Volkswagen targets growth of more than 10 percent in the U.S in 2012 image

Volkswagen aims to sell more than half a million cars in the United States for the first time since 1973, U.S. unit, said today at a briefing with reporters in New York. The company expects its U.S. sales operation to be profitable for the second consecutive year in 2012, he added.

Globally, the German carmaker wants to sell 10 million vehicles by 2018, compared with nearly 8.16 million in 2011 — not including another 59,000 commercial trucks from Swedish unit Scania.

The core VW brand accounted for 324,402 car sales in the U.S. 2011, up 26 percent compared with the previous year. The Jetta sedan remained VW’s best-selling model by far, accounting for 150,515 car sales, up 55 percent from 2010.

The Germans will reach full production of 150,000 cars annually at its U.S. plant in 2013.

“Our aim should be being visible on the street, so every five or six cars out of 100 on the road should eventually be a Volkswagen.” Rainer Michel, product strategy and marketing chief for Volkswagen of America said.

The VW brand had 2.5 percent of the U.S. market in 2011, and its luxury brand Audi accounted for approx. 1 percent.

Volkswagen AG, at the Detroit Motor Show — on Monday showed off a new hybrid version of its Jetta sedan, designed with the U.S. market in mind and offering an estimated combined 45 mpg.