Volkswagen AG execs contented with performance in the US

Article by Anita Panait, on August 2, 2013

Despite a slowdown in demand that resulted to a downward update of the Volkswagen brand’s sales target for 2013, executives at Volkswagen AG are content with its performance in the United States. In July, officials at Volkswagen Group of America said during a meeting with US dealers that the carmaker is aiming to sell 440,000 VW units in 2013, reflecting only a 1-percent hike from 2012 sales.

At the start of 2013, VW executives had told dealers that the carmaker is targeting to sell 11 percent more VW vehicles in the US in 2013, but the brand posted 1-percent decline in sales in the first half of the year. Despite this, executives at Volkswagen AG, who want to sell around 800,000 VWs in the US by 2018, remained unsettled by the development.

Christian Klingler, VW AG's board member for sales and marketing, admitted during a second-quarter earnings call that the VW brand is expecting its 2013 sales in the US to be "on the same level" as in 2012. He attributed the lower goal to structural problems that came after several years of rapid growth.

Klingler remarked that while VW had no strong products to roll out this year, those vehicles will arrive in the future. VW AG’s luxury and performance brands, however, were on a sale rampage in the US with Audi selling 74,277 units in the first half of 2013 for a 14-percent rise.

Sports carmaker Porsche sold 21,309 units in the period, for a 30-percent surge. VW brands Bentley and Lamborghini also managed to increase their US sales. Klingler remarked their performance in the US is good. VW said that its group-wide sales of cars and light trucks surged 7 percent in North America in the first six months of 2013. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Topics: vw, united states

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