"Among the many car manufacturers who have created a buzz with their many models, German car makers occupy a special place in the world. One of the German manufacturers, who has managed to carve a niche for itself, is Volkswagen.
Volkswagen of America, (VWoA) as it is known, is the North American subsidiary of the German parent company Volkswagen AG. Volkswagen America manufactures under five brands: Volkswagen, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley and Audi. It has two broad categories of cars, one for the traditional driver and the other for the performance minded driver. It also offers leasing and credit services through its wing called Volkswagen Credit. The company started operations in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in 1955, recently, headquarters was shifted to Herndon, Virginia, from Fairfax County in 2007.
VW USA has about 800 dealer locations in 50 states, and has 20 corporate or subsidiary locations. Despite the auto market being a little sensitive, as the world recovers from the global financial crisis, car sales for VW picked up in 2010. Volkswagen sold 256,830 cars under the VW brand and 101,629 Audi cars in 2010, which is an improvement from 213,454 and 82,716 cars sold under the VW and Audi brands respectively, in 2009.
Though Volkswagen had increased car sales in 2010 and a profitable Q1 in 2011, the U.S market has proved to be a tough nut for it to crack. From the time Volkswagen started operations in the U.S; one can say that, although resilient, it has been trying hard to retain its lost glory of the 80s as its going through phases of growth and decline constantly; Also, competition from the Japanese, American and other German automakers has also added to the already existing problems. Volkswagen trailing behind Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Mercedes in overall quality did little to VW to face competition from General Motors, Ford and Toyota.
This competition, coupled with the threat of brand dilution, confusion between the Audi A4 and VW Passat, the risk of self-cannibalization among VW's various brands, Piech's bad relations with the Press, and his lack of relation skills, bad image of its management department, its bungled communication with its investors etc. seems to be posing many problems for Volkswagen in the U.S.
With the opportunities and threats in mind, Volkswagen seems to have charted out a course of action for what it intends to achieve by 2018, its corporate goal is to triple the sales in the U.S to one million vehicles by 2018. It is also looking at blending German engineering with American ingenuity.
The VW electronics research laboratory located at the heart of Silicon Valley has been running some R&D initiatives such as: Autonomous driving, e-mobility technology, Picture navigation, Connectivity enabled Eco-conscious Driving, The Navigation Companion Tool etc. As a result of these initiatives, VW intends to produce bigger and cheaper cars in North America.
Apart from the look that appeals to people, Volkswagen models have also been rated as the top safety pick by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Though this portrays a positive picture about Volkswagen's quality, the company cannot deny that its users reported 131 problems per 100 cars in their Initial Quality Survey (IQS) of 2011.
This has tied the company in the 39thposition with MINI, in terms of quality. Volkswagen of America is also recalling about 71,000 Jetta Sedans as the cars have a wiring problem, which turns the car off when the horn is used. Despite its quality taking a beating, VW is willing and trying to discuss the problems with its users, instead of weaseling out of the problem and getting defensiveWill Volkswagen be able to recreate the magic it had created in the 70s in the US?"
[...] Volkswagen USA: Will product diversity help Volkswagen UK overcome the adversities it has been facing? Table of Contents Ø Company Snapshot & Product Portfolio: Volkswagen AG a German automobile manufacturing company with its headquarters in Wolfsburg. The company manufactures vehicles as well as components. It also manufactures as well as sells vehicles, particularly passenger cars as well as commercial automobiles with the brand name Volkswagen. The Company comprises of two divisions: Automotive division and the Financial Services division. The Automotive Division again is further divided into two business sections: Passenger Cars and Light Commercial Vehicles and Trucks and Busses, and Power Engineering. [...]
[...] However, production increased speedily in the 1950s and 60s. On 1 January 1965, Volkswagenwerk obtained Auto Union GmbH from its parent group Daimler-Benz. The new company then produced the foremost Audi models, the Audi F103 series, manufactured after the post war. During the year 1970s to 1992, Volkswagen AG made use of the acronym V.A.G and made it the brand for group-wide functioning, like distribution and leasing. In the year 1982, Volkswagenwerk put its first step in growing outside of Germany by signing an agreement with the SEAT, a Spanish car manufacturing company. [...]
[...] Volkswagen first put into practice its seven environmental objectives in Technical Development in 1996. This plan consists of themes concerning climate protection, resource conservation, as well as healthcare, with the aid of objectives like minimizing greenhouse emissions, fuel consumption, facilitating the use of alternative fuels, and keeping away from the use of dangerous materials. Ø Recommendations & Future Research Scope: The Company's Strategy 2018 centers on placing the Volkswagen Group as a worldwide economic as well as environmental leader among the other automobile companies. [...]
[...] 15, the day Volkswagen publicized the new car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. An additional iPhone racing game, Volkswagen Polo Challenge, rose up to more than 820,000 downloads in March. Volkswagen's Polo launched at the Geneva Motor Show on March 3, upheld by the mobile game for the iPhone as well as iPod also went live in the Apple App Store that very day. The thought at the back the application is to place Volkswagen as an ground-breaking brand and to produce leads, dealer contacts as well as more test drives. [...]
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