Volkswagen of America, Inc.’s deliveries in April declined by 10.3% to 33,644 units compared to sales in the previous year. Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, said that it had been a “challenging” month, especially in the compact and midsize sedan segments; however, VW continues to be focused on its long term growth strategy.
He also said that the Jetta sedan and Passat had strong sales so far in 2013 even with vigorous competition. There were 11,110 Jetta sedan units delivered. The Jetta is the volume leader for Volkswagen. The month ended with 1,968 units of the Jetta SportWagen sold. Meanwhile, sales of the Passat (which was built in Chattanooga) remained strong with 9,069 units sold.
TDI Clean Diesels made up more than 30% of the Passats sold. Just last week, Volkswagen revealed that later this spring, it will start to offer a new, value-oriented Wolfsburg Edition.
Passat Wolfsburg Edition builds on the well-appointed S model and features a set of unique 16-inch alloy wheels, perforated V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, satellite radio, and a Media Device-Interface (MDI) with an iPod cable.
The 2013 Passat Wolfsburg Edition has a price tag of $23,495, and is expected to start selling in late spring. For the month, the Beetle and Beetle Convertible reported deliveries of 1,980 and 1,699 units, respectively.
Beetle R-Line Coupe is expected to make its arrival in showrooms in early May and is powered with a 210hp turbocharged engine, with an extra 10hp over the present Beetle Turbo with an expected boost in its fuel economy. Sales of the Tiguan rose considerably with 2,488 units sold, marking the highest year-to-date historically for the vehicle.
Clearly, the Beetle is one of the most recognizable and most independent designs in the world. Thus, reinventing the design of the Beetle poses quite a challenge to Volkswagen. However, the design chiefs for Volkswagen -- Walter de Silva (Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Brand) – already know what to do; they need to understand both the product and brand. In the process, de Silva and Bischoff established a new objective for the Beetle: "Design a new original!"
Moving under Bischoff's guidance, the design team took on the inspiring challenge of designing a new Volkswagen Beetle. It was already clear to designers that the newest Beetle would have a profile more similar to the original Beetle than to the 1998 New Beetle. Likewise, designers made it a priority to give the newest Beetle with dynamic proportions. Interestingly, quite a number of team members actually own air-cooled Beetles. In fact, the Beetle is considered a cult car among younger designers at the carmaker.
As a result of hard work and thorough process, Volkswagen was able to come with the final design of the 2011 Beetle, which it regards as design tribute to the automotive seed of the entire Volkswagen Group. In fact, when the first Beetle and the new Beetle are placed side by side, it would be easy to see the lines on their rear end are almost identical.
However, when compared to the 1998 New Beetle, the newest Beetle is more dynamic and more masculine. In fact, Volkswagen virtually remade every part of the newest Beetle, to the point that nothing from the old car can be seen on the latest iteration.
Bischoff remarked that the newest Beetle is defined by a clean and dominant sportiness. Aside from having a lower profile, the new Beetle is also wider. Likewise, its front bonnet has been made longer while its front windscreen has been shifted to the back with a steeper incline.