Repairing Volkswagen's reputation in North America will be a tough job. Is Hinrich J. Woebcken the man to do it?
Matthias Muller is officially the new VW Group CEO, but the company's supervisory board is instituting sweeping changes to the corporate structure. Michael Horn remains the boss in the US, but North America is now organized into a new business unit under the current Skoda chairman.
Subaru needs to watch out, because the Japanese brand with a utilitarian image has a big bull's eye on its back. Not only is Acura considering going 100-percent all-wheel drive in a bid to mimic the successful automaker, Volkswagen has just confirmed that the Golf Alltrack is coming to the US as another competitor for Subaru's popular Outback crossover.
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.
There is some bad news for hot hatch fans who also love efficiency. The chances of the Volkswagen Golf GTD coming to the US are increasingly slim, according to an interview with Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn in Automotive News. Horn says that the model would cost too much to import from Germany. Cue the sad trombone.
Volkswagen knows that its US operations need some help, so it installed Michael Horn as CEO of its American operations a few months ago. In a new interview with Bloomberg, Horn goes into detail about his two-pronged focus for the company – making dealers happier and improving product.
Today in the Tell Us How You Really Feel file we have Bernd Osterloh, head of Volkswagen AG's Group Works Councils and member of the company's supervisory board, labeling the company's US operations "a disaster." Why? Because Osterloh believes VW of America doesn't have the models it needs to be competitive here, hasn't been decisive enough about its plans and German higher-ups still don't understand the US market.