FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen denied on Friday a Financial Times newspaper report that it planned to step up sales discounts and advertising in North America to help rebuild market share and improve relations with disgruntled dealers.
Europe's biggest carmaker is using incentives to help keep up U.S. sales of its Passat model before a new version arrives later this year but that did not represent a change of strategy, a VW spokesman said.
"It is absolutely normal incentive business conducted by every carmaker when a model runs out and there is no discussion at all that we are now piling into the market aggressively," the spokesman added.
The newspaper quoted Bill Gelgota, dealer relations manager at Volkswagen of America, as saying: "We have to be competitive. The market is incredibly aggressive right now."
Volkswagen brand U.S. sales fell 23.5 percent in the first half of this year, according to the Automotive News Data Center, giving it a 1.1 percent share of the world's biggest car market.