Today in New York City prior to the start of press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volkswagen of America Inc. President and CEO Jonathan Browning laid out ambitious plans the VW Group and Volkswagen brands have for the United States.

After a stellar sales year in 2011 that saw VW brand sales in the U.S. go up over 26 percent and TDI (diesel) sales jump 33 percent, the automaker's 2012 sales year promises more climbing up the sales and market share ladders.

Citing a wild up-and-down past in the U.S., Browning pointed at the numbers for the dark year of 1993 and reminded one and all that VW sold less than 50,000 units. Nowadays, with over 320,000 brand sales the bad times seem far behind as VW Group in Wolfsburg, Germany has invested well over $1 billion in its revived presence on U.S. shores. The current improved 2.5% it possesses of the U.S. total market is a percentage last seen way back in 1981.
Not including sales for Porsche, overall VW Group sales of all brands put together reached over 444,000. The goal stated by VW for this Group figure in 2012 is 500,000+, or a roughly 12.5 percent growth figure.

Total capacity for the current layout and work schedule at the new Chattanooga factory stands at 150,000 and actual production of that amount, according to chairman and CEO of Chattanooga operations Frank Fischer, will arrive sometime in 2013.

The "brown field" site outside of the Tennessee city has several more acres of capacity and can always add shifts, but Fischer would not reveal future sales volume goals should all of these options be exercised. "All operations are focused on Passat getting fully up and running," Browning told us. This in response to constant hints from VW that it fully intends to build the Tiguan B-segment CUV in Tennessee sooner than later.

Assisting volume numbers will be the intended start of Audi A4, and perhaps Q5, production in Chattanooga at some point not too far in the future (probably waiting for the next-generation "B9" model due to ramp up by the end of 2015). Audi President and CEO Rupert Stadler has stated recently that this is indeed in the plans.

For this year's NAIAS in Detroit, Volkswagen is focusing on world debuts of the Jetta Hybrid and the Beetle-based plug-in E Bugster concept.


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  • 16 Comments
      Richard
      • 3 Years Ago
      US built Audis...hmmm... I wonder if this will make those models more price competitive just like it did for BMW with the X5 and Z4 (rolling eyes)
      dieseldvm
      • 3 Years Ago
      bring AMAROK to united states!!
      Trent
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really like VWs but if their dealer network is anything like it is where I live they are going to have a hard time reaching that goal. My local dealer in Irvine does not return calls or seem to want my business the last 3 times I was in their dealership looking for a car. I wish them the best but I just don't seem them hitting their goal in 2012 unless things change.
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Trent
        I agree about the dealers. Mine is polite but somewhat lame. They did not have rubber wiper blades in stock!! I ordered from an on-line supplier. Also, the dealer had absolutely no idea how to use the software to set options like no daytime running lights and other simple things. I quickly realized I'd exceeded their capacities.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      When the hell are these guys going to realize that its way better to under-promise, and over-deliver than claim that their sales will jump a huge amount and then fail miserably in that goal??
      Carlos Cruz
      • 3 Years Ago
      A4 in Tennessee? Well there goes my plans to trade in my car for an A4 in 2-3 years. (Hopefully the change hasn't been done by then)
      lrwnyc
      • 3 Years Ago
      Carlos remember all those ignition coils that failed a few years back were made in Germany. Being built in Germany is no gaurantee of quality and being built in the US is not gaurantee of lack of quality. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news03/vw_coils.html
        Trent
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lrwnyc
        Good point. BMW was plagued with oil cooling issues on all of their turbos.
          BG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Trent
          But the oil-cooling issue is a design flaw. Something like that should be designed with far more capacity than the engineers ever think it could need.
        Carlos Cruz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lrwnyc
        It's not necessarily a sign of quality, but it seems like when a manufacturer moves production from their shores, the vehicle looses its value/quality/features. This does not only apply to German vehicles. Most fans of Toyota/Honda/Nissan would rather purchase a vehicle assembled in Japan. Also, I try to stay away for vehicles designed for the USA. The latest generation Jetta and Passat lost a lot with regards to quality/features when that happened. Also, Honda lowered the bar for the Civic only to have that plan blow up in their face. Recalls occur, things go wrong all the time, but when I'm buying a vehicle I try to make sure it was manufactured in the home country of the marquee.
      Archknight
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bring the Scirocco and Scirocco-R over instead, they are missing a segment of buyers who like how the GTI drives but don't like the way it looks. They always use cannibalization as a reason, the hint VW is that people will buy what they want. Also tell your dealers they aren't selling Bentley, Rolls or Maybach and take their heads out of their a**es.
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can we get an Audi electrical system that doesn't short after 3000 miles?
      Orin O'Neill
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't mean to be pedantic or anything, but the capital of Tennessee is *Nashville*, not Chatanooga...
      anonymous guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bring the Polo TDI to the states ... I'll buy one.
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