VW sold 1,483 Beetle convertibles in March, by far the best month for the drop-top since it went on sale late last year.
Volkswagen brand's U.S. vehicle sales rose 3 percent last month from a year earlier with most of the gains coming from one nameplate: the Beetle.
The brand sold 37,704 vehicles in March, its third straight month of single-digit sales increases after a nearly two-year run of double-digit gains, the automaker said today.
The Beetle has been the bright spot in the United States for VW in a year when the brand has no major product launches scheduled. Sales of the Beetle coupe rose 32 percent to 2,599 in March. VW also sold 1,483 units of the Beetle convertible, by far the best month for the drop-top since it went on sale late last year.
The Beetle has benefited from being featured prominently in VW advertising so far this year, executives said. The coupe was shown in VW's TV spot during the Super Bowl, while the convertible was featured in another spot that went into heavy rotation as winter turned into spring.
"It's a vehicle line that is very much at the heart of the Volkswagen brand," Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning told reporters today. "We do see when we put marketing effort behind Beetle, there tends to be a response in terms of showroom traffic and the sales that result from that."
Frank Trivieri, executive vice president of sales at VW of America, said the brand expects more growth in Beetle sales and should have enough units of the Mexican-built nameplate to meet demand.
The coupe and convertible combined sold 10,010 units in the first quarter, up 114 percent over last year. It was enough to cushion a 6 percent drop in sales of all Golf hatchback variants, a 3 percent drop in combined sales of the Jetta sedan and wagon, and a 68 percent sales decline for the Routan minivan, which is being phased out.
Sales of the VW brand's other two best-selling nameplates, the Passat sedan and Tiguan compact crossover, rose for the quarter. Passat sales were up 6 percent and Tiguan's 10 percent.