Executives from the company’s German headquarters would certainly be hoping that he is confident as he has the mammoth task of selling 1 million vehicles per year across America by 2018.
The company are making great progress towards reaching that target. When 2011 draws to a close, Volkswagen America would have expected to sell just over 400,000 cars. This represents a great progression of now doubling the annual sales in just six years.
Volkswagen is clearly trying to take advantage of the world’s second largest automotive market.
At the world famous Los Angles Motor Show, Jonathon Browning provided an interview to The Times, the popular American Newspaper. He gave some insights into how important the American automotive market is.
A Long way from reaching the 1 million targets?
Jonathon Browning said that the company are performing very well in terms of global market share but at the moment have a smaller percentage in America. This is down to the current vehicle line-up not representing the demand which is in the country.
He said “If you think about VW on a global basis we have about 12% of global market share, but here in the U.S. we have just 3% to 4%. Part of that is market structure here. VW Group is not as present in the big SUV and pickups that are such a large part of the market. But even with that, we are still not getting the share we want.”
He did leave the option open to build around the SUV and pickup truck market.
“In the case of VW brand, investing in the U.S. market will allow us to build three of our core vehicle lines within the NAFTA trade area. We can now really build the business around those core vehicles.”
Is there more to Volkswagen than the Jetta, Passat and the Beetle?
The interviewer presented the question of asking whether there is more to the line-up than relying on the Jetta, Passat and the Beetle.
Browning said on the subject “We can go deeper with Golf and Tiguan, but we really need to nail the next short-term step, which in 2012 will be ramping up the Passat and keep the momentum going with Jetta. We are not short of product ideas and concepts to flesh out the range.”
“If you want one particular product apart from existing vehicles in the market, there is the SUV market at a price point between Tiguan and Touareg … a midsize SUV at a price that could bring significant volume. It would be between a SUV and a crossover — seven passengers in a three-row configuration.”
Volkswagen America can reach their annual sales target by 2018 we believe. They have the quality, technology and experience to do so.