alienating traditional customers, VWs new North American chief, Jonathan Browning, Vauxhall Chairman from 2006 to 2008, says lower-volume models like the Golf hatchback, GTI, Golf R, and the CC (Passat CC outside the US) will remain key to the North American strategy. Browning says he’d like to import the Golf-based Scirocco, once considered a threat to GTI sales. “It’s not a black-and-white. It’s a continuum,” says Browning of the US lineup dichotomy. “The previous focus may have been the more narrow focus of the enthusiast, a little bit toward the accessible range of the market. So it’s keeping the balance. But it will be an aggressive balance along the line.”

VW Brand Development Director Ulrich Hackenberg is planning to
flood the US market in a bid to be No. 1 globally.  The new Passat
and the new, larger Jetta are key to reaching the goal by 2018. 

The new Passat and the new, larger Jetta are key to reaching 800,000 US sales by 2018, Browning says. The Jetta, built for global sales in Mexico, has long been the best-selling Euro nameplate in the US. The GLI 2.0 TSI Jetta, which better fits in the enthusiast/ niche category, comes with an independent rear suspension and better dashboard materials than on the standard Jetta. VW plans to introduce a hybrid Jetta here within a year.

VW will show the second-gen New Beetle this spring and put it on sale in the fall. Hackenberg says it’s an important car for both the US and Europe, though here it never breached the 100,000-unit level.

How will VW do it? Unless it quickly develops a $30,000 Honda Pilot competitor off the new Passat’s platform, plus perhaps a new Microbus-style minivan to replace the Chrysler-based Routan—two models that, combined, could add more than 200,000 units to annual sales—the Passat and Jetta will have to become best-sellers in their segments with sales topping 300,000 per year each. Should total US sales volume not reach 17 million, the 200,000 range is more likely, competitive with Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, and Chevrolet Malibu. That’s about 400,000 for Jetta and Passat, just half the ’18 goal.

Hackenberg and Browning emphasise efforts to improve quality scores in the US, long a major problem for the brand. They say much of VW’s quality problems relate to design features that confuse and annoy Americans—an explanation (or excuse) several competitors also use. While they talk about biting into Toyota and Honda sales, they don’t mention Hyundai, which expects to sell 590,000 in the US this year, or Kia.

“German engineering still has a very good image in the US.” Hackenberg says. “It is our job, and the job of Mr Browning, to bring that to the customer.”

VW has tried competitive pricing with Japanese brands and “affordable German engineering” in its marketing before, though not both at the same time. A mix of big, low-priced German sedans for the American market, and more interesting cars like the GTI and CC, might work this time. Until it does though, we don’t envy Browning his task.


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business.outlookindia.com | Volkswagen Eyes No. 1 Spot

business.outlookindia.com | Volkswagen Eyes No. 1 Spot.

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VW future camper – Oakland Volkswagen

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Volkswagen Unveils a 260 MPG Car


Volkswagen Unveils a 260 MPG Car
The German automaker claims that its Formula XL1 concept is capable of delivering over 260 miles per gallon. The lightweight, carbon fiber intensive two-seater achieves this incredible efficiency by combining a 47 horsepower, 800cc two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with a 27 hp electric motor and an extremely streamlined body.

As a plug-in hybrid, Volkswagen says that the XL1 is capable of travelling up to 22 miles on battery power alone before switching to a traditional blended hybrid operation, similar to the way that the Chevrolet Volt works. Top speed is limited to 99 miles per hour, and it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 11.9 seconds, not fast, but slightly quicker a Smart Fortwo.

This is the latest in a series of so-called “1-liter cars” that Volkswagen has shown over the past several years. The name refers to the goal of creating a car that can travel 100 kilometers using just one liter of fuel, the equivalent of 235 mpg. The XL1 does it with just .9 liters.

Although there are no immediate plans for production, Volkswagen says the XL1 has been developed to the point that a limited run of cars is possible in the near future.

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Volkswagen announces world debut of all-new 2011 Jetta – Available at VW of Oakland, your San Francisco VW Dealer

Volkswagen announces world debut of all-new 2011 Jetta, delivering a sophisticated new design

All-new 2011 Jetta sets new standard in its class, delivering sophisticated style, precision German engineering and Carefree Maintenance.

HERNDON, VA., June 15 – Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced the world debut of it’s all-new 2011 Jetta, delivering style, precision german engineering and Carefree Maintenance. The all-new 2011 Jetta offers best-in-class rear legroom, a premium interior and Volkswagen essentials. Unveiled for the first time today at an unexpected urban oasis in Times Square, New York, the all-new 2011 Jetta features clean lines, refined side architecture and premium style. It sets a new standard in its class and will be available in the U.S. this October.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era for Volkswagen and for Jetta,” said Stefan Jacoby, CEO of volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “The all-new 2011 Jetta is a class-up driving experience with the kind of styling, design and power under the hood normally found in more expensive luxury cars… This car is sophisticated, fun to drive and practical.”

Welcome to Oakland Volkswagen

There is a lot of excitement about the release of the all-new 2011 Jetta hitting our store in the October timeframe. It’s already become big news around Oakland. If you can’t wait, view the great prices we have on models available now in our inventory.

Volkswagen of Oakland is a full-service Volkswagen San Francisco, Volkswagen Oakland, Volkswagen Walnut Creek, Volkswagen Berkeley area dealership.

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Volkswagen names GM veteran to lead US operations

By DAN STRUMPF
AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Volkswagen on Monday named a former Ford and GM executive to lead the German automaker’s ambitious growth plans in the U.S.

Volkswagen AG said Jonathan Browning will lead Volkswagen Group of America at a time when it aims to triple sales by 2018. He begins the new job on Oct. 1.

Volkswagen announced Browning’s appointment at a press conference in Washington, D.C., Monday. Volkswagen hired Browning, 51, in June to lead its national sales companies. Before that, he was a vice president at General Motors Co. He also was an executive at Ford Europe and global managing director of Jaguar.

Volkswagen — which also sells cars under the Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini brands — sold about 300,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year. It aims to sell 1 million by 2018, with 200,000 coming from its Audi brand.

A key test for Volkswagen comes in October, when it releases a redesigned Jetta compact sedan in the U.S. It cut the price of the 2011 Jetta and made it larger than its predecessor as it aims to more closely tailor the car to American tastes.

VW’s share of the U.S. market is less than 3 percent.

Browning replaces Stefan Jacoby, who left in June to run Volvo.

Former Ford and GM executive to lead the German automaker’s ambitious growth plans in the U.S. Volkswagen AG said Jonathan Browning will lead Volkswagen Group of America at a time when it aims to triple sales by 2018. He begins the new job on Oct. 1. Volkswagen announced Browning’s appointment at a press conference in Washington, D.C., Monday. Volkswagen hired Browning, 51, in June to lead its national sales companies. Before that, he was a vice president at General Motors Co. He also was an executive at Ford Europe and global managing director of Jaguar. Volkswagen — which also sells cars under the Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini brands — sold about 300,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year. It aims to sell 1 million by 2018, with 200,000 coming from its Audi brand. A key test for Volkswagen comes in October, when it releases a redesigned Jetta compact sedan in the U.S. It cut the price of the 2011 Jetta and made it larger than its predecessor as it aims to more closely tailor the car to American tastes. VW’s share of the U.S. market is less than 3 percent. Browning replaces Stefan Jacoby, who left in June to run Volvo.

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Biodiesel and Volkswagen

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