Stefan Jacoby, the CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said that it is ready to build a new relationship with American consumers. At the Automotive News World Congress, Jacoby said, We are at home in America. The pieces are in place. VW has a goal to sell 800,000 vehicles each year in the US by 2018.
In 2009, the VW Group, including VW's Audi luxury brand, sold 297,537 vehicles in the US, a 5% drop from sales of 313,581 vehicles in 2008. The entire US light-vehicle market plunged 21% last year. Contributing to VW's sales expansion is the introduction of new products.
This includes a mid-sized sedan designed for American tastes that will be made at its new plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Construction of the plant is expected to be completed late this year and production of the new sedan will ramp up in early 2011. Sales will begin later in the year. Jacoby also announced that it is now hiring for the Tennessee plant, which will employ a total of 2,000 people.
VW aims to assemble 150,000 cars annually at the plant, 25,000 to 35,000 of which will be shipped to Canada and Mexico.
VW is currently preparing its dealer body for its new products that include the redesigned 2011 Jetta sedan and 2011 Touareg that will arrive later this year and the redesigned 2012 New Beetle that will arrive next year.