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 one thing that is certain in life is change, especially in the fast-moving world of the internet. So it's not usually news when an automaker redesigns its website. However, Volkswagen of America just launched a major revamp of its site to try and make it a less intimidating way to research about and buy its cars. It's simple and clean, but the new look is drawing the ire of some few visitors because its minimalist design makes some information hard to find.
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.
Volkswagen took another step to plug any holes in its quality-control loop by appointing a VP of Customer Experience. The new position is being filled by Mark Barnes, who moves over from his role as COO and head of sales for VW of America. The point is to create a "a systemic approach to better manage the entire customer experience within VW," in the words of VWoA head Jonathan Browning.
Yesterday, we reported that Volkswagen was planning to name Jonathan Browning as its new CEO of United States operations. At 11:00 AM today, VW did just that – Browning will officially assume the role on October 1st of this year.
Since the departure of Stefan Jacoby, Volkswagen has been hunting for a new helmsman for its U.S. operations. Word is that VW have found that man. Jonathan Browning, a former managing executive for General Motors and Ford, is set to take over the position Jacoby vacated when taking the CEO spot at Volvo.
The German auto industry is in for a big shakeup with the news that Porsche will be merging with the Volkswagen group. But while Wolfsburg and Stuttgart prepare for mutual integration, on this side of the Atlantic, business is expected to carry on as usual.
As of January 1st Volkswagen of America will be known by a new name: Volkswagen Group of America. In their efforts to take down Toyota as the world's top automaker Volkswagen has chosen to begin embracing its multi-brand size by adding the term group to its corporate moniker. It's a reminder that the company is more than just the letters "VW." The Volkswagen Group of America encompasses the brands of VW, Audi, Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini. It also houses the brand's financial service branche