Volkswagen US Sales Climb

By: Natalie Anderson

Europe's largest automaker Volkswagen and famous brand of auto accessory like has improved its brand sales in the United Unites for January. According to the automaker, the company has gained a 2.3% increase or 16,610 units sold brought about by the ever increasing demand for the Passat estate and the Golf GTI models.

Similarly, luxury brand BMW which makes roughly a third of the cars globally of what Volkswagen manufactures per year, continued to outsell its larger mass market competitors in United States with 19,761 vehicles delivered for the month of January obtaining a 2.1% increase in its sales. However the said figure does not yet include the 30 percent monthly decline of its Mini brand which falls by 1.8 percent or 21,811 units still for the month of January as part of its US sales.

In other news, in Singapore, Volkswagen will be taking over the full retail operations for its car brands starting Friday. According to Europe's largest carmaker, the said move will give them better control over their supply chain and at the same time reduce time to market. Likewise, now ex-dealer Car & Cars, part of Group Exklusiv, said that the decision was mutual and right now they will focus on selling other brands particularly brands coming from China.

The German automaker plans to sell more than 1,000 cars in Singapore by end of next year. The target figure of the automaker is 40 percent more than the 600 over cars that its former dealer Car & Cars sold in 2006.

"Taking the retail in our own hands is basically that we are having the whole chain from manufacturing down to our own retail. We think that we can control the supply chain of cars much better into the market of Singapore with this. On top of that of course, we're interested in increasing our sales. Our target for this year is 900 plus. And next year we think that we should achieve a volume target which is over, above 1,000 cars," said Olaf Duebel, Managing Director, Volkswagen Group, Singapore.

In order to achieve its target sale, the German automaker would also be investing an additional S$2 million improve its showroom along Alexandra Road. The automaker is also planning to install a service workshop as well as expand its executive offices there.

The average of European cars sold in Singapore is 1 in 5 which means that for every 5 new cars sold 1 is European make. But according to Group Exklusiv, Asian brands especially from Japan, Korea, and China are doing pretty well in the Singapore that's why they will be focusing more on bringing in Chinese brands. They also stated that they are now transacting with 4 automakers in China.

"To survive in this industry you need to sell in volume. European make out of so many brands is not more than 20,000 cars a year in Singapore. So when there's an opportunity for me to move into a volume seller make. So this is my business decision. So China car, they will be a good potential not only in Singapore, it's all over the world," said Peter Kwee, Executive Chairman, Group Exklusiv.

The decision to take over the retail operations from Car & Cars came after Volkswagen took over imports of its brands from the ex-dealer in 2005.

The German automaker also said that it would be spending S$15 million for 5 years to improve market share and brand presence of Volkswagen in Singapore.

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