The Volkswagen brand intends to provide more vehicles and features that are specifically targeted at American buyers, the company’s top executives told Automotive News. This plan is part of the company’s goal to reach 800,000 units in annual sales in the U.S. by 2018.
The strategy is a huge leap for the brand considering that for decades, the brand has sent vehicles to the United States designed in Europe, and has disregarded complaints that the units did not suit the local market, and had gotten low scores on dependability and quality surveys.
Since 2003, the VW brand has not sold more than 300,000 units here, says Autonews. In 2010, the brand sold 256,830 units in the U.S.
However, the nation has taken on new importance to the VW Group, which wants to outperform General Motors and Toyota Motor Corp. as the largest vehicle manufacturer in the world by 2018.
Moreover, the VW executives stated that they are committed to reducing the price of key volume models as well as improving quality and customer relations.
Leading the charge is a group of executives who have mostly worked for the rivals. Jonathan Browning, a former executive at Ford and GM, has headed the VW brand in the United States and Volkswagen Group of America since last October.
Browning said that the entire degree of engagement and integration with the market has been increased several levels.