The soaring sales and plant expansion are a testament to the VW strategy of finally designing and building cars targeting Americans. For years, Volkswagen would have a hit car followed by years of lagging sales. A big part of the problem was VW’s approach to the U.S. It used to design cars geared to European buyers and then try to sell those models here in the states. Occasionally it worked, but for every hit model like the Beetle, there were major missteps like the luxury model Phaeton.
This year, Volkswagen U.S. sales are up 36.6% with a growing percentage of those being TDI diesel models. The cost of diesel ($4.11/gal) has been moving up in tandem with regular gas. Still, Browning thinks VW diesel models are becoming more popular because they offer greater fuel efficiency, “As more Passat’s come into the market with that TDI diesel we think that will continue to grow to about 1 in every 4 of our sales.”
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