Tag Archive | "Volkswagen"

Sales Pace at 14.18 Million in January


Retail sales rose 11.4 percent in January, with the industry pacing at a 14.18 million seasonally adjusted annual sales rate — the highest rate since the government’s Cash for Clunkers program in August 2009, according to AutoData.

Toyota was the comeback kid, experiencing a 7.5 percent gain from a year ago after suffering through months of declines due to production issues caused by last year’s disasters in Japan and Thailand. At the top of the sales board were Chrysler Group and Volkswagen of America Inc., both brands registering double-digit increases. Mercedes-Benz rounded out January’s top three thanks to strong demand for its SUV and passenger car lineup.

Audi: Audi of America sold 9,354 vehicles in January, a 19.7 percent year-over-year increase from January 2011. The company’s performance marked the best January in Audi of America’s history. Sales of the Audi A6 increased 90 percent over 2011, sales of the Audi Q7 increased 15 percent, and sales of the Audi A7 totaled 643 vehicles.

BMW/MINI: BMW Group reported January sales of 19,739 vehicles, an increase of 5.8 percent from the year-ago month. Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 3.1 percent from last January to 16,405. The best performing vehicles included the X3 SAV, up 56.9 percent to 1,687 units; the 6 Series, up 392.8 percent to 409 units; and the 7 Series, up 56.1 percent to 977 units. MINI USA reported sales of 3,334 automobiles in January, an increase of 21.2 percent from the 2,751 sold in January 2011.

Chrysler: Chrysler Group LLC sold 101,149 units in January, a 44 percent increase vs. January 2011 (70,118 units). The performance marked the group’s best January since 2008. The Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck brands all posted sales gains, led by the Chrysler brand’s 81 percent increase. The group’s 44 percent increase was driven in large part by strong sales of the Chrysler 300, Chrysler 200, and Dodge Charger and Avenger sedans.

Ford: Ford Motor Company sold 136,710 vehicles in January, a 7 percent gain compared with January 2011. Retail sales increased 8 percent. Focus sales were up 60 percent, marking the best January for the model since 2003. Ford brand sales totaled 131,589 vehicles in January, marking the best January sales month for Ford brand since 2008.

GM: General Motors Company sold 167,962 vehicles in January, a 6 percent decrease vs. January 2011. GM’s total passenger car sales increased 3 percent in January, led by a 30-percent increase in sales of fuel-efficient, small and compact cars. The company’s crossover sales decreased 18 percent, and sales of trucks, which include full-size pickups, vans and SUVs, decreased 6 percent. Retail deliveries declined 15 percent year over year.

Honda/Acura: American Honda Motor Co. sold 83,009 in the U.S. in January, an increase of 8.8 percent over January 2011. The Honda Division posted sales of 74,628, an increase of 9.3 percent year over year. Civic sales increased 49.5 percent. The Accord posted sales of 13,659, up 1.5 percent from the same period last year. Acura Division’s January sales totaled 8,381 units, up 5.3 percent year over year.

Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America announced an all-time record January with sales of 42,694 units, up 15 percent vs. 2011. January retail sales were up 19 percent, led by a 13 percent increase in Elantra sales and a 27 percent increase in Genesis/Equus sales.

Mazda: Mazda North American Operations reported its best January since 1994 with U.S. sales of 23,996 vehicles, a 68.2 percent increase vs. last year. Mazda3 sales totaled 9,200 units, an 83.4 percent increase vs. last year. This was the model’s best-ever January. Mazda CX-7 and CX-9 crossover SUV sales were up 32.6 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, marking the best-ever January for both vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz USA posted a 25.8 percent increase in January, with 21,726 vehicles sold. This was the best January in the company’s history. Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles and SUVs fueled the company’s performance, with the C-Class leading the way with a 56.4 percent increase in sales. The E-Class followed with sales of 4,097, and the M-Class rounded out the Top 3 with sales of 4,002, up 61.1 percent.

Nissan/Infiniti: Nissan North America Inc. reported January sales of 79,313 units, an increase of 10.4 percent vs. last year. Nissan Division sales rose 12.5 percent for the month to 72,517 units, with Versa sales setting a new record with 9,418 deliveries (up 8.5 percent). Sales of Infiniti vehicles decreased 8.2 percent from the prior year to 6,796 units, while sales of the Infiniti QX totaled 1,020, an increase of 30.4 percent vs. last year.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales reported monthly sales results of 124,540 units, an increase of 7.5 percent over the year ago month on a daily selling rate (DSR) and unadjusted raw volume basis. Driven by an increase in sales of 2012 Camry and Camry hybrid, Toyota Division posted January sales of 112,266 units, an increase of 9 percent compared to the same period last year. The Lexus Division reported sales of 12,274 units, down 4.6 percent from last January.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen of America Inc. posted 27,209 units sold in January, a 47.9 percent increase compared to the year-ago period. Passat sales totaled 6,318 units, while Jetta sales totaled 9,564 units. Sales of the 2012 Beetle totaled 1,401, while Touareg sales increased 68 percent. Tiguan sales increased 50 percent. The TDI models experienced a 30.2 percent increase vs. 2011.

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Group 1 Buys GM Dealer, Opens VW and Fiat Stores


HOUSTON — Group 1 Automotive Inc. announced the acquisition of David Taylor Cadillac Buick GMC in Houston and the opening of two new Volkswagen dealerships in the San Diego and Beaumont, Texas. The dealer group also announced the opening of Sterling McCall Fiat in Houston.

“The addition of these six franchises demonstrates our ongoing efforts to grow our business while further diversifying our brand mix,” said Earl J. Hesterberg, Group 1’s president and chief executive officer. “We are especially excited about increasing our partnership with Volkswagen of America following our successful acquisition of Metro Volkswagen in the Dallas market earlier this year.”

In total, the six franchises are expected to generate $188 million in estimated annual revenues, company officials said. David Taylor Cadillac Buick GMC is expected to add about $110 million in estimated annual revenues and complements the 11 existing dealerships that Group 1 operates in the Houston-Metro market area, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

The Volkswagen Kearny Mesa and Beaumont franchises were awarded to Group 1 by Volkswagen of America. They represent new operating locations for Volkswagen in those markets, according to Group 1. The company anticipates that the two dealerships will add approximately $73 million in estimated annual revenues.

In August, Group 1 opened Sterling McCall Fiat in Houston, which is expected to generate $5 million in estimated annual revenues, according to the company. The three awarded franchises will be located in existing facilities alongside current operations and will be modified to the manufacturer’s image requirements.

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VW Credit Names Andrew Stuart President, CEO


HERNDON – VW Credit Inc. has appointed Andrew Stuart president and CEO. The move will become effective in January 2012.

Stuart will report to Frank Witter, chairman of the board of directors for VCI, and will succeed Kevin Kelly, current president and CEO. He will retire in January, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

Stuart has served as executive vice president and CFO for VCI since 2008 and brings more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry in the United States and Canada. In addition to product management and regional sales management experience with the VW Brand, Stuart has held several leadership roles in VCI, including director, sales and marketing in the United States and Canada. Prior to 2008, Stuart led Bentley Motors Inc. in the U.S. market as CEO from 2004 to 2007.

Kevin Kelly’s career with Volkswagen Group of America spans 34 years, during which he has held several leadership roles, including corporate capital investments manager, assistant plant controller (Sterling Heights) and controller for both the Audi and Volkswagen Brands.

Volker Reichhardt will succeed Stuart as executive vice president and CFO. Reichhardt will join VCI from Volkswagen Financial Services AG, where he currently serves as head of controlling for the International FS Group and leads the corporate strategy office in Braunschweig.

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VW-Brand Sales Rise 35 Percent; Target is 300,000 for Year


U.S. sales of Volkswagen vehicles soared 35 percent last month, giving the brand a 22 percent gain for the first half of the year and prompting predictions of the highest annual total in nearly a decade.

Volkswagen of America forecasts 2011 sales will top 300,000 units — a level the brand last reached in 2003. VW sold 256,830 vehicles last year, reported Automotive News.

“We’ve been able achieve a volume in the first half of this year in what took us effectively seven months last year,” Jonathan Browning, CEO of VW of America, said in a statement today. “We expect the momentum to continue into the second-half of the year.”

Browning said June was VW’s best month in nine years, despite the run-out of the Passat sedan and the Beetle compact car. June sales were led by the redesigned Jetta, which was up 88 percent in June and 66 percent for the first six months.

Browning estimated that shortages at Japanese competitors because of the March 11 Japan earthquake will give VW about 10,000 additional Jetta sales in 2011.

VW is preparing to launch the Passat sedan redesigned for the United States and built at its new factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., and a redesigned larger Beetle. Both go on sale this fall.

U.S. sales of the German automaker’s Audi luxury brand, meanwhile, rose 17 percent last month and are up 15 percent for the year.

Volkswagen-brand sales reached 28,444 last month, boosting the mid-year total to 154,125. In 2003, a total of 302,686 VWs were sold in the United States.

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Volkswagen Group Reports 14.6 Percent Global Vehicle Delivery Increase from January to May


WOLFSBURG — The Volkswagen Group reported a further increase in global deliveries from January to May this year at 14.6 percent. For the first time, deliveries to customers during this period topped the three million mark, running at 3.37 million units. The automaker also had a 6.8 percent increase in performance over the world market.

In May, Volkswagen Group delivered 708,900 vehicles to customers, a 7.4 percent increase over last year, reported F&I and Showroom. “We are very pleased with developments during the first five months of this year. The Volkswagen Group with its very convincing model range is benefiting from brisk demand in global automobile markets,” said Christian Klingler, VG board member for sales.

Overall, VG brands delivered 1.56 million vehicles throughout Europe in the first five months. In Germany, its home market, the Volkswagen Group achieved 8.7 percent growth, delivering 475,100 vehicles.

In May, deliveries in the North America region grew 19.7 percent to 261,600 units, of which 172,400 vehicles were delivered in the U.S. market. In South America, VG delivered more than 376,800 during the same period.

VG also reported a significant rise in deliveries in the Asia/Pacific region, with 1.04 million vehicles handed over to customers, of which 921,100 units were delivered in China, the region’s largest single market. The company also recorded a further increase in the India market where 46,200 vehicles were delivered.

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered more than two million vehicles for the first time in the period from January to May with a total of 2.09 million vehicles delivered worldwide.

Audi delivered 535,400 vehicles worldwide during the same time period while Škoda brand delivered 373,400 vehicles.

In addition, SEAT delivered 152,500 vehicles worldwide while Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 213,000 during the year’s first five months.

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Volkswagen May Face German Lawsuit Over Short-Squeeze


FRANKFURT – Volkswagen shrugged off a report on Saturday of a lawsuit against it by investment funds that accuse the carmaker of causing high losses by manipulating markets in 2008.

Business weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported that law firm CLLB is preparing a complaint by German investment funds against Volkswagen, and is likely to file a suit with the German regional court of Brunswick in September, reported Automotive News.

A Volkswagen spokesman said on Saturday the company had not seen a copy of the complaint, adding: “The allegations we know of so far — of CLLB against Volkswagen — are completely unsubstantiated.”

The suit would be the first filed against Volkswagen in Germany relating to claims by investors they suffered billions in losses when Porsche effectively cornered the market in tradeable Volkswagen ordinary shares in 2008.

Porsche has already been the subject of lawsuits in Germany and the United States, which have so far failed, alleging it quietly bought up the shares as part of a plan to take over Volkswagen while saying publicly it had no plans to do so.

When Porsche revealed its holdings in October 2008, shares of Volkswagen soared, briefly making the company the world’s biggest by market value. This caused losses for funds that had bet on a decline in the stock price.

The takeover attempt backfired leaving Porsche saddled with debt, and meant that Porsche had to turn to Volkswagen for help. Volkswagen hopes to fold the sports car maker into its operations this year, but the lawsuits are a major obstacle for the planned merger.

WirtschaftsWoche reported the new complaint being prepared by CLLB will allege that members of Volkswagen’s supervisory board were aware of Porsche’s market manipulation and did not make that information public immediately.

The plaintiffs may ask for nearly 3 billion euros in damages, and U.S. based funds — which are already suing Porsche for an additional 2 billion euros in damages — could join the German funds in the lawsuit, the magazine reported.

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