VW Passat Sales Fall Short, 500 Layoffs Result

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VW Passat Sales Fall Short, 500 Layoffs Result

Production is outpacing demand at Volkswagen’s first U.S. manufacturing plant since 1988, prompting the brand to cut 500 contract jobs.

“We had too high expectations,” Frank Fischer, the head of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga operations, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “The pipeline is over-full from the facility to the dealers.”

Sales for the American-focused sedan are still extraordinary compared to 2011. Just under 26,000 sold that year, and the brand is already on pace to pass that figure by month’s end. Last year 117,023 units found homes. But sales aren’t keeping up with the facility’s ambitious current rate, which would produce 170,000 units annually.

That schedule sees production running two 10-hour shifts from Monday to Saturday with three teams. Volkswagen plans to reduce that to two teams saddled with two 10-hour shifts from Monday to Thursday.

Layoffs at the plant will be complete by June 30, reducing the workforce from about 3,200 to roughly 2,700.

Ballooning sales numbers in 2012 can be attributed both to the car’s domestic production and the brand’s choice to offer a different model tailored to the North American market.

[Source: Automotive News]

Discuss this story at PassatWorld.com

  • Soyntgo4it

    That is what you get for poor design and poor reliability. That and not made in Germany anymore.

  • Jeff

    This post was originally for the article related to the 90 models for the Chinese market…but the relationship to this article can, sadly, be clearly seen…
    “So China will get 90+ models and yet we haven’t seen significant new models in the US market for nearly a decade (since the intro of the New Beetle)… And while some will argue the US Passat is a new model…it’s outdated technologies (no HID headlamps, no Adaptive Cruise Control, etc.) argues otherwise and will cause its sales to fall off sharply. They couldn’t even bring us the 2.0 TDI in the Tiguan which is the #1 engine choice in every other market and which is also the same engine in some of their other U.S. offerings (ironic example is the Jetta Sportwagon w/TDI…yet which also doesn’t have available any of the latest basic safety technologies like back-up sensors or camera…). Who is making their decisions for the North American market??? Soon they will be going the route of Suzuki…simply because they have not offered our market the desirable products that can be found in every one of their other markets (e.g., Touran, Sharan, Tiguan L, Tiguan w/TDI, Scirocco, etc.). Their lack of dynamics in our market is inexcusable.”

  • Jeff

    This post is directly related to the announcement of up to 90 Models to be offered for the Chinese Market…and is just as applicable here “So China will get 90+ models and yet we haven’t seen significant new models in the US market for nearly a decade (since the intro of the New Beetle)… And while some will argue the US Passat is a new model…it’s outdated technologies (no HID headlamps, no Adaptive Cruise Control, etc.) argues otherwise and will cause its sales to fall off sharply. They couldn’t even bring us the 2.0 TDI in the Tiguan which is the #1 engine choice in every other market and which is also the same engine in some of their other U.S. offerings (ironic example is the Jetta Sportwagon w/TDI…yet which also doesn’t have available any of the latest basic safety technologies like back-up sensors or camera…). Who is making their decisions for the North American market??? Soon they will be going the route of Suzuki…simply because they have not offered our market the desirable products that can be found in every one of their other markets (e.g., Touran, Sharan, Tiguan L, Tiguan w/TDI, Scirocco, etc.). Their lack of dynamics in our market is inexcusable.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541950036 Andres Conde Bosch

    So much passion for a cheap brand. Just dump those suckers. Buy Mercedes Benz or BMW, maybe Audi.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Eldon/1666920249 John Eldon

    I kept telling VoA they needed a wagon version.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541950036 Andres Conde Bosch

    Whatever!

  • smartacus

    good they punished those 500 people for their iniquities

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541950036 Andres Conde Bosch

    I understand you are being sarcastic? If so, totally agree! damn germans

  • Pierce Tobias

    I have lived through all the hype and lies and deceit of VW coming to my city, Chattanooga. At first we were all happy with the projected growth it would entail ; i.e. more well paid Hamilton County citizens. The majority of workers make $14 dollars per hour: roughly 22,000 per annum. You work FOR aerotek AT the VW plant. Meanwhile, VW got basically tax free status from the state of Tennessee for 10 years and numerous federal grants to build here. I thought I wanted to work for them , but when I finally got a call I never responded. It already smelled of failure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541950036 Andres Conde Bosch

    While you might be right about everything regarding VW, if they called you to work there and you were out of work, and needing one, I am sorry to tell you that you failed before them by saying no to a job.

  • highdesert

    The passat is competing in a market already dominated and defined by the accord and camry, both of which have stellar reputations for reliability. So, VW needs to at least provide a reliability baseline that meets that of the aforementioned and then provide value-added appeal not offered by the others … e.g. sporty variants. These criteria have not been met nor is the passat that much different in size than the jetta. If VW really wants to make inroads, then provide vehicles that do not compete with the established until such factors as reliability exceed those of the established. Instead offer what you do best in Europe … polo variants, TDI tiguan, scirocco, upgraded jetta, GTD, all of which no parallels in NA, particularly so when offered with performance elements such as manual transmissions. VW has already established itself as a somewhat sporty brand, why does it not capitalize upon that venue? Instead it erodes its credentials through, for example, short sighted performance downgrades to the jetta, a vehicle that was really beginning to define its segment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541950036 Andres Conde Bosch

    So they first boasted that they were built in the USA, bringing jobs and so on. But now they are part of the problem because of their ambitious goals and poor planning. So they over produced and then let over 500 people on the street. Shame on them!

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