Volkswagen anticipates that the by the end of 2012, it will have 615 dealerships in the U.S., with the addition of 15 more this year. At the Paris Auto Show last week, Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen of America, said that the company is putting much thought into where its dealerships will be located. It has also implemented several changes in buying and selling.
However, the primary focus is increasing the throughput. He said that around 91% of VW's dealers reported profits through July compared with 89% in 2011 and 83% in 2010. He said that throughout the present dealer body, this has been the first phase of growth. He believes that this “footprint” will expand further later on.
On the other hand, Browning said that Passat sales made in the U.S. reached a one-year record of 79,000 vehicles through Sept. 16. Browning said that Passat made a mark in the marketplace due to its “configuration, size, content and value.” Volkswagen started to offer the redesigned Passat a year ago when production started at VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The previous sales record that the Passat achieved in the U.S. was in 2001 with 77,523 units.
Passat sales are likely to stay on this pace since VW has raised its production capacity the 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder model in Chattanooga by 10%. He also said that diesel Passat models make up around 20% of Passat sales.
It’s estimated to rise to 30% in the fourth quarter. Browning won’t make any predictions for 2012 VW brand sales but he believes that growth will continue at "a very significant double-digit" pace. From January to September this year, the VW brand’s sales increased by 37% to 323,089 vehicles (when compared with the previous year).