Volkswagen Group will make a decision within the next 12 months if it will expand its new Tennessee factory to produce a second VW model as well as an Audi vehicle, according to CEO Martin Winterkorn.
At the grand opening of this factory, Winterkorn told reporters at the sidelines that no Porsche vehicle will be made in the U.S. Winterkorn said he is positive about VW’s future in the U.S., particularly with the company’s target to sell 1 million VW and Audi units annually by 2018.
He said that the decision on whether to expand the factory will rely on the speed of the recovery of the VW brand. Winterkorn added that VW is preparing to launch three new cars that he believes will be successful.
These vehicles are the redesigned 2011 Jetta built in Mexico and launched in 2010; the redesigned 2012 Passat that is produced by the new Tennessee factory; and the Mexico-produced redesigned 2012 Beetle that will go on sale this fall.
From the start of the year until April, the VW brand sold 95,581 units, a 17% increase compared to the same period last year. U.S. sales of the VW brand in 2010 increased by 20% to 256,830 units.
Winterkorn said VV indicates just how committed it is to the U.S. with its $1 billion investment in the Tennessee factory and the $2 billion that has been used to develop the new Passat, Jetta, and Beetle.