Tag Archive | "Volkswagen"

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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Volkswagen Recalls Certain New Jettas To Fix Wiring

Volkswagen of America Inc. said today it is recalling certain 2011 Jetta models to fix a potential problem with the wiring of its anti-theft system and horn. The car maker says the recall affects 71,043 Jettas built between March of 2010 and March of 2011.

The company says the problem stems from the a fuse that protects the car’s anti-theft alarm and the converter box that operates the windshield wipers and headlights. Under certain rare circumstances a short circuit in the horn can cause the lights and wipers to stop working, which could increase the risk of a crash, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The recall is a glitch in the roll-out of a vehicle whose success is critical to Volkswagen. The auto giant reworked the Jetta for 2011 with the goal of making the car appealing to a wider audience, in part by cutting its price. Critics including some longtime Jetta fans said Volkswagen’s redesign took some of the fun and a lot of the quality out of the car. Volkswagen says the car is an all-around improvement over past versions.

Under the recall, dealer service technicians will reconfigure the wiring layout so that the horn and converter box do not share the same fuse. The company says no injuries or accidents have been reported as a result of the flaw.

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