VW plans on a new American plant, two new vehicles and 800,000 sales by 2018.

The great push

Volkswagen headquarters in Germany have not been very impressed by the American operations, which have been stagnating a little. In 2006 VWoA (Volkswagen of America) sold 235,140 units but lost some USD 867 million in the process. Automobilwoche has laid their hands on VW's 'Strategy 2018' internal documents revealing some of their US plans for the coming years.

Now that Stefan Jacoby is at the helm of VWoA, instead of Adrian Hallmar, VW is readying itself for a great push forward into America accompanied by some tough talk of overtaking Toyota as the world's number one automaker. Jacoby has put out a target of 800,000 sales in 2018, almost trippling 2006 sales numbers. This is to be achieved with an additional US plant, VW's Mexican plant is nearing maximum capacity already, and two new models catered for American tastes.

The first new vehicle is a New Compact Sedan (NCS), slightly longer than than the 4.55 m Jetta to satisfy the American need for more interior room. This NCS will also be the basis for the next generation Jetta, currently built in Mexico and exported to Europe. VWoA aims to build 160,000 units annually according to the document.

The second vehicle will be a New Medium Sedan (NMS), basicly an entry-level Passat of which VWoA hopes to build and sell 120,000 units annually.

Hallmark had already pushed for more 'America friendly' cars in the current line-up according to insiders before his transfer to German HQ. It is not known whether these plans will be executed to satisfy the American market, but sales have been obstructed due to, amongst others, too complex air conditioning and heating controls.

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