Despite the severely lackluster performance of the Volkswagen brand in the U.S. market, Volkswagen Auto Group’s (VAG) chief executive Martin Winterkorn still intends on making the company the number one car maker by the year 2018. This involves selling 10 million vehicles by that year. Under Winterkorn’s leadership, the company has reached the first target four years early, landing Winterkorn on the first spot of Motor Trend’s annual Power List, joining eight other executives from the company.
Besides reaching his goal much earlier than expected, Motor Trend ranked Winterkorn first for a few other reasons. Under his leadership, Volkswagen has been putting out some killer product, as evidenced by the 2015 Volkswagen Golf and its host of variants winning the Motor Trend Car Of The Year and North American Car of the Year awards, both extremely coveted prizes.
Besides the stellar cars that have been released during his tenure, Winterkorn intends to do the same with impeccable crossovers and SUVs, something seriously lacking in the company’s global and North American product portfolios. Even so, 2018 won’t be without obstacles. As MT points out, the Chinese car market is showing signs of slowing growth and the U.S. market still hasn’t been completely eclipsed by Volkswagen’s products despite awards and accolades. In fact, the Volkswagen brand is well below its objective to sell 800,000 vehicles per year in the U.S. by 2018, a goal it expects to achieve over time.
MT perfectly sums up the determination of Martin Winterkorn in closing their annual Power List with, “VW might not own the No. 1 carmaker by volume title yet. But it will.”