VW Executive Says Company Will Double US Sales within 3 Years
By Brendan Moore
Stefan Jacoby, head of US sales for Volkswagen, told reporters at an event in Washington, D.C that VW intends to double its American sales by 2013 at the latest.
VW’s 2009 projection was tossed into the rubbish bin when the global recession hit, but Jacoby says the company is feeling better about the future at the moment.
“We are a little bit more optimistic now than we were a few months ago,” the executive said, noting that the basic economic indicators in the US are starting to trend upward.
VW sold 213,454 vehicles in the US in 2009, a drop of 4% from 2008. That is actually a good performance compared to most other brands, but certainly not what VW had in mind for the year’s numbers. If the 2013 projection comes to fruition, VW would sell somewhere between 400,000 and 450,000 in that time frame. Jacoby stated that if that goal is achieved, the company’s US operations would probably be profitable.
And if you think that goal is optimistic, VW’s plan for US sales in 2018 is 800,000 units. VW says it will get there as a result of more dealerships in more regions of the US, and greatly increased local production. The company is currently building out a large production facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Jacoby said VW expects overall US sales to rise to 15 million units annually in the next couple of years, and then plateau, although VW’s plan assumes greater growth in the compact and medium-size sedan segments than the rest of the market. This, of course, is Volkswagen’s sweet spot.
Still, it’s a big jump from where the company is now. It’s also quite possible that the company could reach the three-year volume goal and still not be making a profit, despite selling all of those vehicles.
Only time will tell, and the planets are going to have to line up right for VW in the next 36 months, but its possible. The question is how probable it is.
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