VW to add 15 more dealers in the U.S. by year end image

Volkswagen of America plans to increase the number of dealerships by up to 15 by year end, bringing the brand’s total number of dealers to 615 in the U.S.

“We are adding very selectively and there are a number of changes buying and selling, but the main focus is seeing the throughput increase,” Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen of America, was quoted as saying by Auto News at the Paris auto show last week.

Browning added that about 91 percent of VW’s dealers were profitable in the first seven months of this year, compared with 89 percent in 2011 and 83 percent in 2010. VW’s U.S. boss also said that this will be the first phase of growth of the existing dealer body, with more dealerships to be added later.

Browning said he wouldn’t predict VW brand sales for 2012 in the U.S., but added that growth will continue at a very significant double-digit pace. In the first nine months of the year, the Volkswagen brand sold 323,089 vehicles in the U.S., up 37 percent from a year earlier.

Sales of the Volkswage Passat sedan built in the United States hit a one-year historic high of 79,000 units through September 16.