Thursday, July 26, 2012

VW Steers Toward 2018 Goals

Volkswagen has quite a fleet of automotive brands. The company that brought us the Beetle is about to acquire the part of Porsche it doesn't already own, and it recently bought Ducati, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer. In addition to the VW brand, it owns brands as diverse as the posh Bentley, lux Audi, super-premium Bugatti, speedy Lamborghini, economical Seat, and compact Skoda, not to mention VW Commercial, Man, and Scania.

To supercharge growth, VW set two challenging 2018 goals--first, to sell 10 million vehicles in a year; second, to achieve a pretax profit margin over 8%.

The top-end cars are going to be a big part of VW's growth. Audi is selling remarkably well despite sluggish economic conditions, and Porsche is quite profitable. Bentley has done a U-turn on profits and now, with demand for status-symbol cars increasing year after year in China, the brand is accelerating toward yet another record sales year.

VW's Beetle is one of the top three best-selling cars of all time. Now buzz is building about the November debut of the 2013 Beetle convertible. Will it be a tweaked version of the VW eBugster Cabriolet Concept car pictured here (from the Beijing auto show)?

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