Volkswagen AG might reach its ambitious goals for 2018 earlier than expected, Christian Klingler, VW Group's board member responsible for sales and marketing, said in an interview with Automotive News Europe. "We want to be the global market leader by 2018 in sales. Our goal for 2018 is more than 10 million (units). I admit that the goal today seems more achievable than it did before. You can't rule out that we would reach it earlier. We are on a reasonable path of growth."
In 2010, VW Group ranked third globally with 7.14 million sales. Toyota Motor Corp. was first (8.42 million) and General Motors Co. was second (7.56 million), according date released by the companies.
In 2011, the VW Group wants "to grow at least as vigorously as the market," Klingler added. Klinger said that VW Group sees great growth potential in Asia, especially in China where it plans a big increase in car output and a rapid expansion of its dealer network. "We are expanding our local production capacity to about 3 million vehicles by 2013-2014," he said. "In China, we want to double the number of our VW (dealer) locations to about 2,000 over the next five years. The figure will be 2,500 for all our brands [in China].
When asked about the key new cars VW Group will debut this year, Klingler said one of the most important launches will be the new entry-level VW Up minicar, which will arrive at European dealers in late 2011. The company is deciding whether to introduce the model in the United States and in China as well. "We always check which models we should offer in which markets," Klingler said. "This just depends on what the customer wants. So far our smallest model in the U.S. is the Golf – and the smallest one in China is the Polo." "This just depends on what the customer wants. So far our smallest model in the U.S. is the Golf – and the smallest one in China is the Polo."