VW's has strengthened its position in Europe as the leading brand, claiming more than 20% market share. In the US, though, VW sales have dropped by an average of 25,000 cars every year for four years, and the company has lost close to a billion dollars each of the past three years. Stefan Jacoby, the former head of global sales and marketing who raised the firm's Euro market share, has been put in the top US spot in order to achieve one goal: breaking even in the US by 2009.

Blame for the slide can be attributed to a variety of factors (and we're sure you readers have plenty of theories about what's wrong with and how to fix VW), but unless they figure out how to get them right, the feeling is that VW could leave the US market. It's almost impossible to believe that the company known for fun, funky cars that drove until the wheels fell of, two cars that have been famous for decades around the world (Beetle and Golf), deep brand equity, and fervent brand loyalty would have to grab its wurst and head back home. Yet the situation was summed up by one exec as: "For the first time in some time, the phrase 'If we are to stay in the U.S.' precedes a lot of conversations at VW."

[Source: Business Week]