Volkswagen of America continues to see a sales decline, and the automaker is getting desperate to stop it. From January through April, Volkswagen sold 118,154 vehicles, down 10.4 percent from the year before. Something has to be done to stem the losses, and the business thinks it has an idea – introduce cars faster.

The new strategy is being spearheaded by VWoA CEO Michael Horn (pictured above) who wants to put the business on a five-year update, three-year refresh plan, according to Bloomberg. It would replace the current approach of adding new cars every seven years and refreshes after four. "We're working to shorten the lifecycle of the products to bring more new features and design elements, in terms of facelifts, to the market quicker," said Horn to Bloomberg. The change isn't set in stone yet, though. The company's management board has to sign off on it first and implementation wouldn't start until 2017. Talk about hurry up and wait.

If successful, it would be a much-needed change in direction for the company. Take the seventh-generation Golf and GTI for example. North America is just receiving them now over a year after many regions abroad. Or look at the ongoing debacle of deciding where to build the CrossBlue. VW is showing some signs of change with the 2016 Passat that is heavily rumored to receive a substantial refresh that goes further than the usual small changes.

With its original goal of selling 800,000 vehicles annually by 2018 practically impossible at this point, VW of America might as well try something drastic. Sales are already falling, it doesn't have much to lose.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 106 Comments
      RGiddyUp
      • 1 Year Ago
      US Passat + No 4Motion + No HIDs + No "Bells & Whistles" + Minnesota Winter = NO SALE
        funguy6713
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RGiddyUp
        I agree, I at least expected them to add 4-Motion and a more premium look upgrade to the Passat by now...
        funguy6713
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RGiddyUp
        I agree...I expected that by now they would have added 4-Motion and the same premium features and look that they offer on the China Passat (which is the same as the US)...also a exterior/interior refresh would be also very expected...
      bleexeo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sales are down in America simply because many people are waiting for the new MQB platform vehicles to hit the States. People don't want to buy the orphans. The problem is the long delay between when they are launched ROW and when they are released in America. Eliminate the delay and they'll increase sales. Duh.
        JaredN
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bleexeo
        Exactly. Remember when the first reviews came out of the 7th gen GTI and how great it was? Well, that was over a year ago. The excitement is gone. If the GTI had been in US dealers within a few months, sales could have built on that excitement. Instead, VW spent the entire 2014 model year pushing a very limited inventory of carry-over GTIs and Golfs. Then VW wonders why their sales are down. Morons.
      Really
      • 1 Year Ago
      Until VW again realizes they are the peoples car, pricing accordingly bringing the Amorak, Polo, Golf Cabrio, GTD, Scirocco, Up with almost all available European engines to the US they will continue to be a failure in the US. We have been loyal VW buyers for almost 20 years but if there is no Golf Cabrio or GTD by the 2017 models we are leaving and never coming back. WAKE UP YOU GRANITE SKULLED KNUCKLEHEADS!
        RGiddyUp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Really
        US Passat + No 4Motion + No HIDs + No "Bells & Whistles" + Minnesota Winter = NO SALE
      Not
      • 1 Year Ago
      They want to sell more cars... But they decontent their vehicles like crazy and wonder why sales fell. For example, a base model VW Touareg Sport ( their current flagship vehicle ) has VINYL seating surfaces (YES NO LEATHER), non-adjustable headrest (up/down ONLY), NO sunroof option, and a crummy sound system, and NO NAV unless you get one that has that optioned. YES, NOT ALL THAT for $46,000!!!
      RGT881
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hello worst commenting application system in the world. Anyway, VW needs to stop decontenting and offering only subpar vehicles in US. For example, I am plenty certain that the GTI built Mexico probably meets and exceeds VW production standards, but the quality of parts is not as good as ROW. I once came across a document indicating which parts were deleted from US MKV GTI when comparing against Euro spec. It was shocking. The use of drum brakes, no hood struts, etc. Yep definitely not a way into customer's heart.
        RGT881
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RGT881
        Use of drum brakes and no hood struts on Jetta and Passat
      Joe Liebig
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, there strategist found out that you need to have a line-up of models if you want to sell cars. Impressive. Why do these executives get paid at all? They seem to be daydreaming all the time. VW, let me tell you what to do: - first of all, send out as task force to inspect the dealerships, implement a program that ensures service quality standards when it comes to maintenance and repairs - develop a training program for the sales force, convince the dealers to actually understand the products they are supposed to sell Then: - bring the Scirocco - bring the Polo. I know, the margin will be low given that it needs to be imported, but hey, you need market share! - same with the Amarok - bring the Euro-spec Passat Altrack - and what keeps you from bringing the Sharan? Scrap that Routan-thing instead.
      johnnyhedwardsjr
      • 1 Year Ago
      I leased a VW Jetta in January 2014. Air condition went out in April 2014. There was a leak in the hose. Had to bring the car back 2 times to find the problem. I also own a 2012 Audi A7. At 41,000 miles the thermostat/ water pump went out and had to be replaced. VW/ Audi's are POS (plural).
      TheSTIG
      • 1 Year Ago
      vw does everything except actually address why they lose in the us market.
      Finn
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's just like VW's past 20 years. Weak model selection, the 'chicken tax' excuse, 'can't sell that model there, we tried'....blah, blah, blah. They're lost in America BECAUSE THEY DON"T RESPECT AND DON"T LISTEN TO THEIR CUSTOMERS AND DEALERS. Throw in an arrogant Ferdinand Piech (the head of the group) and this is the state of affairs. VW would do itself a HUGE favor and listen, THEN fix what ails them stateside. Frankly, it's highly likely that VW thinks Americans are clueless - that may be true - but it usually wasn't the case for people that bought the VW brand. Because we liked the way they drove/handled. There are only two models here that interest me here; the Golf (GTI) and the Jetta/Golf sport wagon - because they are the closest thing to the European line-up (who cares about the too short Touran) - and just who is asking for the 'Cross Blue'? VW should retreat to the planning room - oh - and it was mentioned below that VW bloggers should go to DC and lobby for the chicken-tax removal - VW has the money and the lobbying power. AND, they also have a NEW factory they can't decide what to do with other than to build a plain jane Passat. No, it's all in VW's, 'can't-find-a-model-decision-in-a-paper-bag-decision-tree-committee' in Germany to figure out - and now they're panicking because they MIGHT have figured it's getting close to too late to recover from without losing more and more of it's customers. Nicely done VW. Now, let's see how smart you really are.
      lrx301
      • 1 Year Ago
      How can the US sales go up if you give US a water down, two years car as "All new"?
      tenspeeder
      • 1 Year Ago
      VW needs to shake up things to improve their long-standing reliability issue in the US first Offer a Hyundai-like warranty. It worked wonders for them Bring over a Couple of niche vehicles. Amarok, Microbus, Polo. They do not need to sell 100,000 a year, but adds a cool factor a variety to your stale lineup.
      Losferatu
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here's a thought VW, if you're not going to make your cars as reliable as Toyotas, then at least make them more exciting to look at and drive. Toyota are the masters of transportation appliances, so you will not win. Choose your own road and stop giving us bland dumbed own cars that look like they were designed in the 90's (I'm specifically looking at you Jetta and Passat)
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X