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Volkswagen Expects Sales Growth On Skoda, VW Brands

Topics:  Volkswagen, Skoda

Volkswagen Expects Sales Growth On Skoda, VW Brands

Anthony Fontanelle
January 21, 2008

Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest automaker, forecast record sales after deliveries in 2007 go beyond six million units for the first time on increased demand for Skoda and VW vehicles.

Group deliveries surged 7.9 percent last year to 6.19 million cars and SUVs from 5.73 million in 2006, CEO Martin Winterkorn said at a Detroit Auto Show briefing.

The CEO said that he plans to boost the Volkswagen’s global sales in 2007 by adding models in a bid to take on Toyota Motor Corp. According to Bloomberg, among the new offerings are a minivan for the United States built jointly with Chrysler LLC, a remake of the Scirocco sports hatchback and the coupe-styled four-door Passat CC, which Winterkorn premiered in Detroit.

Even as the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company expands worldwide, Volkswagen remains struggling in America. In 2006, the automakers loss in North American loss was $897 million.

The automaker said that it will decide in the first half whether to build a factory in North America, Winterkorn said, adding that the company has not decided on a location yet.

“We have made a lot of mistakes in the U.S.,' Stefan Jacoby, said at the NAIAS briefing. “But we're a part of American pop culture. We have a one-time chance to turn this around.'

“They do have some momentum,' said Rebecca Lindland, senior automotive analyst with Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. “They have people looking at Volkswagen again.'

“They have a chance if they stay true to their German heritage,' she added. “VW is a brand that people want to root for. It has a certain charisma and appeal.'

Last year, the sales of Volkswagen brand in America dived 1.9 percent to 230,572 cars and SUVs, led by a 31 percent plunge in demand for the mid-sized Passat and a 12 percent drop for the Beetle, the automaker was earlier quoted as saying.

But the maker of VW oil pan gaskets intends to improve sales in the U.S. by launching products that tickles the fancies of American aficionados. “We are working on a new compact sedan and a mid-sized sedan for the American customer,' Winterkorn noted.

Source:  Amazines.com

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