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.