It's a question I hear from Volkswagen fans all the time. Don't you think VW is ready to come on strong again in the US?
My answer, which usually disappoints people, is the usual, "Well, VW is giving it a better shot this time around, but let's see if it can truly come back here in the States."
I'm reminded of this because of a column by Neil Winton in today's Detroit Newswhich quotes a new research note out of Europe that predicts a long road to growth for VW in the US. The note by Bernstein Research auto analyst Max Warburton essentially says VW will get just an incremental return on its investment ($1.4 Billion) to expand in the US. To be clear, Warburton and others who have speculated on VW's growth prospects in the US are not sure how the German automaker will do over the next 4-5 years here in the States. Still, the point of the note is one with considering, especially as the new Beetle rolls into showrooms.
This year, VW sales in the US are up 21.7% (overall US sales up 9.9%) and the brand has more momentum than it's had in years. With the new plant in Tennessee starting to crank out the Passat and a commitment to design and build cars Americans want, it's easy to see why there is so much optimism about VW right now.