VW aims at Toyota – plans to add more U.S. models and drop prices

As a part of Volkswagen”s 10-year plan to catch up to Toyota by 2018, Volkswagen hopes to increase sales to 1-million units in the U.S. within the next ten-years. Now Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen, is planning on adding more models to the company U.S. lineup and cutting down pricing by getting rid of options American’s don’t care about.

In order to close the sales gap between the largest auto maker Toyota, Volkswagen realizes that it must fix U.S. sales record. For the past three years, US operations have lost close to $1 billion annually. Things were so bad for the German auto maker, that there were talks of executives mulling to pull out of the U.S. market.

Now Volkswagen will re-evaluate its lineup in the U.S. and is aiming to sell about 330,000 last year.

“We have definitely added too many technical items that [American] customers don’t want to pay for,” Mr. Winterkorn said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Winterkorn believes that cutting down useless options that we don’t need here in the U.S., Volkswagen can sell future versions of the Passat and Jetta for much cheaper than what they go for now. The Jetta, which starts at $17,000 in the U.S. competes with Toyota’s Corolla, which starts at about $15,200. On the other hand, the Passat starts at over $23,000 while the Camry starts at about $20,000.

Globally, Volkswagen plans on adding an extra 12 models to its lineup by 2010. Winterkorn believes that if Volkswagen ventures into segments it currently has no product for; it will be able to reach Toyota’s sales record.


Source: WSJ (via AutoBlog)

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