For Volkswagen AG to have any chance at achieving its goal to be the largest automaker in the world by 2018, the U.S. sales would have to be much higher, according to the company’s Chairman Ferdinand Piech and CEO Martin Winterkorn. Tony Cervone, the executive vice president of group communications for Volkswagen Group of America, said that even with the recent increase in its U.S. sales driven by the redesigned Passat and Jetta sedans, it has been significantly underperforming when compared to its other major markets. This week, Volkswagen has moved closer to its goal of being the top automaker in the world with annual sales of 10 million vehicles by 2018.
It hopes to buy the half that remains of Porsche's auto business. This week, VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said that after the Porsche deal was introduced, it seemed like it had wrapped up one of the most significant projects in the automotive industry. He said that VW and Porsche together are “more capable than ever” of being the best auto company in the world.
He said that VW is poised to make massive investments in new shared technologies and production. Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive in Troy, Mich., said that VW is on the rise in the U.S. where the company has accomplished a better job of transferring from its niche role" as a purveyor of costly German-engineered cars. A lot of its success is due to the refreshed Jetta and the Passat, which were both tailored specifically for mainstream U.S. consumers and designed at a significantly lower price than predecessors.