Vw keeps its sales goal despite slowdown in Europe

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 15, 2012

The euro-area slowdown won’t prevent the Volkswagen Group from keeping its goal to produce more than 400,000 vehicles at its Slovak factory. Unit CEO Albrecht Reimold, said that this target is nearly double what the plant could previously produce. Volkswagen believes that output of the new VW Up minicar would outweigh those produced previously.

Last year, the plant in Bratislava, the Slovak capital, produced 210,441 cars in 2011, compared with 144,510 in 2010. SUVs like the Volkswagen Touareg and the Audi Q7, its sister model, made up 93% of shipments. Its volume is expected to increase with the addition of the VW Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo minicars. Serial production of the sister models began in the second half of 2011 in Bratislava.

Volkswagen is doing this so that it could benefit from the country's euro adoption as well as from the lower labor costs compared to those in western Europe. Reimold asserted, "We will stick to our goal.”

In January, European car sales fell by 6% in January to 1 million vehicles as consumers purchased less with the shrinking of the euro-region's economy. The European sales of Volkswagen fell by 1% in January. Volkswagen in Bratislava also assembles the bodies for Porsche Cayenne SUV.

Porsche revealed that with the Cayenne S Hybrid being the brand’s first production model to have the hybrid drive, it is expected to lead the new generation of its models when it comes to efficiency.

Compared to the previous models, the Cayenne S Hybrid is expected to have its fuel consumption lowered by as much as 23%. However, for the Cayenne range in general, it will be more Porsche compared to the many models before it.

This is because it not only leads in terms of technology but will have an elegant and athletic design. The new Cayenne is not only lighter but also offers more space on the interior in addition to being more efficient and more dynamic. An interesting detail about the new Cayenne is that the concept changes and mix of materials have been optimized to make the new models lighter.

A good example of this is the Cayenne Turbo, which despite having the product substance enhanced and offering better standards when it comes to all-around safety, the use of an extra-light all-wheel drive, resulted in this model having its weight lowered by as much as 410 lbs. (185 kg). Of course this means that not only is fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions better, but handling, agility, and performance are improved as well. As a Porsche model, the Cayenne came out as a result of applying the brand’s very own Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy.

This means that the new Cayenne is able to deliver more power but at the same time use less fuel, offer better efficiency, and show reduced CO2 emissions. In fact, of the five models to be released as part of this lineup, three of them will have fuel efficiency under the New European Driving Cycle of 10 liters for every 100 km. Meanwhile, when it comes to CO2 emissions, two fall under the 200 g/km limit. The first is the Cayenne S Hybrid with CO2 emissions at 193 g/km while the second is the Cayenne Diesel with emissions level at 195 g/km.

The reason why the whole Cayenne range is able to experience better fuel consumption is, among others, the addition of the automatic Tiptronic S 8-speed transmission with wider gear increases and the Auto Start/Stop function. Other reasons include the on-board network recuperation system, transmission cooling circuit, variable overrun cut-off, and engine’s thermal management. Of course, helping achieve this as well is the constant reduction of the weight and the use of intelligent lightweight construction.

Topics: vw, europe, sales

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