VW may need more U.S. dealers
LOS ANGELES -- Volkswagen may need to increase its dealer network in the United States in the long term to meet its sales goals, Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said.
VW aims to boost U.S. annual sales of VW brand cars to 800,000 by 2018. Last year the brand sold 256,830 vehicles.
Browning said VW is on track to sell more than 300,000 vehicles in the U.S. this year. He sees "double digit" VW-brand sales growth next year, but would not give a specific target.
VW expects its dealer network to be stable over the next two to three years. "But by 2014/15 we will have to add dealers across the U.S. to achieve our long-term objectives," Browning told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of the L.A. Motor Show.
Currently, VW brand has about 600 dealers in the U.S. The dealers' return on sales has increased from 2.5 percent to 2.6 percent, Browning said.
He forecasts total industry sales in the U.S. of 12.8 million to 12.85 million units this year and 13.5 million to 14 million in 2012.
Browning confirmed earlier reports that VW's U.S. national sales company is on track to be profitable this year for the first time since 2003.
VW had not yet decided whether to build a seven-seat crossover in the U.S. positioned between the Tiguan and Touareg, the executive said.