TOKYO - Volkswagen Group Japan K.K. has lowered its sales targets for 1998, although it still has high hopes for the all-new Golf.
VW now aims for sales of 51,000 cars in Japan this year, up 3.4 percent from 1997's 49,340. That's down, though, from a target of 56,000 set in January.
Sales of imports and Japanese cars have been falling for over a year as the economy weakens.
Sales of Volkswagens through the first six months were down 23.3 percent from a year earlier, to 21,456. Audi sold 5,003, down 15.6 percent.
VW is targeting sales of 16,000 new Golfs by the end of 1998, or almost 4,000 a month once the Golf goes on sale in Japan on 24 August. Golf sales peaked at 33,264 in 1996, the best year on record for imports, or about 2,800 a month.
'We believe that new sales records will be achieved in the future' by the Golf, said Peter Nochar, executive vice president of Volkswagen Group Japan.