Praise for U.S.-built Passat
Volkswagen's U.S. dealers are starting to reap the benefits of selling a U.S.-built Passat.
VW's new factory in Chattanooga, which opened in May, has helped even out availability of VW's hot-selling mid-sized car, said Will Trafton, a VW dealer in Rochester, N.Y., and chairman of the Volkswagen National Dealer Advisory Council.
It's also making it easier for the company to respond to changes in buyer demand for certain trim levels and options, he added.
"When you're building a Passat in Germany for many different parts of the world, you'll build each allocation in chunks," Trafton said. "So what we used to experience is sort of a stop and go nature to the product delivery."
Will Trafton: No more stop-and-go deliveries
Still, the redesigned 2012 Passat is selling so well that even with greater supplies dealers will continue to struggle to keep them in stock, Trafton said. The new Passat TDI, in particular, is moving quickly.
VW's Chattanooga factory, which builds only Passats but has room to add other models, is crucial to Volkswagen's plans to increase U.S. sales to 800,000 vehicles annually by 2018. Last year VW reported 324,402 sales in the United States, up 26 percent over 2010.
The company constructed the U.S. factory to build up to 150,000 vehicles a year but could make further adjustments to boost volume to 200,000 to 220,000 cars annually.