VW Group’s Offensive This Year Includes 60 New and Updated Models


Volkswagen Group wants to offset decreasing demand in Europe by rolling out 60 new and updated models before the end of this year. At the shareholders’ meeting in Hanover, Germany, VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said the company’s target remains unchanged – to reach the top of the automotive industry.Europe’s largest carmaker is targeting higher sales and revenue this year with its revamped VW Golf and Skoda Octavia, plus the new Audi A3 Sedan, which targets especially the Chinese and U.S. markets. VW is hoping these new models will help make up for a slowdown in Europe, where demand is nearing the lowest point in 20 years.
Growth is essential for the German giant, which aims to overtake General Motors and Toyota by 2018 to become the world’s largest automaker. The signs are not very encouraging though, as VW Group’s global sales rose by only 0.2 percent to 864,400 vehicles last month, with sales in Germany falling a massive 17 percent.
This is why in the medium term, VW wants to limit its exposure on European market and open 1,500 sales outlets in growth regions, on top of its existing 20,000 dealers worldwide.
When it comes to earnings, VW Group’s luxury brands account for more than half of the company’s profits, which is why the automaker will expand its presence in this market segment. Porsche will launch the Macan compact SUV early next year, while development of the Bentley SUV is “well under way”, according to Winterkorn.
The Skoda brand also plans to expand is lineup in China to six models, including the new Rapid compact sedan, while Seat hopes to score big with its redesigned Leon compact hatchback.

By Dan Mihalascu
Story References: Bloomberg 



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