The last time Volkswagen could report numbers like this, Richard Nixon was entrenched in a scandalous Presidency, Spiro Agnew had been dismissed and the Volkswagen Beetle was still a diving sales force. Times have changed.
But here in the modern day, civilized by some standards and brutally barbaric by others, Volkswagen rang 2013 in to the tune of a 35.1 percent sales increase in the U.S. — the most in four decades. But those numbers, 438,133 to be exact, have little or nothing to do with punch buggies.
Instead, Volkswagen’s success hinges on two key cars: the Jetta and Passat. In total, the two vehicles combined to account for nearly 66 percent of the brand’s annual sales. In fact, those are the only two of Volkwagen’s relatively long North American product line to break the six-figure unit sales mark.
To anyone other than North American car buyers, that fact would likely be nothing less than shocking. That’s because anywhere but, well, here, Volkswagen’s Golf is the volume king. Not so on these shores where the Golf costs a premium despite being nothing more than the Jetta’s hatchback sibling.
That’s because Volkswagen both builds and sells the Jetta in North America while Golf production remains overseas. There’s a good chance that might change soon, though. Volkswagen is expected to decide in the near future if it will begin manufacturing the Golf out of its Puebla, Mexico plant alongside the Jetta and Beetle.
SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Golf Might be Made in Mexico
Should that happen, it would likely mean cheaper Golfs and possibly further sales gains. Volkswagen has an advantage right now as a long-time player in the U.S. diesel passenger car market – a segment quickly gaining traction as concerns over fuel efficiency grow. Finding a way to offer the Golf TDI at a lower price in a market where more makers are dropping hats in the diesel ring would only make sense.
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