Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has put a bull's-eye on Toyota. He believes the German automaker can outpace the Japanese company in ten years time, if not sooner. He sites German design aesthetics and meticulous engineering as VW's strong points over Toyota. However, he knows that's not all it takes to win the global battle, as sales in the North American market will be the focus of Winterkorn's plan to grow. Part of VW's sales deficiency is its high market price over its competition. In order to reduce costs, Volkswagen must streamline production and decrease exchange rate losses through new plant locations, such as building a new one in the United States (Auto News, Sub. Req.). With these future goals in mind and the assistance of a 9.5 billion Euro investment. Winterkorn hopes to develop 20 new cars over the next three years. Ultimately, by 2010 Winterkorn would like to see VW where Toyota is today.
It is a bold move by the VW CEO (apparently bold moves aren't just limited to Ford), but it also seems a bit contradictory. Usually designs that are efficient and low cost to produce are not the most detail oriented. Toyota has also demonstrated how high production volumes can lead to reduced overall quality ratings. Let us hope that VW does not lose touch with its heritage while attempting to dethrone the king.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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