The last time Volkswagen moved this many vehicles in America in one year, Richard Nixon was still a President in good standing, Let It Be was a radio hit and each car wearing the VW badge boasted an air-cooled engine. That's right, with a grand total of 580,286 vehicles sold in the US last year, the VW Group has broken its own four-decades-old sales record by 2,899 vehicles.

Of that 580k total sold, 438k were Volkswagens and 139k were Audi products – increases of 35.1 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively, in year-over-year sales. The ultra-premium members of the VW group also fared well; Bentley delivered 2,315 vehicles for a 23.3-precent increase, and Lamborghini delivered 520 units for a 52.9-percent jump. Bugatti, we're told is "right on track."

Jetta (pictured) sales paced the marque with 170k models sold, and Passat also finished very strong with sales of 117k total. Tiguan also racked up its best year on file, with 31,731 models shifted.

The company expects what it is calling "moderate growth" for the 2013 sales year ahead, though perhaps not at so blistering a rate as it racked up in 2012. Scroll down to read the official Volkswagen press release.
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-Marks the best year in organization's history-

• Group ends year with sales up by 30.6 percent, beating the previous sales record from 1970 by 2,899 vehicles
• Volkswagen brand delivered 438,133 units, a 35.1 percent increase
• Audi delivered an all-time record of 139,310 vehicles, a 18.5 percent increase
• Bentley delivered 2,315 vehicles for the year, an increase of 23.3 percent
• Lamborghini delivered 520 vehicles in 2013, an increase of 52.9 percent, and Bugatti is right on track

HERNDON, Va. (January 13, 2013) - Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) closed out its record-breaking 2012 with sales of more than 580,200 units, making 2012 the best year in the organization's U.S. sales history. The Volkswagen Group's previous sales record was set in 1970, when the organization delivered 577,387 units in the U.S. market. The market share of VWGoA was 4.0 in 2012, up 0.6 from 2011.

"Our employees and our dealer and supplier partners have worked very hard to establish foundations for success in the U.S. market, and they deserve so much credit for setting this new record," said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. "We are pleased to see all of our brands contributing to growth and setting this new landmark".

The Volkswagen brand had its best year since 1973, selling 438,133 vehicles. Volkswagen saw great success with models across the portfolio. Since 2009, the Volkswagen brand has increased sales by 105 percent. The Chattanooga-built Passat sold 117,023 units, its best year ever. The company's volume-leading Jetta sold 170,424 vehicles. 2012 also marked the best year ever for the Tiguan, which sold 31,731 vehicles for the year, an increase of 22.1 percent.

The Audi brand continued its momentum with its best year ever, delivering 139,310 vehicles. Since 2009, the brand has increased sales by 68 percent. Audi ended the year with its 24th consecutive month of record sales, and December 2012 was the best month ever since Audi began selling cars in the U.S. market in 1970. Never before had Audi sold more than 13,000 vehicles in a month, but in December 2012, the brand delivered 14,841.

The luxury brands of the Volkswagen Group of America also saw significant gains in 2012. Bentley delivered 2,315 vehicles for the year. In 2013, Bentley Motors of the Americas will be moving its U.S. headquarters from Boston to Herndon, Va., joining Volkswagen of America, Audi of America, Lamborghini and VW Credit, Inc.

Bugatti, the epitome of exclusivity and performance, had a successful 2012. Lamborghini ended the year with growth of more than 50 percent.

In addition to a successful year in sales, in 2012 the Volkswagen Group of America continued to lay foundations for growth. The year saw the opening of a new $27 million technical center in Oxnard, Calif., as well as the groundbreaking of a parts distribution center in Roane County, Tenn. and the expansion of the company's financial services arm, VCI, Inc., in Libertyville, Ill. Both will open in 2013. In January 2013, one of the largest solar parks in Tennessee will open on the Volkswagen Chattanooga site, providing 9.5 megawatts, up to 12.5 percent of the 2 million-square-foot plant's power.

The aim for Volkswagen Group of America 2013 is to continue to build on those fundamentals that allow sustainable and profitable growth. Volkswagen Group of America expects to see moderate growth in 2013 while still outpacing the industry.

About Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. It operates a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee and houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished and exciting brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit, Inc. Founded in 1955, the company's headquarters are in Herndon, Va., and Volkswagen Group of America brings to the U.S. vehicles that marry the science of engineering and the art of styling, with the goal of offering attractive, safe, and environmentally sound automobiles that are competitive and set world standards in their respective classes. The company has approximately 5,900 employees in the United States and sells its vehicles through a 960-strong dealer network.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      VW had a strategy and it worked. Affordability sells.
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's going to rise even more due to having the only Diesel option available for a car in the US.
      Donny Hoover
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder how many cars that made up that original record were something other than a beetle or a bus.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Donny Hoover
        In 1970 that was about all they sold in the US. My wife had a 71 Super Beetle she bought new when we married in 78, and my Father-in-Law had a 75 SB. I think they may have had the Squareback (Type III) in 70, and of course the Karmann Ghia. The Rabbit and Sirrocco came in the mid-70s, and of course they were water cooled.
      • 1 Year Ago
      They would've done even better if they sold the Scirocco here.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yes because there one have been at least 1 more buyer, me! Scirocco R please. M
      • 1 Year Ago
      love my tdi stick 170 thousand and still running like new 03
      • 1 Year Ago
      I had the old VW Beetle a 1964! I also had a 66 Beetle and a 69 Bus! I have to say to this day they were some of the best cars I EVER owned!
      Bruce Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have to say that I'm impressed that VW actually hit the very aggressive targets they set for growth. We'll see if this becomes the new normal or if longer term reliability is still a weakspot. Spent some time in a loaded Jetta the other day and I can see why it's sold so well-it's impressively roomy for a car in it's class. I can also see the extreme levels of cost cutting VW went through-those hard plastic side borders in the rear seat so they can save 5" of foam and vinyl on each side of the car are the most insanely cheap thing I've ever seen and when the hard plastic is ice cold in the winter it stands out like a sore thumb from the normal seating material. Still, it seems like spacious, cheap, and usable run pretty close to VW's original ethos as the people's car and staying true to that instead of trying to sell Phaetons seems to be doing wonders for their sales here. If they can keep the cars genuinely reliable I think they're going to do very well in years to come. If they revert to overly complex vehicles with insane electrical system problems then their market share will likely evaporate.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm surprised they have sold this many if it's a true figure. Their quality is terrible & they use some very cheap material & componenets to build their cars & nowadays they use old technology to build their Jetta. That car is awful & the new passat looks ok from outside but inside it's very bland & boring with a flat slab for a dash. I have a 2005 passat & this thing is constantly breaking down. Soon I'm trading it in for new Honda Accord which in my humble opinion is a wonderful looking car & no doubt with Honda's quality built in as well.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Well, my 03 Passat has been near perfect. If I remember, there were the igition coils on the 1.8T, but that's about it. I'm only getting rid of it now because Dad died last month and I don't need three cars anymore. I've been spoiled rotten with my 11 Tiguan and don't like getting into sedans anymore. Getting too old, and it's nice to just slide in. The only service my Tig has needed in 25k miles was a fuel pump module. It sounds like VW got a bad batch from their supplier. That can happen to any manufacturer.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like a lot of people are going to be bummed in about 3 years. My mom just traded a 3-year-old VW Jetta SW TDI for a new Escape. It was having transmission and engine issues and the HVAC motoro crapped out. That car sounded like it always had a window cracked and rattled to no end. She's ecstatic about her Escape (and before the fire comments roll's not that engine!). That and it was nearly impossible to get over 32MPG, even on long trips through the Midwest.
      Erica Boulder-Wanker
      Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. H. L. Mencken Jetta in America: Dumb down and plain, just the way we like it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      so not interested in who sells the most, usually coincides with overlooked defects and loads of recalls, have fun with that VW
      • 1 Year Ago
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