"We absolutely compete in different segments, and so there's been no planning or discussions about how we're going to beat BMW for the year or for the month," says Volkswagen of America Inc. spokesman Steve Keyes.
VW was outsold by its German rivals only once in the United States. That was 1993, when VW stopped production in its Puebla, Mexico, plant and had little to sell. Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz topped VW's paltry 49,533 U.S. sales that year.
VW's U.S. sales skyrocketed to 355,648 units in 2001 on the strength of the redesigned Jetta, Passat and hip New Beetle. But VW's long product cycles and its initial reluctance to provide incentives caught up with the brand. Its U.S. sales have been declining since 2002.
Through November, VW's U.S. sales are down 17.6 percent after falling 10.5 percent last year. Its November sales plummeted 40.5 percent vs. the year-ago month.
While VW sales continue to slide, BMW sales through November are up 6.7 percent. Mercedes sales are off 1.1 percent through November at 194,714 vehicles.
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