Most automotive enthusiasts are well aware of Volkswagen Auto Group‘s goal for world domination. The Wolfsburg-based company is not shy to share its objective of becoming the world’s largest automaker in sales volume and in profitability.
“We want to be the No. 1 automaker globally”, said VW of America’s then-chief Stefan Jacoby during a press briefing at VW’s headquarters in Virginia.
Having such notable and highly-desirable brands like Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti in the firm’s stable most definitely helps, but world domination won’t be possible without the bread-and-butter Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, which is by far the most popular within the Volkswagen Auto Group (VAG). The VW brand often dominates from a sales volume standpoint on almost every continent with one glaring exception: North America. In the New World, the VW brand is extremely weak. And since the overarching majority of cars in North America are sold in the United States, it’s the U.S. in which the VW brand needs to sell more cars.
So in 2009, the automaker outlined an objective that aims to change VW marque sales in the U.S. of A. But despite the relatively simple nature of the goal, it is often misunderstood, misquoted, and misreported by fans, enthusiasts, and the automotive press alike. And so this is where we will aim to clear all of that up.
What It Is
The goal is quite simple: before the year 2018, VAG wants to sell a minimum of 800,000 Volkswagen-branded vehicles a year in the United States.
So let’s say that VW sells 700,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2016. That means it would not have met the objective for that year. But if 850,000 VWs are sold in the U.S. in 2017, then not only does it meet the objective, it exceeds it.
What It Isn’t
As simple as it may seen, the objective is often misinterpreted. Here’s what it does not involve:
- Selling a combined 800,000 units from 2010 – 2018, which would be roughly 100,000 units a year. VAG’s Audi brand sells more than that.
- Selling 800,000 vehicles a month. No automaker or brand does that.
- Selling 800,000 VWs globally by 2018. That’s way too little.
- Selling any other variation that deviates from 800,000 or more VW-branded vehicles in a single year leading up to the year 2018.
So as we talk about VW’s goals to dethrone Toyota and become the largest automaker in the world, let’s keep this in mind. Shall we?