VW brand sales jump 27% on new models, incentives
Volkswagen Group reported double-digit U.S. sales growth in July for its Volkswagen and Audi brands.
U.S. sales for the VW brand climbed 27 percent last month from July 2011 to 37,014 units, marking the brand's best July since 1973.
Through July, VW brand sales were up 34 percent from the year-earlier period to 245,739 vehicles, a gain largely driven by the redesigned 2012 Passat and Beetle launched last fall.
Audi reported U.S. sales of 11,707 vehicles in July, a 28-percent increase over the prior year and its 19th consecutive month of record sales. An increase in A4 and A6 sedan sales helped lead those gains, as did higher demand for the Q5 and Q7 SUVs.
Through July, Audi's sales were up 18 percent over the year-earlier period to 76,865.
Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said July was "another strong month" for the German automaker's U.S. performance.
The gains continue to build on the VW brand's momentum as it strives to sell 800,000 vehicles annually in the United States by 2018 -- a target that will require it to more than double last year's sales of 324,402 vehicles.
The group also aims to sell 200,000 Audis in the United States by 2018. Last year, Audi reported U.S. sales of 117,561 vehicles, up 16 percent over 2010.
The second half of the year, however, could prove more difficult for the VW brand as it reaches the one-year anniversary of the Passat and Beetle launch.
Meanwhile, incentive spending for the VW and Audi brands rose 38 percent in July from July 2011 to an average of $2,748 per vehicle, whereas spending for the industry overall dropped 4 percent from July 2011, according to TrueCar.com.
Browning attributed the increase in incentives to a higher mix of Passat models, adding that the brand "continues to operate with incentive levels well below the industry average."