Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
William Maley

VW News: Volkswagen's North America CEO Tries to Figure Out the U.S.

Recommended Posts

For a number of years, people have been saying the biggest problem with Volkswagen is they haven't “figured out the American market yet.” Even the automaker admits that it's the reason that its market share has dropped. Volkswagen has tried again and again to make some inroads into the market to no avail. But the German automaker is giving it another go.

Automotive News had the chance to do a deep dive into Volkswagen's new plan by speaking with Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken. His plan involves turning this division into an American car company - in spirit. It should be noted that Woebcken came to the U.S. as an exchange student in the seventies, something he credits for getting him interested in industrial engineering.

"I owe America, I owe Rochester, N.Y., and I owe this metal shop for how I basically went to start my adult life. We want to get more Americanized not only in our product but in our business. It's not that we're giving up on the genes of the Volkswagen brand. Volkswagens are Volkswagens. But what we recognized over the years is ... that we were too much a small-car company, too much a sedan company," said Woebcken.

This plan was sparked only a couple months into his position as Volkswagen America's CEO. During a meeting with dealers, Woebcken was introducing the three-row crossover that is now known as the Atlas. But at the time of the meeting, it was wearing the Teramont name. Dealers hated the name and wanted to have Atlas as the name. Woebcken agreed to talk with his bosses about changing the name.

"Everybody said there was no chance to convince headquarters to change the name of a regional product. It's not a big thing, I know, but it's a symbolic statement that Wolfsburg said, 'OK, the region is independent. They want to make sure the brand is getting successful in this country. Let them decide for themselves the name,' " explained Woebcken.

"It was, in terms of Volkswagen, a pretty big thing that demonstrates ... that this is really an independent company here in America, that the factories report to us, the engineering centers in California and Detroit report to us, the purchasing organization — which is a big leverage for the cost situation — is reporting into the North American region, plus, of course, all the sales and marketing. So we really have all the levers in our hand now, not only to listen to the demands of the market, but really also to implement them."

Some of the parts of Woebcken's plan have come to fruition including cutting the prices on various models like the Tiguan and introducing a new 6 Year/72,000 Mile warranty.

Other parts of Woebcken's plan include,

  • Shortening Volkswagen's long product cycles with plans to “introduce two new cars every year” to North America
  • Localize part sourcing for their two North American plans in Chattanooga, TN and Puebla, Mexico
  • Roll out Volkswagen's electrification strategy beginning in 2020 with the I.D. Crozz

It is an ambitious plan but it seems to be paying off somewhat. Sales in 2017 rose 5.2 percent. In 2018, sales are up 5.8 percent.

We highly recommend checking out this piece by Automotive News as we are only scratching the surface.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)


View full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW :o Who would have thunk that if you build an auto that Americans want with names they like that sales would increase. for the last 40 years you could tell that a small car company attitude for Europe and Asian is not what works in America. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm more qualified than anyone here to assess VW's problems here. Their US operations are an absolute sh1tsh0w. 

It's impossible to get Atlas SEL Premiums or R Lines. Ditto for the Tiguan. They crap on the Golf line more and more each year, rather than improving it. They are cheaping out on the new Jetta. They still have 2018 Golf R's sitting at port. They aren't bringing the new Touareg here, they refuse to bring other vehicles from foreign markets here, they overbuild Passats and Tiguan Limiteds in staggering amounts, etc, etc. I could go on, but you get my point. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



  • Social Stream

  • Similar Content

    • By Drew Dowdell
      The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission has filed suit in San Francisco on Thursday alleging that from April 2014 through May 2015, Volkswagen fraudulently issued more than $13 Billion in bonds and securities in the U.S. market.  During that time, the SEC alleges that Winterkorn and other senior management knew about the problem with over 500,000 diesel vehicles that exceeded legal emissions limits. 
      The suit says:
      Winterkorn resigned within days of the scandal braking in 2015. 
      Volkswagen said in a statement that the lawsuit is "legally and facturally flawed" and "the company will contest it vigorously".
      Volkswagen has already agreed to pay more than $25 billion in a settlement over the dieselgate scandal to buy back defective vehicles, paying fines, and setting up funds to help build out electric vehicle infrastructure. Winterkorn has already been charged in the US.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission has filed suit in San Francisco on Thursday alleging that from April 2014 through May 2015, Volkswagen fraudulently issued more than $13 Billion in bonds and securities in the U.S. market.  During that time, the SEC alleges that Winterkorn and other senior management knew about the problem with over 500,000 diesel vehicles that exceeded legal emissions limits. 
      The suit says:
      Winterkorn resigned within days of the scandal braking in 2015. 
      Volkswagen said in a statement that the lawsuit is "legally and facturally flawed" and "the company will contest it vigorously".
      Volkswagen has already agreed to pay more than $25 billion in a settlement over the dieselgate scandal to buy back defective vehicles, paying fines, and setting up funds to help build out electric vehicle infrastructure. Winterkorn has already been charged in the US.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Volkswagen has announced it will cut between 5,000 to 7,000 jobs through attrition and early retirement at its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.  Most of the job cuts will be administrative staff.  While cutting those job, VW will be creating 2,000 new software and electronics jobs.  The cuts are part of a cost savings plan to drive 3€ Billion in annual savings by 2020 and 5.9€ billion  by 2023. 
      The move comes the day after the company announced it will increase its EV plans to build 22 million units over the next decade.  Electric vehicles are less complex to build and require fewer workers.
      Volkswagen is building a new EV platform and the first vehicle to arrive on the market will be the I.D. Neo, expected sometime in 2020.  The I.D. Neo will be built at a plant in Zwickau, Germany.  Future electric vehicles will be built in 7 additional factories including Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Volkswagen has announced it will cut between 5,000 to 7,000 jobs through attrition and early retirement at its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.  Most of the job cuts will be administrative staff.  While cutting those job, VW will be creating 2,000 new software and electronics jobs.  The cuts are part of a cost savings plan to drive 3€ Billion in annual savings by 2020 and 5.9€ billion  by 2023. 
      The move comes the day after the company announced it will increase its EV plans to build 22 million units over the next decade.  Electric vehicles are less complex to build and require fewer workers.
      Volkswagen is building a new EV platform and the first vehicle to arrive on the market will be the I.D. Neo, expected sometime in 2020.  The I.D. Neo will be built at a plant in Zwickau, Germany.  Future electric vehicles will be built in 7 additional factories including Chattanooga, Tennessee. 
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Volkswagen has announced they are increasing their goal to build fully electric vehicles from 15 million to 22 million over the next decade. The company is moving to electric vehicles after a disastrous diesel emissions cheating scandal hit sales and resulted in record breaking government fines, and European and Asian government impose new restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions.
      The core Volkswagen brand saw profits fall, while the overall company profits rose 6% to 12.2€ Billion. 

      View full article
  • My Clubs

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Reader Rides

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...