Everything about Volkswagen AG's goal to more than triple U.S. sales by 2018 is ambitious, down to the plan of reaching it with roughly the same dealer body it has now.
For VW's more than 600 dealers, the plan is a work in progress. But VW has no plans to add numerous dealers on its march to 1 million U.S. sales, or to leave any behind.
"We want to really work with the dealer body that we currently have and get them to grow, both in sales and, of course, profits," says Mark Barnes, COO of Volkswagen Group of America Inc. "That will help us get to this number versus going out and putting dealers on every corner."
VW's U.S. management team recently finished a round of all-day dealer meetings in the brand's four sales regions. The level of investment that will be expected from dealers to meet a goal still a decade away was not high on the agenda, says Jason Kuhn, of Kuhn Volkswagen in Tampa, Fla.