While the weak dollar has seen foreign car manufacturers suffer in recent times, Volkswagen is working to combat this by building a plant in the U.S and is currently in talks with several states to determine the best location. The U.S plant would be integral to achieving the 2018 goal of selling one million units, and would dramatically reduce costs for the world’s 4th largest automaker.
Currently, Volkswagen only holds 2% of the American market, a figure they plan to improve by introducing cheaper sedans. These cheap sedans will replace the Passat and Jetta and are likely to undercut them both by around $5000 each in reaction to consumers who thought they were a little overpriced.
There will also be a successor to the poor-selling Phaeton luxury car, although if the previous Phaeton was anything to go by consumers will not warm to the idea of a luxury Volkswagen. The company is hoping it will get more customers by making it smaller and introducing a new diesel engine for the lineup. A new and improved Touareg will also return, along with a possible pickup that would compete with the Toyota Tacoma.
There is also expected to be an increase in diesel production according to the chief of VW’s U.S. operations, Stefan Jacoby. Quoting a recent J.D. Power report which said that diesel sales were expected to increase from 3% of vehicles to 7%, Jacoby stated that Volkswagen plans to spearhead this trend for more economical and ‘green’ cars by focusing on diesel car production. There may even be a diesel-hybrid combo, which was previewed in a Golf-based concept car at the Geneva show.
Porsche, which recently announced its takeover of the VW group, is said to have no issues with the new plan for the U.S. market, a market which Porsche itself dominates in the sports car segment. The plans for smaller and more efficient cars echo market sentiment and while they may increase Volkswagen’s sales, a million units a year in the U.S is still no easy figure for VW to reach – the German automaker sold just 235,000 VW’s last year. Looks like the company certainly has its work cut out for itself.