Auto industry analysts believe that the plan of the Volkswagen Group to open a store on the world-famous Champs-Elysees in France would send a strong signal to local carmakers but would have very little effect on increasing the German company’s sales in the country. Carlos Da Silva, an analyst at IHS Automotive, told Automotive News Europe that having a showroom on Champs-Elysees “will have zero impact on sales." Da Silva, however, remarked that the plan symbolically shows VW's intentions in the French market. The analyst added that VW is becoming a bit more aggressive and gaining market share, at the expense of local carmakers like Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.
VW will open its Champs-Elysees showroom, as early as 2013. It will be located across the street from Renault's store and not far from PSA's dealership. For VW, meanwhile, the Champs-Elysees is part of its largest plans in France, which entailed nearly doubling its annual sales in the country to 400,000 vehicles by 2018, Maire-Christine Caubet, head of VW Group in France, told Automotive News Europe earlier this year.
VW Group -- which includes the VW brand, Skoda, Seat, Audi, Bentley and Porsche – posted a five-percent drop in sales for the first nine months of 2012 to 208,114 light vehicles. The group, however, managed to increase its market share in the first nine months of 2012 to 12.11 percent from 11.05 percent during the same period in 2011, according to French auto group CCFA.