WOLFSBURG, Germany – New models, a new plant and increased exports are all part of Volkswagens plans to make gains in the North American market.
Internal VW documents, known as Strategy 2018, obtained by Automotive News Europes sister publication, Automobilwoche, show how the German automaker plans to overtake Toyota as the worlds number one carmaker within the next ten years.
VW will double the number of vehicles it exports to North America over the next decade. It exports 397,500 vehicles per year at present.
The German automaker is also considering a new plant in North America to protect itself against a strong euro. VW already operates a factory in Puebla, Mexico. "Should the dollar continue to lose out to the euro, then the plan will only make economic sense with an additional factory (in North America)," a high-level VW manager told Automobilwoche, "Plus, the plant at Puebla is already close to full capacity." Preferred locations include the southeastern United States, where BMW and Daimler plants have already established reliable supplier networks.
VWs new products will be tailored to the tastes of North American customers. Among them are two new cars that sources say will be launched before the end of 2010.
- A "New Compact Sedan" (NCS), will be longer than the current VW Jetta, which measures 4.55 meters or 14.9 feet, in order to satisfy US customers' desire for more interior room. The NCS platform will also provide the base for the successor to the Jetta, currently built in Mexico, for export to Europe. VW plans to produce 160,000 units a year, according to the documents.
- A "New Medium Sedan" (NMS) is an affordable sedan that includes fewer technical features than others in the Passat class. VW is planning to produce 120,000 units of the car per year.