Volkswagen has been fighting to rekindle its American soul after losing sales across the market while almost all other automakers are enjoying a widespread delivery boom.
For example, its Jetta model can be leased as low as $89 a month at some US dealerships – about the same price a customer would pay to have a smartphone on certain mobile-phone plans, in a sign that the German automaker is striving for a complete turnaround in the second-largest auto market of the world. Volkswagen is also promoting leases as a way to secure repeat customers for 2017, when the automaker is banking a return to positive results through a completely updated product line. The brand has been feeling the effects of an ageing model lineup that also lacks a mid size sport utility vehicle – a model that could have played well with the recent growth of the segment. By then, the carmaker hopes it could double its US sales to finally reach its elusive 800,000 units per year threshold.
The second largest automaker in the world, Volkswagen Ag, has been plagued by its weak performance across the US market – even as the Audi luxury brand has been posting record sales in recent months. Overall, the namesake VW brand – which usually yields the bulk of profits to the group, has been sliding over the past two years in America, even as the country has seen industrywide advancements for six consecutive years. US deliveries slowed 10 percent to 366,970 units last year and were still dropping 7.5 percent through April.