For the month of January, the worldwide deliveries of Volkswagen's core VW brand rose by 0.1% to 419,200 vehicles. Sales were dampened by the economic problems that had affected western Europe and by an early new year holiday in China. In a statement last Tuesday, Christian Klingler, VW board member for sales and marketing, said that the Volkswagen passenger cars brand is stable as it starts the year.
He said that even if the conditions are volatile, specifically in Europe, it was able to maintain the deliveries “at last year's high level.” In January, the brand sold 159,900 cars in January in China, VW's biggest single market.
This is lower by 9% compared to the previous year. This is partly caused by an earlier-than-usual Chinese New Year festival. In western Europe, its sales dropped by 3% to 69,100 units as the region was plagued by persistent problems related to the sovereign debt crisis that further deteriorated consumer confidence.
In Germany, VW's domestic market (also its largest single European market), sales fell 8% to 39,600. In the U.S., January sales of VW-brand cars increased by 48% to 27,200, improved by the local output of VW's new Passat model.
The emerging-market sales continued to strongly increase for the brand with sales in Russia more than doubling by 118% to 9,300 cars and by 42% in India to 5,800 units. VW seeks to surpass General Motors and be the top-selling automaker in the world by 2018. In 2011, VW Group sold 8.16 million units, falling behind GM with 9.05 million. However, the VW brand is ahead of No. 3 Toyota with 7.95 million.
Nearly 80 years ago, a certain car designer was commissioned to develop and build a Volkswagen, which means "folk’s or people’s car" in German. It should be affordable, able to seat a small family, and fuel efficient. The product became a true car of the people, and since its inception to this day, it has been sold all over the world. Well, this small car has many names, which are of course based on how people see it – Beetle, Coccinelle, Fusca, Kafer, Maggiolino and Vocho. Around 21 million units of the VW Beetle have been built and sold from 1938 to 2003.
In 1998, VW introduced a more modern version of the Beetle and called it the New Beetle. However, the New Beetle greatly draws it design from the original Beetle, with VW not wanting to alienate its fans and customers. This New Beetle -- unlike the original Beetle -- has its engine mounted in the front sending power to the front wheels. VW released quite a number of special editions of the New Beetle and finally culminated it with the arrival of the Final Edition in 2010.
Now, VW is heralding the arrival of the newest Beetle, which is underpinned by the A5 platform that also underpins the VW Jetta. Dropping the “New” in its name, the latest generation of the VW Beetle is marking its debut by simultaneous unveiling events in Berlin (Germany), New York (USA) and Shanghai (China).
From the original Beetle to the next-generation Beetle, this small car has become an icon in the automotive world. Just like the original Beetle, the next-gen Beetle has been developed to be a people’s car. While it’s full of technology, it is still affordable and very fuel efficient. Of course, it should be a car that is fun to drive and ride with its agile and dynamic nature. This is underlined by the fact that the new VW Beetle – as powered by a 1.6 TDI engine in Europe – consumes only 4.3 liters per 100. Its US version – powered by 2.0 TDI engine -- could travel up to 33 miles on a gallon of diesel.