Wednesday, October 28, 2009

VW's Drive to Overtake Toyota

Volkswagen's long-term goal is to overtake Toyota as the leading automaker on the planet, by 2018. VW is already #3 worldwide and wants to zoom up to the #2 slot soon--not right now, however, since Toyota's most recent results show it pulling away from the pack, thanks to improved sales in Asia.

In a Financial Post article on, the head of Volkswagen Group Canada observes:
“What most people don’t know is that we go quietly along. We sell more Jetta diesels nationwide in a month than Toyota sells Priuses. And yet the Prius gets all the press.”
Stimulus programs have helped VW increase sales in Germany, China, and Brazil, among other markets, and the car company's marketing plans call for more aggressive advertising in the Americas.

VW is revving up its hip factor. When it introduced its 2010 hatchback model recently, the announcement was made not on TV or radio, not in newspapers or magazines, but via a racing game in the form of an iPhone app.

VW's new plant in Tennessee will give it the capacity and the flexibility to produce fuel-efficient cars geared to local driving tastes. The company is also exploring new technology for the car of the future. Can VW get its marketing into overdrive and overtake Toyota by 2018?

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