If you’ve been saving your nickels and dimes in hopes of snapping up a Bugatti Galibier once the high-dollar four-door became available we have some bad news. It sounds like the car has been canceled.
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The Volkswagen Group, which consists of Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche brands in America, are looking to become the number one seller of vehicles in the world by 2018. That’s a bold proclamation as they’re currently sitting in the number three position behind Toyota and General Motors.
As of last year, the VW Group was at 7.14-million vehicles sold while Toyota was at 8.42-million and GM was at 8.39-million. They’re currently aiming to be moving 10-million vehicles a year by 2018 and CEO Martin Winterkorn anticipates it’ll even happen before then.
Their plan will be to target the global market obviously, having already secured the European market. Their new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee currently has the capacity to produce 150,000 vehicles a year, but VW is working on expanding it to 500,000, the majority of which will remain within the US market.
Even though VW has taken over European automotive sales with 2.9 vehicles sold in 2010, they still look to increase their market share with their new Up! model. But key to VW becoming the global leader in sales will be how they perform in other markets including Brazil, Russia, India and most importantly, China.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Volkswagen is experiencing unprecedented levels of success as for the first time in the German automaker’s history, 6.11 million vehicles have been sold in the first nine months of the year. If sales momentum continues, Volkswagen will easily surpass its annual target of 8 million vehicles sold for 2011.
Volkswagen Group Board member for Sales Christian Klinger takes an optimistic, yet more conservative stand, “We are also expecting very good delivery figures for the fourth quarter. We continue to keep a close eye on developments in global automobile markets, some of which are highly volatile.”
Areas of significant sales increases are 21.4 percent increase to 485,400 units in North America, 17.3 percent increase to 1.92 million units in Asia, 10.8 percent increase to 2.77 million units in Europe, and 9.5 percent increase to 700,900 units in South America.
Sales are broken down to 266,800 Seat vehicles, 664,800 Skoda vehicles, 973,200 Audi vehicles, 3.81 million Volkswagen vehicles and 389,900 VW Commercial vehicles.
At the 32nd International Motor Symposium in Vienna, Austria, Volkswagen head honco Dr. Martin Winterkorn announced that the Volkswagen Group will launch a range of plug-in hybrids starting in 2013, calling electric vehicles the “task of the century” for the auto industry.
Winterkorn didn’t specify which models would get a plug-in hybrid variant, and the move comes as slightly surprising considering how heavily invested Volkswagen is in diesels while offering comparatively little in the way of conventional hybrids. “The electric car will impact the future of individual mobility in crucial ways – and Volkswagenis spearheading this technology. Over the mid-term, the plug-in hybrid offers great potential,because it combines the best of two worlds in one vehicle,” said Winterkorn.
VW also released two diesel engines at the show, a 1.4L and 2.0L TDI engines, with the 2.0L meeting strict American emissions standards.
Volkswagen sold a whopping two million vehicles around the globe in one quarter, the first time in the company’s history.
The criticism of the new Jetta didn’t damper sales at all—sales profits grew over 30% in the first quarter, netting VW a tidy 37.5 billion Euros. Growth in China, India, and Eastern Europe helped fuel the profits, and the Polo, Tiguan, and Jetta were the models most gobbled up by international consumers.
“The Volkswagen Group has got off to a good start”, said VW chief financial officer Hans Dieter Pötsch, adding: ”Our sound finances and continuous improvements in profitability are the basis for the Volkswagen Group’s successful future.”
VW gets approval to acquire Porsche
Several months ago Porsche was poised to buy Volkswagen. Today Volkswagen received the approval it needed to do just the opposite.
A “supervisory board” meeting, comprised of board members from both Volkswagen and Porsche, as well as the Porsche and Piëch families and the German State of Lower Saxony, today gave unanimous consent to a “integrated automotive group” that will by all accounts see Germany’s largest automaker take control of its most storied sports car manufacturer.
The move comes just a day after Porsche ousted its CEO Wendelin Wiedeking.
Dr. Wolfgang Porsche said that, “Porsche will preserve the myth and identity of the Porsche brand in the integrated group,” and added that the deal with Volkswagen will allow for further growth.
Chairman of the board Dr. Ferdinand K. Piëch echoed that statement saying that, “Together, Volkswagen and Porsche have all it takes to occupy a leading position in the international automotive industry.”
The details of the deal will be arrange over the next few months as Porsche joins a growing Volkswagen Group of companies which includes Bentley, Audi, Lamborghini, Seat and Bugatti.
Official release after the jump: