China is poised to overtake Germany as the world’s biggest market for Volkswagen cars. According to VW China executives, the company is set to sell in the region of 1.05 million vehicles this year alone, with the first half having reached 531, 614 units. These were 3,000 units less than sales in Germany but the figure represented a growth rate of 23.2 percent over the past year, compared to 3.7 percent growth for Germany. Clearly at this rate China will be streets ahead come end of 2009.
This goal will certainly not be an easy one to achieve but for VW Group, China’s market leader at 19.1 percent share, it will be easier than most others. With the help of Project Olympia which was a strategy from years ago, VW will introduce a string of new models in China, more than 12 in the next two years. Costs will be cut, better brand positioning attained and marketing beefed up. In fact, so important is the goal that certain models like the compact Lavida sedan (pictured), developed with Shanghai Auto, will be totally unique to the Chinese market.