Speaking a day before the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn communicated the automaker’s plans for the near future. These include:
- The introduction of the Mexican-built MK7 2015 VW Golf
- The approval of a market-specific midsize CUV from VW (Passenger Cars)
- A plan to invest heavily in North America
- An affirmation of the plan to sell one million vehicles from the Volkswagen and Audi brands in the US by 2018
Specifically, Winterkorn emphasized the position of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand today, which — in the U.S. — is better than ever before. In the near future, this will be amplified by the start of production of the new Golf in Mexico, as well as the launch of a new mid-size seven-seat crossover for the North American market for 2016.
In addition, the Volkswagen Group plans to invest over seven billion dollars in North America over the next five years, and still remains focused on its goal to sell one million Volkswagen and Audi cars per year in the United States by 2018. “We are taking up the challenge – with confidence, total commitment and the necessary staying power”, said Winterkorn.
The Motrolix Take
Following a disappointing 2013 characterized by slumping sales volume and decreasing market share, the VAG needs to find success in the U.S. market — the only market where it’s weaker than its most direct competition (Toyota, Ford, and GM).
The all-new Golf should help that considerably due to its production in Mexico, which should result in a lower price for the compact vehicle compared to the past — when VW imported the car from Germany.
To that end, the new midsize crossover should also aid VW considerably… but only if designed, engineered, priced, and marketed correctly. The U.S. has an insatiable hunger for utilities, and it’s surprising that it took this long for the mighty VeeDub to fill the massive void in its lineup.