During press week of the North American International Auto Show, Volkswagen of America made a pit stop in New York to announce what was a strong sales year during 2011.
VW’s sales last year topped 320,000, boosted by the launch of the all-new Beetle and the all-new Passat, and the opening of Volkswagen Chattanooga, the company’s first manufacturing facility in the U.S. in over 20 years.
VW ended the year with 324,402 sales, up 26.3 percent over 2010. In the first full year of sales for the all-new Jetta, sales were 150,515, the best year ever for the car in the U.S. The all-new Passat is also off to a strong start, with 22,779 vehicles sold since its launch in September 2011.
These numbers represent the first time Volkswagen brand’s U.S. Sales operations were profitable since 2003.
The Chattanooga-built Passat also earned the distinction of being named Motor Trend Magazine’s 2012 Car of the Year. Emphasizing Volkswagen’s commitment to safety, the Passat is one of a record nine vehicles named 2011 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Sales of diesel vehicles continued to gain momentum, accounting for over 20 percent of all Volkswagen sales.
The company’s commitment to customer satisfaction was highlighted by the J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, where Volkswagen moved up from 15th to 4th place among non-premium brands. This is the best performance improvement amongst all brands in the survey and the best performance for Volkswagen since the inception of the SSI report.
In April 2011, Volkswagen Chattanooga began production of the all-new Passat, in a plant that has the capacity to produce 150,000 vehicles per year. In December, the manufacturing facility and the adjoining training center were recognized for their environmental friendliness with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification—the only auto plant in the world to achieve such status.
“2011 was a critical year for Volkswagen in the US,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “With our Chattanooga plant receiving Platinum LEED Certification, the 2012 Passat being named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, our quality and customer satisfaction metrics improving, and encouraging growth trends, the proof points of German Engineering and our commitment to the U.S. market are all bearing fruit.”
The aim for Volkswagen of America 2012 is to continue to build on those fundamentals that allow sustainable and profitable growth, and push sales above 500,000 units here in the U.S.